ZIMMERMAN, Minn. — Five months after back surgery, sprint car driver Craig Dollansky is planning to return to racing.
Dollansky will return to the cockpit in March and will split his time between two different rides.
“I’m feeling better than I have in three years, I really didn’t think I would feel this good again,” said Dollansky.
Plaguing him more and more as time went on, Dollansky’s spine surgeon, Dr. James Schwender, found a portion of his L4 vertebrae was dead once they assessed the injury during the procedure.
“I would be a lot further along if I would have had surgery at the end of the 2016 season,” Dollansky stated. “With that behind me now, I’m extremely grateful for the skill of the surgical team as they are very pleased with the outcome of my surgery.”
At a recent follow-up appointment Dollansky and his surgeon assessed his recovery and scheduled physical therapy and approved light workouts in the gym, paving the way for Dollansky to return to driving.
“I feel now I can train the way I need to again, something I hadn’t been able to do since the beginning of 2016,” Dollansky said. “My family and I have missed being involved in the sport and all the friends and fans that we have made over the years of racing.”
Dollansky plans his return in Danny and Naomi King’s No. 88 sprint car during the March 15-16 Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Texas.
“Danny and Naomi are passionate about sprint car racing and I look forward to racing with them again in 2019 as my schedule allows,” said Dollansky.
Dollansky has also agreed to pilot the No. 7 Selvage Motorsports ride in weekly competition at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. Driver Dustin Selvage expressed some interest in stepping away from driving and into an ownership role.
“I felt it would be a great opportunity for a small team like mine to work with a driver like Craig,” Selvage said. “I believe he is as hungry as ever and can still get the job done.”
Selvage and Dollansky will concentrate on Knoxville and potentially other shows in the Midwest. Dollansky and Selvage will work together to prep the team to win races, with their main focus on the Knoxville Nationals.
“To say that I am excited to get behind the wheel racing again is an understatement,” Dollansky said. “After being sidelined during this process, I have realized how much racing means to me. How much a part of my family’s lives it is and other friends as well. I want to be involved in racing in some way for the rest of my life.
“There are plans in the works to remain involved in the sport beyond my driving career. For now, I’m taking one day at a time as I ramp back up to get after it.”