GRANVILLE, NSW, AUSTRALIA (December 22) - The holiday season got an early start for sprint car fans in Australia as American sprint car star Donny Schatz and his ParkerStore sprint car arrived just in time for him to share some holiday spirits.
Schatz is racing in Australia for the next few weeks preparing for the 2004 World of Outlaws season, which kicks off for the first time ever in Australia. The 26 year-old Fargo, ND native was pleased to see his World of Outlaws #15 ParkerStore J&J sprinter arrive ahead of schedule allowing him a few more nights of action on the Parramatta City Raceway clay.
"We're happy everything arrived and this gives us a chance to make sure we've got enough equipment to be ready for the rest of the Outlaws," said Schatz, who won a career-high 12 WoO features in 2003. "We don't have the luxury of a fully stocked trailer like we do at home, but it's great to be here."
Schatz and crewman Tyler Swank assembled the #15 sprinter and spent this past Saturday night checking the car out during some "hot lap" sessions on the 1/3-mile oval. The "shakedown" will allow them to be prepared for Australia' s biggest payday - Saturday's $50,000-to-win event. Schatz won the race in 2001 and 2002 and hopes to be the man to beat again this year.
"Any time you can enter a big race where you've won before it takes a little pressure off, but we still have to be the best car on Saturday night to win," continued Schatz, who is still finalizing his Australian schedule. "We are going to run all the races at Parramatta leading up to the WoO race, and I am sure we will be in good shape in time for that."
Schatz will lead the rest of the famous World of Outlaws into action in the inaugural World of Outlaws Down Under event on January 8,9, and 10.