Schatz Named AARWBA First Team All-American Concord, NC--Dec. 5, 2006 -- Donny Schatz knew that he would receive many accolades after he won his first World of Outlaws titles this year. It was a career-best season that saw him claim 17 A-Feature...
Schatz Named AARWBA First Team All-American
Concord, NC--Dec. 5, 2006 -- Donny Schatz knew that he would receive many accolades after he won his first World of Outlaws titles this year. It was a career-best season that saw him claim 17 A-Feature victories and two preliminary feature triumphs, in addition to winning the famed Knoxville Nationals.
On Tuesday, the native of Fargo, North Dakota, was bestowed one of the most prestigious honors in all of motorsports. He was named to the First Team of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-American Auto Racing Team in the "Short Track" category. This was Schatz's first time on the ballot, which consists of drivers from various disciplines of racing. The 300-plus members of the AARWBA voted to determine a First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention category.
When the final checkered flag of the season flew in late October, Schatz had accumulated an impressive 42 Top-Five finishes in A-Feature races, en route to claiming the $200,000 winner's share of the point fund, along with the championship trophy and inaugural champion's ring.
"I'm really excited to be recognized by all the writers and broadcasters," said Schatz. "We worked extremely hard over the last ten years with the World of Outlaws and this year everything came together. Winning a championship means that we were the best over the long haul and that was our goal to win races and come out on top at the end."
Schatz aboard the Parker Store J&J led the series in most statistical categories. He racked up over $372,000 in season earnings. He led 441 laps, over 150 more circuits than the next closest driver. In time trials, he stopped the clock first nine times, to lead all drivers, while setting new track records at Orange County Fair Speedway in New York, as well as Southern Oregon Speedway. Schatz was also tied for the series lead with eight dash wins that earned him the same number of pole positions.
Schatz is the seventh different World of Outlaws driver to earn All-American honors. The AARWBA has been naming an All-American team since 1970, and since the World of Outlaws were founded in 1978, the series has been represented in 26 of those years.
"I'm honored to represent the World of Outlaws, and just being mentioned with Sebastien Bourdais, Sam Hornish Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, John Force, and Tony Schumacher is pretty remarkable," said Schatz, the 1997 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year. "All the guys that were named 'All-America' are the best in the business and we're thrilled to be included."
Schatz is still in contention as well for the Jerry Titus Award. The Titus Award, given in remembrance of the late racer/journalist, signifies the top vote-getter on the All-American Team regardless of category, and will be announced at the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's banquet on January 13 in Indianapolis.
Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws Champion, who won two A-Features along with a preliminary feature in 2006, in addition to winning the National Sprint Tour title, was named a Second Team All-American in the "Short Track" category. For the native of Dover, Missouri, who will contend for the 2007 World of Outlaws title, it was his third berth on the Second Team in addition to being named to the First Team in 2001.
Tim McCreadie, who claimed the World of Outlaws Late Model title for the first time in his career this season earned an Honorable Mention to the All-American Team in the "Short Track" category after winning two races and racking up 23 Top-Ten finishes, along with beginning the year with a win in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.
Kasey Kahne, who owns the car driven by Joey Saldana on the World of Outlaws circuit, earned an Honorable Mention in the "Stock Car" category.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws Champion, who will contend for the 2007 series titles, holds the record of being named to the All-American Team 23 times, including an unprecedented 18 berths on the First Team.