Donny's Dozen: Schatz Picks up 12th Win of 2006 Rapid City, S.D.--August 17, 2006 -- Donny Schatz could have easily overlooked the World of Outlaws Sprint Series event at Black Hills Speedway on Thursday night. After all, he was coming off a ...
Donny's Dozen: Schatz Picks up 12th Win of 2006
Rapid City, S.D.--August 17, 2006 -- Donny Schatz could have easily overlooked the World of Outlaws Sprint Series event at Black Hills Speedway on Thursday night. After all, he was coming off a convincing win in the Knoxville Nationals last Saturday, and he was getting ready to head to his hometown of Minot, North Dakota this Saturday night, as the series makes their first ever visit to Nodak Speedway.
The competitor in Schatz did not miss a beat though, as he kept the momentum he entered the race with, rolling picking up his series leading 12th A-Feature win of the season, and taking home yet another trophy in RacinSoles Victory Lane.
Schatz lined up second for the 35-lap event and quickly darted to the lead with a power move to the high side of Brooke Tatnell coming off turn four on the first lap of the race.
While Schatz was leading, Jac Haudenschild moved up to third and set his sights on Tatnell. After battling for a couple laps, the native of Wooster, Ohio moved into the second spot and set his sights on the leader.
Haudenschild caught Schatz in traffic on lap eight and used the high side of the track to take the lead. He would lead laps 8-24, before encountering heavy traffic that gave Schatz the opening he needed to slip back into the lead.
Schatz made a daring three-wide pass in traffic to get around Haudenschild on the low side of the track. The two staged an entertaining battle for the next few laps, until Haudenschild jumped the cushion in turn two negotiating lapped cars.
Schatz endured a caution with 11 laps to go, but used a strong restart to take command of the race. Tatnell made a strong charge late, but ran out of laps. For Schatz it was a well earned win, as he used patience as well as a fast car to stay in the top-two all night long.
"It was a good race," Schatz said. "Traffic cost us the lead and then we got the lead back in other traffic. It's just the way it goes. We obviously had a good car, even when Haudenschild got by us, behind him we were real good. It was just a matter of biding your time and getting in the right place at the right time. We hated to see the yellow come out. It was getting awfully thin up there in (turns) one and two on the top, and we had to start moving around a little bit. I'm just glad we did. We had the right tires on and everything. Therese guys did a great job all night and got us to victory lane"
For Tatnell, it was his 21st top-five finish of the season. Though he wants to win every time he hits the track, the native of San Souci, NSW, Australia was pleased with his run on a track that was turning blistering fast laps.
"It (traffic) probably helped us all," said Tatnell. "You needed it because the track was just so fast. The more lapped cars, the better for us. You get Donny (Schatz) and (Jac) Haudenschild in open air and they are pretty tough to run down."
Schatz was able to put his car wherever he wanted on the track, as was evident by his pass of Tatnell on the high side and then his low side power moves around Haudenschild.
"The top was a little faster because we wore the bottom out," Schatz said. "That's just the way it goes, you have to be able to run both spots. I got the lead back on the bottom and then got back up to the top, where I needed to be. It was just a great run. I am happy to come off Knoxville and continue on here."
Daryn Pittman in the Titan Garages Maxim kept the leaders in his sight all night long, and was able to close in at the end of the race when the last caution flew and opened the racetrack up a little bit.
"All in all, it not too bad of a night," said Pittman. "We got better every time we went on the race track. We didn't qualify as good as we should have to give ourselves a chance to win. My crew did a great job. This is a different car than we have been running the last couple months. It something we're trying to get figured out ahead of time for next year. We had a good car tonight. I don't think we were good enough to win, but a third place finish after starting seventh is a good result. We'll take it and go on to Minot."
Tatnell in the Race Outfitters Eagle started on the pole for the sixth time this year after win his sixth dash, both are tops in the series. His Troy Renfro led crew made adjustments all night on the car as they battled the changing track conditions and weather conditions after an early evening thunderstorm led to drastically cooler temperatures by the time the feature rolled off.
"It definitely was a long night, and we have to thank the race fans for sticking around," Tatnell said. "Another second for us. We screwed around on the bottom a little too long. I thought we could make something happen there. We were good at the end, we just messed up at the start."
Despite being a long night, all the drivers raved about the hard work of World of Outlaws and track officials in making sure the entire racing program got in. With a long trek north to Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota on the horizon, everyone was determined to make sure the race was completed so the teams could have a free day to travel.
"Mother nature is a race fan," Schatz said. "She proved that after it stopped raining for a couple hours. It (the pit area) was a mess down here all night. What can you can, they got it in. We're glad we're going to Minot. We have a lot of stuff going on tomorrow. It's a big day on Saturday, and then we get to go to the West Coast and have a little fun."
Tatnell who has waited out many storms on many a night in his native Australia, had a similar sentiment.
"The conditions were fine," Tatnell said. "The promoters did everything they could and they did the right thing, so the fans could get their money's worth. I don't think anyone could go home disappointed tonight."
Even though he finished third, Pittman was just as happy as Schatz, knowing what a great show the fans saw after patiently waiting out the rain delay and track preparation.
"It was an awesome racetrack," Pittman said. "That was a lot of fun. In my heat race it was wet, and I was having a blast all night long. From a driver's standpoint, that was a fun track to race on. The groove changed so many times. The top was faster and then the bottom was faster, it just kept changing the whole race. My hats off, they had a great crowd, and hopefully we can come back and do it again. That was some fun racing."
For Schatz the win was some redemption at the track, where he raced a couple of times when he was cutting his teeth in the sport. Though this time, the racing surface was a bit smaller since it had been reconfigured to a 3/8-mile semi-banked oval from the former high-banked half mile.
"I did a little racing here when I was younger and its great to get to victory lane here," said Schatz. "I never got to win a race here. We raced here twice and I think I crashed both times while leading."
After winning the biggest sprint car race in the world last weekend, and now extending his point lead in his quest for his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series championship, Schatz, the winner of the 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, is thrilled to return to Minot, N.D. where he was born and raised. The race on Saturday will be the first ever by the World of Outlaws event at the high-banked 3/8-mile oval.
"It's pretty important for us to go Minot and we have everyone chasing us, and that is what we want," Schatz said. "That's definitely where we want to shine."
Jason Solwold in the City Wide Insulation Maxim turned in a solid effort, as he came home fourth. He battled Craig Dollansky at the midway portion of the race for the third spot, and ran in the final podium position for quite a while, before settling for fourth.
Randy Hannagan in the Penthouse Magazine Maxim scored a top-five finish for the 7th time this season, as he came home in fifth. He started in the top-five and ran there all night long, climbing to fourth for a portion of the 35-lap event.
The rest of the top-10 was Joey Saldana in 6th in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI. Rookie Jeremy Campbell was 7th in the Americas Best Value Inn Maxim. Dion Hindi started 18th and charged his way to an 8th place finish in the Realtruck.com J&J.
Jac Haudenschild aboard the Wright One Construction Maxim led the middle portion of the race, and recovered from a late off-track excursion to finish 9th. Craig Dollansky was 10th in the Karavan Trailers Maxim, after running a majority of the race in the top-five.
After a day of travel on Friday, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series makes their inaugural appearance at Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota.
BLACK HILLS SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Craig Dollansky paced the 37 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 3/8-mile semi-banked oval at 11.831 seconds at 114.107 mph. For his qualifying effort, Dollansky earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Jac Haudenschild (3), Donny Schatz (2), and Randy Hannagan (1).
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Randy Hannagan, Justin Henderson, Terry McCarl, and Daryn Pittman. ... Becca Anderson won the B-Main. ... Brooke Tatnell picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 14 different winners in 42 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, June 30 at 81 Speedway, July 18 at Lernerville Speedway, July 23 at Lebanon Valley Speedway, July 25 at Fulton Speedway, August 5 at K-C Raceway, and August 17 at Black Hills Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb.10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park, July 15 at Eldora Speedway, and August 4 at Eldora Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway, June 4 at Eldora Speedway, July 14 at Eldora Speedway, and Aug. 2 at Butler Speedway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway, July 22 at Williams Grove, and July 29 at Princeton Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), and Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt at Lowe's Motor Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been seven preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list includes: Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9, and at Princeton Speedway on July 28, Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim night on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, Terry McCarl who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 20, and Craig Dollansky who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 21.
* 3/8-MILE WINNERS: Black Hills Speedway is a 3/8-mile semi-banked oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced 10 times this season on a track that size. Winners include: Donny Schatz (Batesville Speedway, 81 Speedway, Fulton Speedway, K-C Raceway, and Black Hills Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (U.S. 36 Raceway and Sharon Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Butler Speedway), Paul McMahan (USA Race Park), and Joey Saldana (Dodge City Raceway Park).
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday August 23, the finale of the PolyDome Princeton Nationals from July 29. Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).