Dollansky Has His Day In Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Craig Dollansky held off Davey Heskin to claim his second feature win of the season at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday.
Dollansky was paid $3,000 for his 14th career 410 win at the half-mile.
In 360 action, Jason Johnson took his fifth career feature win, while Kevin Hetrick scored for the first time in his Knoxville career in the 305 class.
Heskin got the jump on Dollansky to start the 20-lap 410 main event ahead of Lynton Jeffrey. Dusty Zomer shot into the top three on lap four. A battle ensued the next several laps as Terry McCarl and quick-timer Justin Henderson moved up to challenge Zomer for a podium position. At the halfway point, McCarl and Henderson moved by Zomer, a lap before Henderson would get by McCarl for third.
After the pair crossed the start/finish line, and with the top five bunched up in lapped traffic, the caution came out for Brooke Tatnell, who got into the turn three wall. The restart saw Heskin lead the field back to green, ahead of Dollansky, Henderson, McCarl and Zomer.
Dollansky slid in front of Heskin on the restart, but the latter was back in the lead a lap later in a torrid battled for the point. Dollansky came back on lap fourteen to take the lead and Henderson followed him by Heskin. Heskin was not to be denied, however, and surged back into second in the closing laps. Noticeably gaining on the leader, he nosed under Dollansky heading into turn one on the last lap, only to be denied by the leader, who took his line and cut his momentum.
Dollansky was victorious over Heskin, Henderson, Danny Lasoski and McCarl. Brian Brown, Ian Madsen, Zomer, Mark Dobmeier and B main winner Brad Loyet rounded out the top ten. Cole Wood, Larry Ball Jr. and Bronson Maeschen won the heats. Bob Weuve and Skylar Prochaska got upside down in the B main on separate incidents. Neither was injured.
“I tell you what, (Heskin) was good,” said Dollansky in Victory Lane. “This Knoxville racetrack…they don’t come any better. Kris Dunkin and his crew do such a fabulous job with it every week. There’s a lot of places where they don’t know what to do with the racetrack. This is the best track in the world. I’m just happy for this race team. We’ve been working hard this week. We still aren’t there yet, but we’ll keep working hard.”
An incident marred the start of the 15-lap 360 feature. After contact from another car, Jonathan Cornell slid sideways, collecting Mike Van Haaften and Kris Miller, who tipped over. Cornell and Miller were uninjured, but finished for the night. Russ Hall led the first green flag lap, before Mike Houseman Jr. came to a stop.
While Hall went high on the restart, Jason Johnson made the bottom stick and took the point before the caution came out again a lap later, for a spun Sawyer Phillips. The restart saw Eunice, Louisiana native leading Hall, Jon Agan, Jamie Ball and Justin Henderson back to the green. Ball passed Again for third on the restart.
Three more laps were in the books when Phillips spun again, ending his night. Ball again had a good start and got by Hall for second. While Johnson checked out, Ball and Hall battled for the runner-up position. On lap ten, Hall took it for good after a lengthy battle. Johnson won the event by half a straightaway over Hall, Agan, who gained third from Ball on the last lap, and Henderson. Joe Beaver, Dylan Peterson. Matt Moro, Jarrod Schneiderman and Matt Juhl rounded out the top ten. Henderson also set quick time in the 360 class, while Nate Van Haaften, Agan and Hall won heat races.
“On the start, I went to the top of one and two and (Hall) actually drove by me on the bottom,” said Johnson in Victory Lane. “I was actually surprised he opened the bottom back up on the restart. There was actually quite a bit of moisture there. After that, I just wanted to hit my marks and get a rhythm as fast as I could. This is our third week in a row here, and we’ve been struggling. I can’t say enough about this race team.”
Kevin Hetrick shot around the front row of Mike Philben and McKenna Haase on lap one and led the distance using the low groove in the 12-lap 305 main event. The race was slowed only once by a caution at the halfway point for debris from the machine of Corey Kautz.
Haase stayed close in second, ahead of Mitchell Alexander. Matthew Stelzer and J. Kinder ran a strong fourth and fifth. Hard-charger, Stacey Alexander, Philben, Steve Breazeale, Keoni Texeira and Jeff Wilke rounded out the top ten. Chris Walraven registered quick time, while Dustin Clark, Stelzer and Kade Higday won the heats.
“It was a tough race,” said Hetrick of his first career Knoxville win. “At times, I wanted lapped traffic and at times, I wanted clean air. I thought I had a good rhythm going. I have to thank my Dad and Brian Anderson. We’ve been struggling the last couple years here. Tonight, we had a perfect car. I’d like to dedicate this to all the people who help me.”