SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM LOOK TO CAPTURE ESPN TITLE
FARGO, ND (August 2) - Donny Schatz set a number of goals before the 2007 World of Outlaws (WoO) season began. Defending his WoO championship and Knoxville Nationals title were on top of the list, but on Saturday night at Charter Raceway Park, he'll have a chance to add the SuperClean Summer of Money series on ESPN2 crown to his resume.
Schatz and the rest of the World of Outlaws will compete in the eighth and final night of the made for TV series in Beaver Dam, WI. The Fargo, ND racer has been extremely consistent in the last four races after what he would call a "slow start" in the first three events. After finishing fifth at Knoxville, tenth at Dodge City and sixth in Fargo, the ParkerStore sponsored racer has picked up two wins and two second place finishes in the last four televised races.
"We've been better lately on the TV races and we'd like to finish the ESPN deal with another win," said Schatz, who won twice on SPEED (Williams Grove and Charlotte) before winning the Kings Royal and Silver Cup on ESPN2 in consecutive broadcasts. "We are all about winning, and understand the importance TV has. Our sponsors ParkerStore, Snap-on and Petro Stopping Centers get great exposure when we do well."
Consistency has been the key all season for Schatz and his No. 15 ParkerStore J&J with Shaver power as he continues to chase his second World of Outlaws crown. Through 52 nights of racing, he has 13 wins, 32 top three finishes and 47 top ten finishes enabling him to build a 102-point advantage in the season standings.
This weekend's action includes a pair of $10,000-to-win races at Charter Raceway Park. Schatz has raced at the track 11 times during his WoO career including twice during his rookie campaign in 1997. In July 2002, he won at the 3/8-mile dirt oval by leading all 40 laps remarkably without the use of brakes. In September of 2005, he charged from eighth to finish third. Last June, he led the first 27 laps and finished second to Jac Haudenschild.
"We've had some good runs there and some nights we'd like to forget," continued Schatz, who has seven top ten finishes in 11 starts at the track. "Last year, we led early but had a problem with the front end and couldn't get the car to turn. It's a fun place to race when you've got your car right. We're hoping everything goes well and to be there at the end."
Schatz has been a factor in the last four ESPN2 races, including last week's event from K-C Raceway in Ohio, which drew a season high number of viewers for the series (more than 500,000). He finished second to Terry McCarl and is ready to return to victory lane this week.
"We don't worry too much about what the other guys are doing and just try to concentrate on our program," continued Schatz. "We didn't win last week so we're all shooting to be on top this week."
After a grueling schedule of races that included 11 races in 18 days in July, the Schatz Motorsports team returned to their Fargo, ND race shop this week. Dave Lawrence, Shane Bowers and David "Spider" Nisbet arrived on Sunday evening and have been putting in long hours the last four days. The focus has been on preparing for the upcoming stretch which includes two nights of racing at Beaver Dam before they head to Iowa for the season's biggest event: the SuperClean Knoxville Nationals.
"The guys have been working really hard this week," said Schatz, who claimed last year's Knoxville Nationals. "It's really important to be ready for the next couple of weeks. Obviously, Knoxville is once a year and you get one chance to be ready. Everyone's been on full tilt mode to make sure we're prepared. These guys are hungry and want to win as bad as I do."
The team will travel to Wisconsin Thursday evening and then travel straight to Knoxville following Saturday night's feature event.