Unsung Heroes: Lucas Dollansky – Tire Specialist for Craig Dollansky
Throughout the season we will provide Q&As with team members within the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. This week we chose Lucas Dollansky, who is the tire specialist – and son – of Craig Dollansky.
Name: Lucas Dollansky
Hometown: Elk River, Minn.
Team: Craig Dollansky Racing #7
Title: Tire specialist
Background: Lucas grew up watching his father, Craig, race and spent summers traveling from track to track with his family. Once he graduated high school, Lucas went on the road as a full-time crewman. He began as a cleaner and has been in charge of tires the past two seasons.
What is involved in your job as a tire specialist?
“There’s variance in sizes, compounds. You’ve got to know the sizes and you’ve got to mount up multiple, different wheels and everything. And then you’ve got to cut them different depending on the track.”
What are the reasons to cut a tire?
“You cut it, which means grooving. You’re taking a chunk of the tire out of it. That just helps cool the tire and puts another edge on it for more grip as well. And then siping takes razor blades pretty much and puts little slices through the tire, which attracts heat and makes more grip.”
“When (the tracks) are dry-slick, they create more heat. There’s not a lot of moisture in there and that’s going to cause it to blister. If you can see it blistering you’re going to have to start taking care of them a little bit better to prevent them from blowing up as the race goes on.”
Are you relied to make a decision on tires?
“I pretty much know what we need for every track that we go to, so I kind of just take care of that myself. If it’s a different sized tire I’ll have both ready. I pretty much know how I want to cut them. I’m used to that.”
How many tires do you have to deal with on an average race day?
“A fair amount. You start with your two hot lap tires; that’s just two used tires that you put on to start. Then you’ve got to put two fresh ones on for qualifying and you’ve got to run them throughout the dash. And then you’ve got two more for the A Main. So you go through at least six tires a night. You’ve got to mount up four or five the next day.”
What is your goal?
“To help my dad win a championship for one, help our team win it. Working with D.J. is really cool. He’s actually taught me a lot more than just tires. So I know a lot more about the car than what I used to, which will help me if I ever get back in the car again. I started when I was 16 and didn’t know jack about a car. I guess it’s been beneficial being out here for three years and if I get in the car again in the next couple of years I’d know a lot more about what I was doing.”
What is your racing experience?
“I raced out here in California for a couple of months when I was 16 that summer and I raced at Knoxville for a little bit, too. I probably did 20 races total.”
What is your preference?
“I’d rather be in the car more than anything, but there ain’t nothing wrong helping dad try to get the championship. That’s the main goal.”
What is something about your dad that the average fan wouldn’t know?
“How much all of this really means to him and how intense he is at the race track. He’s raced a lot smarter this year than in years past. He’s been doing good points racing and everything. Just his determination at the race track. He really blocks everything else out. We all work as a team together. He just gives 110 percent every race so we try to give him the same.”
If you have a question for a team member within the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, e-mail Public Relations Coordinator Shawn Miller at [email protected] with the person’s name and a question or two. We will do our best to provide inside access from as many people as possible during the 2012 season.