SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM AIM TO KEEP STREAKS ALIVE IN KNOXVILLE GRANITE CITY, IL (June 14) - Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz is not one to be looking back, instead he is always looking forward to his next race. On Saturday, ...
SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM AIM TO KEEP STREAKS ALIVE IN KNOXVILLE
GRANITE CITY, IL (June 14) - Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz is not one to be looking back, instead he is always looking forward to his next race. On Saturday, Schatz will return to Knoxville Raceway where he has won three consecutive races at the famous half-mile dirt oval driving the No. 15 ParkerStore sponsored J&J with Shaver power.
"The consecutive wins are nice, but the next one is the one that matters now," said Schatz, who leads the Outlaws standings through 31 races. "We've run well at Knoxville for years and just kept coming up one spot short. The last few times we've been there we've had the best car and been able to capitalize. That's our goal for Saturday night."
Saturday's event marks the final time Schatz and the rest of the Outlaws will have a chance to compete at the legendary track prior to August's SuperClean Knoxville Nationals. The Nationals, sprint car racing's premiere event, will pay $150,000-to-win this year and after finishing second four times, Schatz will return as defending champion this year.
"Finally winning the Nationals took a lot pressure off us and now we can just race when we get here instead of wondering if we'll ever win it," continued Schatz, who won last October and earlier in April at Knoxville. "I've always like racing here and my race program seems to thrive on big, fast tracks."
Entering Thursday night's event at Tri-City Speedway near St. Louis, Schatz has seven victories this season, with six coming on tracks 4/10-mile in size and bigger. He won the season opening race at Volusia, a March run at Manzanita, April's Knoxville triumph, two at Williams Grove and most recently at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The team's other victory came at Houston Raceway Park, a quarter-mile bull ring.
The bright lights of Knoxville will showcase the sport on ESPN2 for the first time. The event is first of eight programs that will air on the cable giant, with seven of the programs being shown the morning after the race. In the three previous TV events, which aired on SPEED, Schatz finished second at Eldora and won at Williams Grove and Charlotte.
Schatz also won the final event in 2007, which aired on the Outdoor Channel and last year's Nationals, which aired live on SPEED.
"Every race is important for us, but the TV events add a lot to our sport," continued Schatz. "We need marketing partners to be able to race out here and the TV shows help are partners Global ParkerStore, Bellerud Transport and Snap-on Tools. This ESPN deal is great for all of us. We know for the next eight weeks we'll be able to get some great coverage and build up right into the Nationals which will be live on SPEED."