Knoxville news 2005-05-18

DONNY SCHATZ, SHANE STEWART & STEVIE WALSH ENTER CLEAN-O WORLD CHALLENGE AT KNOXVILLE KNOXVILLE, IOWA (May 18, 2005) - "Gang, this is what the Nationals are all about-- bringing together the best of the best from around the...

DONNY SCHATZ, SHANE STEWART & STEVIE WALSH ENTER CLEAN-O WORLD CHALLENGE AT KNOXVILLE

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (May 18, 2005) - "Gang, this is what the Nationals are all about-- bringing together the best of the best from around the world to compete against each other!," said Knoxville director of racing Ralph Capitani today as he opened the Clean-O World Challenge entries of New Zealander Stevie Walsh and Americans Donny Schatz and Shane Stewart. All three sprint car drivers have competed in the $10,000-to-win event previously, with World of Outlaws (WoO) veteran Schatz having won the international invitational in both 2001 and '02. The Clean-O World Challenge is slated to be the finale on the Friday, August 12, evening of the Knoxville Nationals, presented by the Midwest Ford Dealers.

Schatz will be competing in his own ParkerStore/Bellerud Transport-sponsored J&J sprint car number 15. The Shaver-powered sprinter also sports sponsorship from Fastlane Car Wash, Hoosier Tire and K&N Filters. Schatz joins previous World Challenge champions Randy Hannagan, A.J. "Skip" Jackson and Daryn Pittman as early entrants for 2005. According to Donny, "The World Challenge is a unique race during the biggest weekend of the year. I like how the field is inverted (top 16) and you have to race from the back to win. I've been fortunate enough to win it twice and hope to do it again."

Walsh will be making his third straight start in the Clean-O World Challenge, presented by the Fleet Buying Group. In 2003 the young New Zealander finished 16th as a teammate to Erin Crocker, and last season he finished 13th in the World Challenge. This year he will aim for a 'top ten' finish aboard Bob Trostle's Frey-powered winged 410-cubic-inch J&J sprinter number 20. Walsh qualified for the invitational by racing at Willie Kay's Todd & Pollock Speedway at the Bay Park Stadium in Mount Maunganui, North Island, New Zealand.

Stewart will pilot a Wesmar-powered Maxim sprint car number 26, which is sponsored by Kevin Rudeen Racing, Sander Engineering, Snap On Tools, Car and Fleet Auto Parts, B&B Oval Track and Hoosier Tires. The two-time and defending Cox Design & Metal Fabrication Southern Iowa SprintWeek "Mr. Sprint Car" titlist finished 16th in his World Challenge debut last season. Both Schatz and Stewart qualified for the 2005 Clean-O World Challenge by competing in January's Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Premier Speedway's Sungold Stadium in Warrnambool, Victoria.

The final Clean-O World Challenge international qualifier is set for Wednesday, June 8, at the Budweiser Motorsports Park in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more info on Donny Schatz, Shane Stewart and Stevie Walsh, individuals should visit their websites at www.donnyschatz.com, www.shanestewart.com, and www.steviewalsh.com, respectively.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Donny Schatz , Erin Crocker , Daryn Pittman , Shane Stewart