Dollansky wins Sooner Nationals Prelim
By Richard Day OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 17) -- The atmosphere around the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has been rather streaky this season. Craig Dollansky became the third driver to put together a two- feature winning streak Saturday ...
By Richard Day
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 17) -- The atmosphere around the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has been rather streaky this season.
Craig Dollansky became the third driver to put together a two- feature winning streak Saturday when he won the Preliminary Feature on opening night of the O'Reilly Sooner Nationals at State Fair Speedway.
The defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion started on the pole and led all 20 laps in the Preliminary Feature. Dollansky, who won the O'Reilly Spring Nationals finale at Devil's Bowl Speedway last Saturday, joined Andy Hillenburg and Danny Lasoski as two-time winners.
"This Polydome/Karavan Motorsports crew worked really hard all night long," Dollansky said. "Scott Mudra, Scott Benic and Todd Splain did everything I asked them to, and these Hoosier Tires and Maxim Chassis were all we needed.
"This (winning the Preliminary Feature and starting on the pole in Sunday's CHANNELLOCK Dash) is so important because you don't have to time trial or run a heat and take a chance on something happening tomorrow. We made a commitment to stay out here (with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series) all year, and if we keep working as hard as we have so far we'll have something for them every night."
Dollansky, the 15th-fastest qualifier in the 38-car field, won every race he entered -- the Third O'Reilly Heat Race, the CHANNELLOCK Dash and the Preliminary Feature. The $5,000 victory pushed him into second place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings, three points ahead of Hillenburg.
Dollansky burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Second-row starters Jason Johnson and fast- qualifier Steve Kinser passed outside pole-sitter Tim Shaffer during the opening lap.
Hillenburg, who started inside the fourth row, was trying to pass Kinser for third place when his #2 Luxaire J&J spun in turn four late in the second lap.
Lasoski, who leads the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings, passed Shaffer with a high move between turns one and two. Kinser took the high line around Johnson in the fourth corner for the runner-up spot several seconds later.
The leaders were approaching lapped traffic when Fourth O'Reilly Heat Race winner Stevie Smith spun in turn one early in lap four. "The Dude" passed Johnson on the back straightaway as the race resumed, only to have "The Cajun Sensation" regain third place in the fourth corner. Lasoski passed Johnson again early in the sixth lap, taking the inside line through turn two. Johnson's power steering locked three laps later, causing him to spin in the second corner and lose fourth place.
Jac Haudenschild battled Shaffer through the race's middle stages, and passed the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner for fourth place deep in turn three late in lap 12.
Danny Wood, who lives in nearby Norman, OK, passed Shaffer between turns three and four two laps later. "The Wild Child" jumped the cushion and almost hit the retaining wall in the second corner early in the 16th lap, allowing three cars to race past.
Joey Saldana claimed the final automatic starting position in Sunday's CHANNELLOCK Dash by passing Wood for fourth place deep in turn four late in the 17th lap.
Kinser, the defending and 16-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion, passed Dollansky deep in the second corner the next time around, only to have Craig regain the lead with a high move in turn three. "The King of the Outlaws" raced wheel-to-wheel with Dollansky down the back stretch with 1 1/2 laps remaining. Craig drove the #7 Polydome Maxim ahead in the third corner and took the checkered flag with three car-lengths to spare.
"I think we had a tire going down there at the end," Dollansky said. "We got a little loose, and when you have Steve Kinser behind you, you're always in trouble. Luckily, we were able to hang on."
Lasoski finished in third place, ahead of Saldana, Wood, 18th- starting Donny Schatz, Shaffer, Haudenschild, Paul McMahan and Hillenburg.
Terry McCarl made his debut in Holbrook Motorsports' #8H Eagle while Jason Meyers drove DOCC Motorsports' #20 Eagle Raceway Eagle for the first time Saturday. After running 1-2 in the "B" Feature, McCarl finished 24th and Meyers 20th in the evening's main event.
Daryn Pittman of Owasso, OK, finished one spot out of a qualifying position in the Fourth O'Reilly Heat Race and the "B" Feature. He used a provisional to start the Preliminary Feature and finished 23rd.
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