Dollansky Rolls To Win No. 6

Craig Dollansky takes the checkered flag at Lebanon Valley Speedway earlier this year. (Dave Dalesandro photo)
Craig Dollansky takes the checkered flag Sunday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway. (Dave Dalesandro photo)

W. LEBANON, N.Y. — Craig Dollansky’s Big Game Tree Stands crew spent Sunday putting a new car together after a hard flip the night before at Williams Grove and their labor on the sunbaked drag strip behind the Lebanon Valley Speedway was rewarded with a trip to victory lane Sunday night.

Dollansky, currently making a run on the lead in the World of Outlaws standings, was pleased with win No. 6 on the season, but the crew was positively ecstatic after turning fast time and winning the “A” with the new car.

The win didn’t come easy, however, as Dollansky chased front row companion Joey Saldana around the high-banked half-mile for 20 laps before squeezing between him and the turn one wall to take command.

But in the end, he won comfortably over Daryn Pittman, Saldana, young Logan Schuchart and Williams Grove winner Cody Darrah.

“They worked extra hard today and the car was great,” declared Dollansky. “I love this race track. Once I circled Joey, I knew we’d be OK. For most of the race, the lapped traffic dictated where you had to go. One other time I got a run on him but it didn’t work. That time it did!”

Dash winner Saldana beat Dollansky to turn one with the fourth starting Pittman and Tim Kaeding settling in behind them. By lap six they’d caught the tail and while Dollansky could get close, he couldn’t get all the way by as lapped cars would block his lane or cause Saldana to change lanes in front of him.

Meanwhile, Lucas Wolfe and Schuchart were dueling behind them, though the full house was focused on the battle for the lead.

The traffic problem went away when Sammy Swindell lost a tire on lap 22 to draw the race’s only yellow. When green returned, Dollansky jumped out to a comfortable lead, leaving Pittman to work on Saldana, with the former WoO regular finally getting under him in turns one and two on lap 23.

“That was fun,” declared Pittman. “I thought Joe was holding the No. 7 up a little, so I kept following him and he finally got by. Then that double-file restart let me get a good run on Joey, too.”

“Yeah, I was good to halfway but my tires got too hot when we hit that third batch of lapped cars,” offered Saldana. “Then he ate me up. But I’ll take it, the way we’ve been running lately. We’ve been good, just not good enough.”

Donny Schatz, who started 13th, made a late charge to show sixth at the flag with Kaeding, Wolfe, Kerry Madsen and Bill Rose trailing.

Kim LaVoy scored a popular win in the companion DIRTcar 358 modified feature, with Brett Hearn, Andy Bachetti and Matt Quinn trailing her to the stripe in the 25-lap event.


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Ron Hedger
A veteran of nearly 40 years with SPEED SPORT, Hedger has also covered auto racing for the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette and was a contributor to Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines.