SCHATZ SCORES OUTLAW WIN AT KNOXVILLE KNOXVILLE, IA (April 28) - On a picture perfect Saturday, Donny Schatz put on a tremendous show winning the World of Outlaws (WoO) feature program at Knoxville Raceway. Schatz brought out a new schemed ...
SCHATZ SCORES OUTLAW WIN AT KNOXVILLE
KNOXVILLE, IA (April 28) - On a picture perfect Saturday, Donny Schatz put on a tremendous show winning the World of Outlaws (WoO) feature program at Knoxville Raceway. Schatz brought out a new schemed Snap-on Tools car for the race and continued his winning ways at the "Sprintcar Capital of the World."
His victory in the 25-lap feature event was his fourth WoO victory of the season, added to his lead in the season standings and continued his winning streak at Knoxville which started with last year's Knoxville Nationals and included his first WoO feature victory at the track last October.
"How much cooler can that be," said Schatz of winning his No. 15 J&J with Shaver power sponsored by Snap-on Tools, Global ParkerStore and Hose Doctor, Bellerud Transport and Petro Stopping Centers. "You take the best tools and build this brand new race car, and it's just been a lot of fun. We are just excited to take a car out the first night and be as decent as we were."
Consistency has been the key for the Fargo, ND racer early this season as he defends his 2006 World of Outlaws championship. Coming into Saturday's race, he had 14 top six finishes in 15 starts, but hadn't been to victory lane in more than month.
Schatz was poised to end that draught after qualifying the fourth fastest in the field of 57 cars. He charged from fourth to second in the fourth heat and benefitted from the luck of the draw in the dash starting on the pole and leading all six laps.
He started the feature event on the pole and swapped the lead with Kerry Madsen during the first three laps before pulling out and setting the pace. Once the leaders reached lapped traffic the top four cars were nose to tail by lap 10.
On lap 13, Schatz was forced to check up for a slower car and Joey Saldana went by for the lead. Schatz continued his charge and regained the lead with seven laps remaining and withstood two late caution flags to pick up his 56th career WoO "A" feature.
"We have a lot fun racing with class guys like Joey Saldana," said Schatz in victory lane. "It's great to be running with the fastest guys out here night in and night out. Other guys will win their share and we're going to win ours, but it feels good to be back in victory lane." Returning to Knoxville is always special for the 29 year-old with its proximity to home allowing a number of his family members the chance to see him race. The night held some added anticipation as it was the first of eight races for Schatz in a new Snap-on designed car.
"We're awful excited for Snap-on Tools to get them a win the first night we run their red and black colors," continued Schatz. "Heck, I walked past my car earlier tonight, because I'm so used to seeing yellow."
"My crew did a great job all night getting this car better and better. Any time you bring out a new car there is some fine tuning to do. That's why we have a lot faith in people like Jack Elam,of J&J Auto Racing, who builds these cars and he gave me an awesome racecar again."
The victory was a total team effort as the case has been throughout the first three months of the year.
"My father does a great job with this race team," said Schatz. "He's got a lot of pride and has put together an awesome race team. Dave Lawrence, Shane Bowers, Brad Sparks, and Dave Nisbet. Man, we're having a blast. It's a long year. We're looking forward to having a lot of fun and getting a lot of trophies."
Following the victory the ParkerStore team returned to North Dakota to prepare for a grueling upcoming schedule that includes 13 races, in the next four weeks.
They'll be back in the familiar ParkerStore No. 15 J&J on Friday night at Tri-City Speedway near St. Louis, and on Saturday, the team will travel south to the Memphis area and compete at Riverside International Speedway.