WORLD OF OUTLAWS CHAMPION SCHATZ CONTINUES TO CLAIM AWARDS FARGO, ND (December 13) - Donny Schatz concluded his World of Outlaws championship season behind the wheel of his No. 15 ParkerStore J&J at the end of October and the honors and ...
WORLD OF OUTLAWS CHAMPION SCHATZ CONTINUES TO CLAIM AWARDS
FARGO, ND (December 13) - Donny Schatz concluded his World of Outlaws championship season behind the wheel of his No. 15 ParkerStore J&J at the end of October and the honors and recognition continue to find the Fargo, ND resident.
On Wednesday, Schatz was voted the 2006 "Driver of the Year" by the North American 410 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers. The World of Outlaws (WoO) point champion and Knoxville Nationals winner earned twenty-five (25) of the twenty-eight (28) first place ballots cast in the year-end poll. His car owners and parents, Danny and Diane Schatz, also received the 2006 "Team of the Year" award for the first time.
According to poll founder Tom Schmeh, "With Donny Schatz claiming all but three of the first place ballots, clearly the voters are saying that there needs to be no asterisk next to his name with regard to the fact that there were two national tours this year. The voting panel, all industry insiders, agrees his 21 wins, his WoO championship, and the fact that he beat the best-of-the-best at the open-competition Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals in mid-August, means that he alone deserves the title of 'Driver of the Year'."
Today's announcement continues a windfall of recognition Schatz has received following his first WoO championship.
On December 5, he was named to the First Team of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. Earning a place on the First Team says a lot about the season he had and impression the team made on the 300-plus voting members of the AARWBA.
In late November, National Speedsport News announced Schatz was a finalist for the Economaki Champion of Champions. The be nominated a driver must have won a championship in North America during the 2006 season. On Thursday, the winner will be announced at the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.
"We are truly honored by being voted the best driver and team of the year by the National Sprint Car Poll," said Schatz. "The great part about our season is that we worked hard to win as many races as we could and figured everything else would take care of itself."
"I have to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to chase a dream and go out an race with the World of Outlaws in 1997. We've come along way since then and they've been behind me every step of the way, so seeing the team win 'Team of the Year' is very deserving. My crew did a great job giving me a great car all year and all the sponsors that work with us (Parker, Bellerud Transport and Petro Stopping Centers) and product suppliers really played a big role in our success."
"Being ranked the number one sprint car driver, voted to the first team AARWBA and the nomination for the Economaki Award are all major accomplishments that we are really proud of. The fun part now is trying to come back next year and do it all again."
The 2006 season was a career-best for Schatz, who began his season in Australia winning eight of his first nine starts. His championship chase began in February in Florida and concluded in late October in Las Vegas. He totaled 21 victories during the season including his first Knoxville Nationals crown in August. He led nearly every WoO statistical category including his 17 "A" feature victories, 42 top-five finishes, 9 fast-times, 2 track records, 441 laps led, 8 dash wins and $372, 415 in race earnings.
He'll return to Australia in late December to begin a 10-race campaign at Parramatta City Raceway near Sydney before beginning the defense of his WoO Championship on February 9 at Volusia Speedway Park.