As a professional sprint car driver, Donny Schatz continues to build his stock as a rising star both in the US and in Australia. Schatz, the 24 year-old from Minot, ND, just recently completed his fourth season of competition in Australia, which...
As a professional sprint car driver, Donny Schatz continues to build his stock as a rising star both in the US and in Australia. Schatz, the 24 year-old from Minot, ND, just recently completed his fourth season of competition in Australia, which followed his fifth full season with sprint car racing's premiere division: the Pennzoil World of Outlaws.
The 2001 racing season was a landmark year for the driver that began his career in go-karts before moving to the sprint cars as a 15 year-old in 1993. After honing his skills racing with the WISSOTA sprint car series in the Upper Midwest, the "Minot Missile" stormed onto the World of Outlaws scene in 1997 earning the coveted Rookie of the Year award. After three more seasons of competition with the Outlaws, Schatz continued to get better and better. Last year, he took advantage of a stellar campaign last January in Australia, where he won both of the Australia's biggest races: The Warrnambool Classic a nd the 50,000 Summer Slam event, and finished a career-best fifth in the grueling Outlaws tour. His impressive numbers included winning 10 races, scoring 38 Top Five and 63 Top Ten finishes in 99 races.
Following the WoO season, he made his second run at Australia's World Series Sprintcars title beginning in November. Schatz finished a close second after 15 rounds of action, but managed to win seven times. He also competed in five other races, and he won four of them including repeating at both the Classic and the 50,000 Summer Slam event.
His professionalism and talent was recognized at the World Series banquet as he was named Driver's Driver the competing drivers. The praise didn't stop with the drivers as race officials were also quick to see the savvy he's developed. "As usual, Donny Schatz's interviews were first class," expressed Wade Aunger, Public Relations/Marketing Specialist for the World Series Sprintcars organization. "The guy gives such an insight into racing and his life that you can't help but hang on every word. It seems he's always got time for a chat -- a true racing professional."
After finishing his Australian Tour, Schatz has returned to the US and moved his residence from Minot to Fargo, which should help him get home more often during his nomad-like racing schedule. He will spend the next two weeks preparing for the upcoming Outlaws season, which begins on February 22 in Hanford, CA. His goal is to continue climbing to the top of mountain in sprint car racing by improving on his 2001 season and challenging for the WoO title.