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Dollansky Weathers Competition at Reconfigured I-96 Speedway
The veteran earns his fourth World of Outlaws win of season at the NAPA Rumble

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. – June 2, 2012 – It was fitting that the sky opened up as Craig Dollansky posed in Victory Lane on Saturday.
Rain shortened the celebration on the frontstretch at I-96 Speedway just as it delayed the start of the NAPA Rumble – the World of Outlaws lone event in Michigan this season.

While he smiled for pictures with a custom trophy and a joyous crew, rain drops began to descend on the newly reconfigured 3/8-mile oval and on Dollansky’s spotlight following his series-leading fourth Outlaws victory of the season.

“I’m like, ‘Man, thank God we got this race in tonight,'” he said. “I’m just glad we got it in. There’s a lot of great fans up here in Michigan, a great turnout here tonight.”

The start of the event was delayed when a storm hit the area in the late afternoon. Approximately 45 minutes before the initial drivers meeting, the wind picked up and a patch of dark clouds encompassing the area soon engulfed the facility.

Teams quickly loaded the trailers and fans dashed for any cover from the rain. However, the damp weather lasted less than an hour and although rushed, the show went on as scheduled.

“Luckily we got the race in and we had a decent run,” said Jason Sides, who won the event last year and finished third on Saturday.

“We got to run on this new configuration at I-96 with the 3/8 mile and I thought it was a pretty decent race track, and I think it’ll make for a good race track later on as they work out some bugs with the softness of the dirt and all at the very top.”

Dollansky, who won at I-96 Speedway in 2007 on the half mile, was fast from the time he unloaded. He qualified second quickest and finished fourth in his heat race to advance to the dash. The invert was a four, starting him on the inside of the second row.

Dollansky finished the dash where he started – third. However, he didn’t stay there long in the feature. On what he deemed a “treacherous” track, Dollansky rocketed to second by turn one of the opening lap.

Polesitter David Gravel led from the drop of the green flag and had a several car length advantage once the duo entered thick traffic on lap six. However, Gravel got stuck behind a slower car entering turn one on the 10th lap. Dollansky pounced on the opening at the top of the track and drove into the lead.

“Once we got into the lead I felt like we had a good line going and I felt like we were running a good pace, so I felt pretty comfortable with just being patient with lapped cars,” he said.

Gravel maintained a close second until another miscue in traffic allowed Chad Kemenah to sneak by for the runner-up position on lap 16. Two laps later, Gravel tangled with Geoff Dodge, whose flip in turn four brought out the only caution of the race. Gravel spun in the incident and after a short stint in the work area, returned to the track as the last car on the lead lap. He finished 18th.

Dollansky powered to a sizeable lead on the restart and continued to operate through the tough traffic with Kemenah staying within striking distance. However, Kemenah was unable to move within a car length in the closing laps and he settled for second place.

“We seemed to close in when we got to lapped cars,” he said. “(Dollansky) had a really good race car. I don’t want to complain about running second.”

Sides held off Steve Kinser for the final spot on podium. Kinser added to his championship points lead with the top five. He now leads Tony Stewart Racing teammate Donny Schatz by 30 points.

Cody Darrah, who set fast time and established a new track record with a lap of 12.119 seconds, finished fifth. Schatz was sixth, Tim Shaffer placed seventh and Dale Blaney charged from 16th to finish eighth, earning the KSE Hard Charger Award. Kerry Madsen was ninth and Kraig Kinser rounded out the top 10.

Steve Kinser, Shane Stewart and Kemenah each won a heat race. Sammy Swindell, who is third in the championship standings, claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

NAPA Rumble Notebook

NOTES – I-96 Speedway was reconfigured from a half mile to a 3/8 mile in the offseason. … All 26 drivers qualified below the previous track record of 14.834 seconds. … Shane Stewart picked up his first World of Outlaws heat race victory of the season. … Sammy Swindell was the 22nd different Last Chance Showdown winner in 24 events this season. … The top five in the championship standings are within 77 points of each other.

CONTINGENCY WINNERS – Penske Shocks ($100 certificate): Bill Rose; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Craig Dollansky; Comp Cams ($50 certificate): Craig Dollansky; Armor All (case of product): Jason Sides; STP ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; UNOH ($50 cash): Cody Darrah; Gravely Tractors ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; VP Racing Fuel ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; JE Pistons (set of rings): Sammy Swindell; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe; Wix Filters ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe; Superflow ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe; JE Pistons ($50 cash): David Gravel; JE Pistons (set of rings): Bill Rose; MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Chad Wilson; Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash): Joey Saldana.

WINNERS – Craig Dollansky – 4 (I-96 Speedway on June 2, Hagerstown Speedway on May 20, Tri-State Speedway on April 21 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Sammy Swindell – 4 (Eldora Speedway on May 5, Knoxville Raceway on April 28, Missouri State Fair Speedway on April 20 and Merced Speedway on March 30); Joey Saldana – 3 (The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 25, Paducah International Raceway on April 13 and Perris Auto Speedway on March 10); Donny Schatz – 3 (Farmer City Raceway on April 25, Silver Dollar Speedway on March 23 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Tim Kaeding – 2 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 16 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8); Chad Kemenah – 2 (Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 28 and Eldora Speedway on May 4); Steve Kinser – 2 (Orange County Fair Speedway on May 19 and Williams Grove Speedway on May 12); Danny Dietrich – 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 10); Danny Lasoski – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 18); Paul McMahan – 1 (Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on May 16); Fred Rahmer – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 11).

TIME TRIALS – Cody Darrah was the fastest qualifier around the 3/8-mile oval with a time of 12.119 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Craig Dollansky (4 points), Kerry Madsen (3), David Gravel (2) and Sammy Swindell (1).

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NAPA Rumble Statistical Report; I-96 Speedway; Lake Odessa, Mich.; June 2, 2012

A-Main – (35 Laps) – 1. 7-Craig Dollansky [3] [$10,000]; 2. 63-Chad Kemenah [4] [$5,500]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [7] [$3,200]; 4. 11-Steve Kinser [9] [$2,800]; 5. 4-Cody Darrah [5] [$2,500]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz [12] [$2,300]; 7. 83-Tim Shaffer [8] [$2,200]; 8. 2-Dale Blaney [16] [$2,100]; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen [2] [$2,050]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [13] [$2,000]; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell [11] [$1,500]; 12. 3G-Shane Stewart [10] [$1,200]; 13. W20-Greg Wilson [18] [$1,100]; 14. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [6] [$1,050]; 15. 1R-Chad Blonde [14] [$1,000]; 16. 2M-Dustin Daggett [17] [$900]; 17. 9-Joey Saldana [20] [$800]; 18. 89G-David Gravel [1] [$800]; 19. 28-Brian Paulus [15] [$800]; 20. 24H-Bryan Sebbetto [19] [$800]; 21. 44W-Austen Wheatley [22] [$800]; 22. 6-Bill Rose [21] [$800]; 23. 7M-Geoff Dodge [23] [$800]; 24. 14-Chad Wilson [24] [$800]. Lap Leaders: David Gravel 1-9, Craig Dollansky 10-35. KSE Hard Charger Award : 2-Dale Blaney [+8].