Dollansky Triumphs in World of Outlaws Sprint Series Return to Bakersfield Speedway Oildale, CA - February 26, 2005 - By Chris Dolack, World of Outlaws Senior Writer ...It took 10 years for the World of Outlaws Sprint Series to return to Bakersfield Speedway, but it was worth the wait. On a night where the track speed record seemed to drop with every qualifying run, Craig Dollansky slipped past Joey Saldana to collect $10,000 as he became the fifth different winner in five Outlaws feature events this season. Dollansky started the 35-lap A-Main in third, directly behind the pole-sitter Saldana. In heavy traffic on the tacky 1/3-mile dirt oval, Dollansky methodically worked his way past second-place starter Brian Paulus and sized up Saldana.
After a caution on Lap 17, the two front-runners pulled away slightly from the wild pack behind them that was fighting for third. On Lap 22, Dollansky looked to make his move. He ducked low, trying to get inside of Saldana. It took two laps, but he kept his Karavan Motorsports machine on the bottom where the surface was rough and slid into the lead on the exit of Turn 4. Saldana tried to surge back in front on the outside but he tucked in behind Dollansky and fought the rest of the way to protect his position from the hard-charging Steve Kinser. Following Kinser to the finish were race co-promoter Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Paulus and Terry McCarl.
Dollansky's victory is his fourth consecutive top-six finish and the first in an Outlaws event at Bakersfield since Dave Blaney's1995 win. It leaves Dollansky only eight points behind series leader Steve Kinser in the overall standings. "We've been communicating real well and it's making a big difference in this race team," said Dollansky, the inaugural Gumout Series champion in 2000 who was seriously injured in a 2003 crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We switched to J&J Chassis and that's working real well for us, and Charlie Garrett built a motor that is second to none. He works his butt off back home."
That chassis and horsepower faced a strong challenge at Bakersfield. At speeds in excess of 110 mph, it took only a couple of laps for the lead pack to reach the tail end of the field. Despite several cautions and red flags for flips by Tim Kaeding on Lap 10 and Jason Sides on Lap 14, Saldana was able to maintain a slight advantage. With Dollansky setting his sights on Paulus early in the feature, Meyers made a daring move on the third lap when he went three-wide at the top of Turn 2 to get around Mark Kinser and Steve Kinser, drawing cheers from his hometown fans. Meyers reached as high as third before Steve Kinser eventually slid past him on the low side going into Turn 3.
Down the stretch, dodging cars by circling the bottom of the track, Dollansky went unchallenged because Saldana had his hands full with Steve Kinser in a wheel-to-wheel battle for second. With two laps remaining, Kinser tried again to take get second from Saldana, but Saldana battled back each time.
"There definitely was traffic everywhere, but the way this car was operating we were able to maneuver it," said Dollansky, of Elk River, Minn. "They did a great job with this racetrack. There's nothing wrong when they get it a little rough and a little tackied up. It makes for some good exciting racing. I just want to thank Jason Meyers and Guy Stockbridge and the Elite Racing Team for putting on a great show here."
A hot start to 2005 should help Dollansky stay near the top of the points chase all season. Now more than a year removed from his injuries at Indianapolis, Dollansky and his team are focused on a run at the championship.
"This is the best start we've ever had," Dollansky said. "I'd say this is the best I've felt going into a season, we're going into it strong. We just have to work hard at it and do our job every night. There's a lot of good competition out here. It's hard to win races. We'll just try to work at it every night to see what we can do in the points chase."
That competition was set earlier in the day when DIRT MotorSports announced it reached agreements with all the drivers in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series' Mean 15. With that task completed, the focus once again can be on the breathtaking racing. The action leading up to the feature was just as furious as the main event. Forced into the B-Main after he was taken out in a heat race, Daryn Pittman started first and held off second-place running Danny Lasoski for a victory in heavy traffic. In the first dash that set the inside top six positions in the feature, Saldana grabbed the lead from Mark Kinser at the drop of the green flag and drove off with the victory. In the second dash, Paulus cruised after getting the early jump on Sean Becker. The heat races certainly were hot, especially the first one. Jason Sides tried to slip past top qualifier Pittman between Turns 3 and 4. The two collided, with Sides flipping toward the fence. The incident left Pittman with significant front-end damage, relegating him to the B-Main as Brian Coelho went on to win the heat. Other heat winners included Paulus, Tim Kaeding and Jason Solwold.
The tacky track made for incredible speeds during time trials. One night after flipping in time trials at Thunderbowl Raceway, Pittman ran the fastest lap in Bakersfield history when he circled the 1/3-mile oval in 10.572 seconds at 113.394 mph. "We were awfully good in hot laps and it felt that good, but the scary part is when it feels good it normally isn't," Pittman said. "When it feels that good you're afraid to look at the time because normally when it's that easy to drive you're slow. It was good to look up there and see that time."
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series action from Bakersfield Speedway can be seen on The Outdoor Channel at 8 p.m. Eastern March 16. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series leaves California to race March 4-5 in the Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix. It then rolls March 10-11 to The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the J.D. Byrider World of Outlaws Nationals before racing March 18 at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Miss., and March 19 at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.
World of Outlaws Sprint Series Statistical Report, Bakersfield Speedway, February 26, 2005
Qualifying 1) Daryn Pittman, Titan Racing USA 21, 10.572 (New Single Lap Record) 2) Peter Murphy, Rush Racing 8, 10.681 3) Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 10.688 4) Terry McCarl, McCarl 24, 10.705 5) Kraig Kinser, Kinser 11K, 10.707 6) Craig Dollansky, Karavan 7, 10.741 7) Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 10.765 8) Jason Sides, Sides Motorsports 7S, 10.777 9) Joey Saldana, Woodward 2, 10.791 10) Brian Paulus, Pender 28, 10.793 11) Mark Kinser, Wright 35, 10.816 12) Sean Becker, McMillen 10, 10.835 13) Brandon Wimmer, Wimmer-Luck Motorsports 7TW, 10.845 14) Jason Meyers, Elite Racing Team 14, 10.863 15) Paul McMahan, Helm 11H, 10.865 16) Tim Shaffer, Parsons 6, 10.871 17) Kyle Hirst,Hirst 1K, 10.877 18) Brian Coelho, Coelho 5C, 10.877 19) Tim Kaeding, Roth 83, 10.919 20) Jason Solwold, Carnahan R19, 10.935 21) Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 10.947 22) Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1X, 10.955 23) Andy Forsberg, Forsberg 92, 10.970 24) Mike Faria, Faria 4, 10.994 25) Sammy Swindell, Forbrook 5, 11.004 26) Natalie Sather, Sather 94S, 11.026 27) Kevin Swindell, Roth 83JR, 11.027 28) Dennis Moore, Jr., Williams 0, 11.031 29) Shane Stewart, Rudeen Racing 26, 11.088 30) Ricci Faria, Faria 89, 11.096 31) Davey Key, Key 15K, 11.105 32) Stan Yockey, Yockey 7Y, 11.225 33) Cary Faas, Woodward 2V, 11.307 34) Tommy Fogarty, Fogarty 66TF, 11.487 35) Tommy Tarlton, Tarlton 21T, 11.517 36) Chris D'Arcy, D'Arcy 77, 11.608
First Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature) 1) Brian Coelho 2) Mike Faria 3) Joey Saldana 4) Tim Shaffer 5) Sammy Swindell 6) Shane Stewart 7) Daryn Pittman 8) Jason Sides 9) Cary Faas
Second Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature) 1) Brian Paulus 2) Kraig Kinser 3) Andy Forsberg 4) Steve Kinser 5) Peter Murphy 6) Natalie Sather 7) Kyle Hirst 8) Ricci Faria 9) Tommy Fogarty
Third Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature) 1) Tim Kaeding 2) Randy Hannagan 3) Mark Kinser 4) Jason Meyers 5) Craig Dollansky 6) Danny Lasoski 7) Kevin Swindell 8) Tommy Tarlton 9) Davey Key
Fourth Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature) 1) Jason Solwold 2) Donny Schatz 3) Sean Becker 4) Terry McCarl 5) Brandon Wimmer 6) Kraig Kinser 7) Dennis Moore Jr. 8) Chris D'Arcy 9) Stan Yockey
First Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined inside first 6 rows of A-feature) 1) Joey Saldana 2) Craig Dollansky 3) Mark Kinser 4) Paul McMahan 5) Peter Murphy 6) Brandon Wimmer
Second Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined outside first 6 rows of A-feature) 1) Brian Paulus 2) Sean Becker 3) Terry McCarl 4) Steve Kinser 5) Jason Meyers 6) Tim Shaffer
B-Main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature) 1) Daryn Pittman [$20] 2) Danny Lasoski [$20] 3) Jason Sides [$20] 4) Kraig Kinser [$20] 5) Dennis Moore Jr. [$200] 6) Kyle Hirst [$180] 7) Ricci Faria [$175] 8) Shane Stewart [$160] 9) Tommy Tarlton [$150] 10) Davey Key [$150] 11) Chris D'Arcy [$150] 12) Natalie Sather [$150] 13) Tommy Fogarty [$150] 14) Kevin Swindell [$150] 15) Stan Yockey [$150] 16) Cary Faas [$150]
A-Main (35 laps) Finish, Driver, Money, Starting Pos. 1) Craig Dollansky [$10,000] (3) 2) Joey Saldana [$5,500] (1) 3) Steve Kinser [$3,200] (8) 4) Jason Meyers [$2,800] (10) 5) Kraig Kinser [$2,500] (15) 6) Brian Paulus [$2,300] (2) 7) Terry McCarl [$2,200] (6) 8) Donny Schatz [$2,100] (20) 9) Sean Becker [$2,050] (4) 10) Mark Kinser [$2,000] (5) 11) Danny Lasoski [$1,500] (14) 12) Daryn Pittman [$1,200] (13) 13) Shane Stewart [$1,100] (25) 14) Sammy Swindell [$1,050] (24) 15) Peter Murphy [$1,000] (9) 16) Jason Solwold [$900] (19) 17) Andy Forsberg [$800] (22) 18) Brandon Wimmer [$800] (11) 19) Brian Coelho [$800] (17) 20) Tim Shaffer [$800] (12) 21) Jason Sides [$800] (16) 22) Randy Hannagan [$800] (21) 23) Mike Faria [$800] (23) 24) Tim Kaeding [$800] (18) 25) Paul McMahan [$800] (7)
Lap leaders: Joey Saldana 1-23, Craig Dollansky 24-35.
Event notes: Jason Sides got into Daryn Pittman while trying to make a pass for the transfer position in the first heat race. Sides flipped, while Pittman crashed hard into the wall. Neither driver was able to restart. … Kevin Swindell got into the wall and flipped in Turn 2 at the start of the B-main. Swindell was uninjured. … Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Shane Stewart used a provisional to start the A-main.