Australia news 2007-01-01

Schatz Wins Third in a Row in Australia Concord, NC--Jan. 1, 2007 -- The year 2007 opened for Donny Schatz the same way that 2006 ended, in the winner's circle at Parramatta City Raceway in Australia. For the third straight race at PCR in...

Schatz Wins Third in a Row in Australia

Concord, NC--Jan. 1, 2007 -- The year 2007 opened for Donny Schatz the same way that 2006 ended, in the winner's circle at Parramatta City Raceway in Australia.

For the third straight race at PCR in Sydney, Australia, Schatz driving the Pick N Payless J&J for Gary Rush Racing, found himself on top of the podium, when the checkered flag flew on the 30-lap Kasey Kahne International Sprintcar event. The reigning World of Outlaws Champions and native of Fargo, North Dakota has now won 12 of the last 13 events at PCR, including three in a row this season.

With a stout field of 59 cars in attendance on Monday night, Schatz set fast time for the third event in a row, stopping the clocks at 14.504 seconds. Steve Kinser qualified fifth, Joey Saldana was eight, with his team owner and NASCAR star Kasey Kahne 20th quick.

In preliminary action, Schatz finished fourth in a tough first heat with Saldana just behind him. Chad Hillier, who will be competing for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws this season, finished fourth in the second heat. In the fourth and final heat, Kahne took the win over Kinser, who started fifth before charging to the front.

Saldana had the best starting spot of the World of Outlaws drivers in attendance for the 30-lap Main event, as he rolled off third. Kinser and Schatz started next to each other in the third row, with Kahne starting 14th and Hillier rolling off 20th.

Schatz quickly worked his way into the Top-Three and took the lead from Mark Richards who led from the pole position before 10 laps were on the board. From there, Schatz, the 1997 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year, masterfully negotiated heavy traffic building a very comfortable lead, which was negated a couple of times by cautions. Schatz used strong restarts each time to maintain his advantage over Saldana, the 1996 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year.

When the final checkers waved, it was Schatz taking the win over Saldana, as American drivers earned the top-two spots for the third straight race at Parramatta City Raceway. For Saldana, who calls Brownsburg, Indiana home, it was redemption for a long night on Saturday that saw debris rupture his oil tank, ending his night, while running among the leaders.

After lining up 14th for the 30-lap event on Monday night, Kahne charged his way to his second straight Top-Five finish, coming home an impressive fourth as a teammate to Saldana.

Kinser, who will make a run at his 21st World of Outlaws title this season, was running in third on the final lap when debris struck his machine puncturing a tire, relegating him to a 20th-place finish.

Hillier, who qualified for his first Feature on Saturday night event at PCR was involved in a hard accident on the initial lap that destroyed his car, relegating him to a 23rd-place finish.

Schatz, Kinser, Saldana, and Hillier will next be in action at Parramatta City Raceway on January 5-6 in the $50,000-to win Sprintcar Classic.

The 2007 World of Outlaws season opens on February 9 at Volusia Speedway Park with the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speed Shop.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Joey Saldana