WORLD OF OUTLAWS STAR SCHATZ RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA
FARGO, ND (December 23) - For most people the calendar reads the holiday season, but for World of Outlaws sprint car star Donny Schatz, it says it's time to return to work. No he's not Santa Claus, but he is one of the best sprint car drivers in the world. Schatz has left for Sydney, Australia where he is slated to compete at Parramatta City Raceway (PCR) over the next month. Schatz, who is making his eighth Australian Assault, will be back in his J&J sprint car on Monday night, December 26th.
"We're pumped up and ready to get back racing," said Schatz, who concluded the 2005 season by finishing fourth in the World of Outlaws standings and being voted third in the National Sprintcar Hall of Fame poll. "Australia has been very, very good to me over the years. I've worked as hard as I ever have to get a good situation for me over there."
Schatz once again closed the World of Outlaws season on a strong surge with five wins including a thriller at Calistoga where he beat Steve Kinser for $20,000 and his fourth Williams Grove National Open. The Parkerstore team had 24 top ten finishes in the final 27 starts. The Fargo, ND racer has been very successful in Australia claiming several major events and last year, he won the $50K-to-win event at PCR for the fourth time and also won the World of Outlaws Down Under II finale.
The tentative schedule for Schatz is to compete in 11 races including six $10,000-to-win shows, the two-night $50,000-to-win event on January 6 & 7, and the three-night World of Outlaws Down Under III event January 19-21.
"Every race over there is going to be a big challenge and that's honestly why I'm going," continued Schatz. "We've been able to do really well in the $50K race, and I hope that continues this year. I'm going over there with the mindset of winning every night we go out, and we'll push the envelope as far as we need to put ourselves in the best position to do that. The more years you go over there, the harder it gets and that's the way racing is...if you are not up to the challenge things don't work out. I know we are up to the challenge."
Just like last year, Schatz will again be working with Garry Rush Racing.
"Teaming up with a guy like Garry Rush was a blessing," said Schatz. "He knows we've had quite a bit of success and it's going to take a lot of hard work to keep that success going. We're both prepared to do whatever it takes for us to continue winning races.
"Garry's got a good crew set up including John Barrett, who's been with him for 25 years. It's been an honor working with John and I've had a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to winning a lot more races together. This year, it's going to be basically just the two of us doing a lot of the work."
After a good month and half of relaxing following the season and several months of uncertainly regarding the future of sprint car racing, Schatz is excited to be getting back to work.
"I had probably the best 'off-season' as far as getting away from racing that I've ever had, and we've been up against the eight-ball the last couple of months not knowing what direction the sport was going to go," concluded Schatz. "That's all behind us now and we know the direction it's going. Ricky (Warner) will get everything ready for us here, so we're pretty excited to get things back underway and get rolling."