SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM CONTINUE TORRID JULY PACE LAKE ODESSA, MI (July 26) - Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz has always been a big race performer, but the driver of the Global ParkerStore sponsored No. 15 J&J with Shaver power...
SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM CONTINUE TORRID JULY PACE
LAKE ODESSA, MI (July 26) - Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz has always been a big race performer, but the driver of the Global ParkerStore sponsored No. 15 J&J with Shaver power is proving every race matters in his quest to repeat as WoO champion. The Fargo, ND resident has won five races in the month of July including the first three "Month of Money" events: the Kings Royal, Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and the Williams Grove Summer Nationals.
This weekend, he'll look to pick up win number 14 of the season, first at I-96 Speedway near Lake Odessa, MI, on Friday night before traveling to Chillicothe, OH, to K-C Raceway for an event on Saturday night.
"We're racing pretty strong right now, but we've still got to get better," admitted Schatz, following a second place finish on Wednesday night at Ohsweken Speedway near Brantford, Ont. "This is the time of the year when the schedule is grueling and the racing is some of the fiercest. We're out here to win every night and do our best to rise to the challenge.
"This weekend will give us a chance to race on a bigger track at I-96 and a smaller one at K-C. We've been pretty good on the big tracks and are getting better on the smaller ones."
Schatz, who is in his 11th season racing with the Outlaws, has made only a handful of starts at both tracks.
He's raced four times at I-96 Speedway, a half-mile dirt oval located in central Michigan. Two of those came during his rookie year in 1997. He charged from 11th to finish sixth on June 15, 1997 to score one his best finishes during the first half of his rookie campaign. On September 27, 2004, he was the fastest qualifier and earned his best career finish at the track, which was fifth.
His stats from K-C Raceway are much better as he's won two of three events he's raced at the 3/8-mile dirt oval. He finished fourth on May 12, 2004 and has been victorious the last two seasons at the track. In September of 2005, he led the final 25 laps and last August, he led the final 23 laps.
His current two-race winning streak at K-C matches his streak of winning races that have aired on ESPN2 during the SuperClean Summer of Money series. In the last two weeks, Schatz won the Kings Royal and Silver Cup races and hopes to continue both streaks on Saturday night.
"We're always trying to do our best, but the TV deal is something that helps out everyone," said Schatz, who has four wins in 2007 that have been televised - 2 on SPEED, 2 on ESPN2. "We didn't get off to a great start in the eight race deal this summer, but lately have been able to pick up the pace. K-C is a tight track where there's lots of action, so we should have another great show for the fans."
The two races this weekend conclude an 11-race in 18 day marathon that started in Lima, OH and included stops in Rossburg, OH, Sarver, PA, Mechanicsburg, PA, W. Lebanon, NY, and Ohsweken, Ontario prior to Lake Odessa and Chillicothe.
"This is when you see what your team is all about," continued Schatz. "My guys (Dave Lawrence, Shane Bowers, Dave Nisbet and Dwayne Lawrence) have been great. They've hung in there and continued to give me a good race car every night. It's a total team effort here and we're hoping to get two more wins before heading back to the shop on Sunday."