Racing with the World of Outlaws requires intense focus and endurance every time a driver straps into a 900 horsepower sprint car. On Saturday the focus and endurance were pushed to the limit as Craig Dollansky laid eyes on the longest race of the season, the ‘Ironman 55’ at I-55 Raceway, a tight bullring track that ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ has two victories and seven runner-up finishes in the last 15 appearances.
A hot summer day just outside of St. Louis, Missouri presented another variable for the 27 drivers that assembled for racing. In qualifying time trials Dollansky muscled the Big Game Treestands backed sprinter to the third fastest time around the 1/3-mile. Heat race competition would see the Karavan Trailers Maxim start fourth and race past Steve Kinser to finish 3rd and secure a spot in the dash. A six car inversion for the dash again put Dollansky in the fourth starting spot where he raced past two cars in the 8-lap event to earn a front row position for the $20,000-to-win main event.
Starting from the outside pole of the 55-lap A-Main, Jason Sides jumped out to the lead until the fourth circuit when ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ came knocking to take the lead and open up a two second lead before a caution came on lap 16. On the double-file restart Dollansky opted for the high side and Sides took the lead but another caution before a lap was complete moved the Aggressive Hydraulics #7 into the lead for the single-file restart. Dollansky opened it up again when action resumed as he knifed through lapped traffic until a charging Brad Sweet exchanged slide-jobs with Dollansky around the halfway point. The Elk River, MN native would turn it under Sweet and continue to assume the top spot as he lapped up to the eleventh position until 18 to go when Sweet blew a tire and the red was displayed for a fuel stop. After battling Jason Meyers on the restart, ‘The Crowd Pleaser’ started to pull away just three laps later and set sail around the high-banked oval as he powered the #7 to the 7th victory of the season.
Watch the post-race interview HERE as Dollansky talks about his victory and all the action that was going on during the longest race of the season!
The Big Game Treestands #7 team will now return to their shop in Princeton, MN as they prepare for the biggest week in sprint car racing, the 51st Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals in Iowa which gets underway on Wednesday.
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