|Photo Courtesy of World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars|
Lakeside Speedway has survived floods, moves, and recessions. It has been dirt, turned to asphalt and then back to dirt again. It has been underwater for months at a time and yet she survives. Her parking lot is full of ruts that make the weak of heart cringe before driving through. She sits beside active rail road tracks that often impede entrance and exit. She has seen the best of many generations display their skills and talents. Through it all, she remains true to her fans and her competitors despite the everyday challenges she faces.
Tonight’s World of Outlaws event was a race against a storm that on radar was half as big as the state and a rainbow of greens, yellows and oranges. The track still had standing water in the infield and the grounds crew was hesitant to water the pure riverbed clay half-mile track. She was wet deep beneath her surface and with rain threatening she was unlikely to dry anymore than she already had. A quick grate showed a drier under surface than was expected and so a slight drink of water was added to the top of the track surface.
There was an urgency in the pits that comes when the temperature is hot, the humidity is high and you can smell the rain in the air. Cars were being readied with precision, but in hurry. Even drivers from some teams were busy elbows deep in the workings of the powerful steel horses. There were local heroes in the pits, Brian Brown, Danny Lasoski and Jason Schroeder. As the fans trickled in those drivers became instantly engaged with old friends and long time fans. Getting drivers time tonight was not an easy task even with an appointment.
The accompanying class was the normal Friday night stars, the modifieds. Lead by long time champion, Gene Claxton, the modifieds were intent on leaving an impression. Long known as a modified track these guys were some of the best in the state and their performances showed it. In the long run the local modifieds put on a more competitive show than the Outlaws. With close quarter racing and skills that were learned and perfected on the track they held dear and called home. Gene Claxton lead the way with yet another victory to notch on his dash panel in a race that was riveting and hard fought.
The Outlaws would come to the post 21 cars strong eliminating the need for a Last Chance Showdown. Qualifying was quick with the low car count. The track record of 13.646 seconds was established by Paul McMahan on June 4, 2011. That record would stand with Quick Time being set by McMahan with a lap of 14.072 seconds. Cody Darrah, Daryn Pittman, Jason Sides and Donny Schatz would round out the top-five.
The three heat races were hard fought wins for Criag Dollansky, Sammy Swindell and Jason Johnson. Also advancing to Dash positions were Tim Kaeding, Donny Schatz and Danny Lasoski. The other four spots would be filled by the four fastest qualifiers to make the standard ten starting spots.
The Dash was quick. The inversion draw of four put Jason Sides on the pole and he did not hesitate to pull out to the lead and run. He was chased to the checkers by Daryn Pittman and Paul McMahan. It was Sides' first Dash victory of the season and it put him on the pole for the A Main.
With all cars transferring to the 30 lap A Main it made the night about racing - about showing what you had and showing how well you could hold on to what you had. The initial green flag would be called back when Daryn Pittman jumped the start and was penalized a row. When the green flew again Craig Dollansky turned on the heat. Dollansky would go from fifth to first in two laps. Once Dollansky hit the lead it was all over but the crying. The Eyecon Trails Camera No. 7 was on a rail and set for the speed of sound. Only one time did Jason Sides get close enough to attempt to pass in heavy traffic and he was unable to make the move stick. For the second night in a row Craig Dollansky would dominate the field. Sides finished second followed by Dollansky's teammate Sammy Swindell.
“It’s a great race team, we were struggling a little bit, but we’re starting to sort things out a little bit,” said Dollansky, of Elk River, Minn. “I’m pretty happy with our race team right now and I’m real happy for Eyecon Trail Cameras, Big Game Treestands and all the people from Big Game that support us.”
“He was gone, and we could see him a little bit when he got into some traffic, but after that it was over,” said Jason Sides, of Bartlett, Tenn. “Actually it laid a little rubber down early and it seemed like it helped us once it did rubber up a little bit, we weren’t near as loose as what we were.”
Sammy Swindell used the high groove to power his way from eighth to finish third, earning the KSE Hard Charger Award.
“We came on some stuff finally with the car, the whole team has been working real hard,” said Swindell, of Germantown, Tenn. “We've been trying some different things and sometimes it’s making us look bad, but we’re learning from that. We tried some things, the car was completely different so we had to make some other changes, and we still didn't hit it right, but it was better in the race than what we have been in a while.”
Mother Nature would not be denied. The rain was coming. In the distance you could hear the rumble and see a flash of lightening every once in awhile. Teams scurried to break down cars and load their precious cargo before the first drops fell. They were successful for the most part. Only a few of the trailers and teams had made it out of the track when the rain began to fall. The rest sat patiently in the line of traffic that wound through the parking lot waiting to begin the last leg of the weekend’s journey. For the fans the anticipation was over and the show had been run. The Outlaws visit was over for another year, but the wait for the next one had already begun.
Qualifying: 1. 51-Paul McMahan, 14.072; 2. 4-Cody Darrah, 14.102; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman, 14.120; 4. 7S-Jason Sides, 14.132; 5. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.188; 6. 71M-Joey Saldana, 14.201; 7. 7-Craig Dollansky, 14.219; 8. 29-Kerry Madsen, 14.244; 9. 33-Danny Lasoski, 14.269; 10. 83-Tim Kaeding, 14.309; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell, 14.322; 12. 41-Jason Johnson, 14.340; 13. 21-Brian Brown, 14.370; 14. 63-Chad Kemenah, 14.371; 15. 6-David Gravel, 14.419; 16. 11-Steve Kinser, 14.514; 17. 77X-Wayne Johnson, 14.583; 18. 4S-Danny Smith, 14.768; 19. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 14.769; 20. 6R-Bill Rose, 15.031; 21. 5-Jason Schroeder, 16.166
Heat 1 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature): 1. 7-Craig Dollansky ; 2. 83-Tim Kaeding ; 3. 21-Brian Brown ; 4. 51-Paul McMahan ; 5. 7S-Jason Sides ; 6. 11-Steve Kinser ; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser .
Heat 2 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature): 1. 1-Sammy Swindell ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz ; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 4. 4-Cody Darrah ; 5. 77X-Wayne Johnson ; 6. 63-Chad Kemenah ; 7. 6R-Bill Rose .
Heat 3 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature): 1. 41-Jason Johnson ; 2. 33-Danny Lasoski ; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana ; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 5. 6-David Gravel ; 6. 5-Jason Schroeder ; 7. 4S-Danny Smith .
Dash - (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature): 1. 7S-Jason Sides ; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 3. 51-Paul McMahan ; 4. 4-Cody Darrah ; 5. 7-Craig Dollansky ; 6. 83-Tim Kaeding ; 7. 15-Donny Schatz ; 8. 1-Sammy Swindell ; 9. 41-Jason Johnson ; 10. 33-Danny Lasoski .
A-Main - (30 Laps): 1. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$10,000]; 2. 7S-Jason Sides  [$5,500]; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell  [$3,200]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,800]; 5. 4-Cody Darrah  [$2,500]; 6. 83-Tim Kaeding  [$2,300]; 7. 51-Paul McMahan  [$2,200]; 8. 33-Danny Lasoski  [$2,100]; 9. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,050]; 10. 21-Brian Brown  [$2,000]; 11. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,500]; 12. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$1,200]; 13. 6-David Gravel  [$1,100]; 14. 11-Steve Kinser  [$1,050]; 15. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$1,000]; 16. 77X-Wayne Johnson  [$900]; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$800]; 18. 63-Chad Kemenah  [$800]; 19. 4S-Danny Smith  [$800]; 20. 5-Jason Schroeder  [$800]; 21. 6R-Bill Rose  [$800]. Lap Leaders: Jason Sides 1-2, Craig Dollansky 3-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 1-Sammy Swindell [+5].