HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Craig Dollansky was clearly the fastest at Hagerstown Speedway Sunday night.
He clocked in almost a quarter of a second faster than anyone else — and less than two-tenths off the track record – in qualifying, charged from fourth to claim his heat race, nearly won the dash after starting sixth and led all 25 laps of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet presents the Kasey Kahne Challenge brought to you by O’Neill Race Gear feature.
“We had a good race car from the time we unloaded,” Dollansky said after his third World of Outlaws win of the season.
It was his first career Outlaws victory at Hagerstown Speedway in the series return to the half-mile track following a six-year absence.
“We could hang with him early and then at the end he got by a couple of lapped cars that really held me up and that was pretty much the end of it,” runner-up Daryn Pittman said.
Dollansky, who pulled a six during the dash inversion, rocketed from sixth to second in turns one and two on the opening lap of the dash. He finished a close second to Paul McMahan, who earned the pole for the feature.
The duo were side by side as they headed toward the first turn after taking the initial green flag, but it was Dollansky who powered to the top spot with Pittman in tow. McMahan fell to fourth, which is where he restarted on the only caution of the race – a spin by Greg Hodnett in turn four on the third lap.
“Just getting into (turn) one is the key,” said McMahan, who rebounded to finish third for his second podium in the last three races. “The bottom is just too slow around the bottom. If you can carry your momentum around the top it’s a better place to be. I had a good start. I just couldn’t clear Craig down the front straightaway so I had to go to the bottom and he just carried momentum around the top, and Daryn followed right along with him.”
Stevie Smith and Logan Schuchart, who restarted third and fifth, respectively, got together in turn two on the restart. It allowed Dollansky and Pittman to pull away, and it gave Cody Darrah an opportunity to rocket from eighth to fourth and Chad Kemenah to advance from 10th to fifth.
One lap later, Sammy Swindell, who entered the race tied for the championship points lead, began to fall toward the back of the field with a steering issue. By that point Dollansky had half a straightaway advantage over Pittman.
They entered traffic on lap 10, which allowed Pittman to quickly gain on Dollansky. The final 15 laps featured the duo sliding lapped cars with Dollansky pulling away to nearly a straightaway lead by the checkered flag.
“When you’re leading you don’t know how big of a lead you have,” Dollansky said. “I felt there was a couple of times we got held up in lapped traffic and I thought it cost us.
“To come out with a win in this area is not easy to do. You’ve got the Pennsylvania Posse here and the best of the World of Outlaws, so I’m just proud of this entire team.”
Smith finished fourth and Kraig Kinser earned his fifth top five of the season.
Steve Kinser used a provisional and drove from 25th to 11th. That, combined with Swindell’s 20th-place finish, moved Kinser into the championship lead for the first time this season.
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