With the scramble races in the unique Knoxville Nationals format rained out on Friday night, Craig Dollansky maintained the 3rd starting position for the B-Main in Saturday’s conclusion of the 50th Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals.
As the 22 car field took the green flag, Dollansky didn’t get a good start and dropped back to the fifth spot. Just when it looked like Dollansky may be watching the A-feature from the infield, he drove the Aggressive Hydraulics Maxim around the highside of turns one and two and narrowed the gap on the final transfer position. With no cautions in the 22 lap event, ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ continued to reel in Jac Haudenschild for the transfer position which he would take on the highside of turn two and move on to the main event. “In the hotlaps we felt something and aren’t sure what happened but we had engine problems develop and I don’t know if we ever got a handle on it in the B or A but fortunately we got through the B,” commented Craig.
Earning his way into the biggest sprint car race in the world that allows no provisional starters, Dollansky had no where to go but forward as he started from the 24th position in the 50-lap event. As the racing got underway, Dollansky wasted no time to start his march to the front as he passed four cars by turn one. The Big Game Treestands special ‘Trophy Hunt’ paint scheme continued to pick off competitors as Dollansky ran sixteenth by lap eight and gained another four positions by the time a scheduled caution came out for fuel and tires at the halfway point of the feature.
After the five minutes allowed for crew members to make any changes to their cars, Dollansky ran twelfth and used a good restart to work his way up to nineth with 22 laps to go. As the racing continued it was more of the same for ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ as he motored around the highside and up to seventh with 15 laps to go. When a caution came out for Brian Brown the #7 was up to fifth with the leaders in sight. The final caution of the night came with 3 to go for teammate Sammy Swindell who blew a left rear tire while leading which moved the Karavan Trailers sprinter up to the 4th position. Dollansky would hold position in the final three laps and finish his outstanding run from the B-Main by finishing 4th in the A-Main. “We were picking cars off in the A but the motor sure wasn’t running as good as in the afternoon. The motor was shuttering and we actually blew all the water out of the engine right before that caution with three to go and almost caused us to spin out. We finished the race but the motor was done.” commented Craig who ran a total of 76 laps around the ½-mile. “We enjoyed all the fans during the week at the Nationals and a chance to visit with them all”. For his strong run through the A-Main field, Dollansky was awarded the Knoxville Nationals Hard Charger and a custom built commemorative 50th annual clock.
Dollansky and the Big Game Treestands #7 team get back to racing with the World of Outlaws this coming Friday as they head to Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota.