Schatz has rhythm with third place finishes at Lakeside Speedway and Tri-City Speedway Kansas City, KS/Granite City, IL ~ June 21-22, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz and the ...
Schatz has rhythm with third place finishes at Lakeside Speedway and Tri-City Speedway
Kansas City, KS/Granite City, IL ~ June 21-22, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz and the #15 ParkerStores team has got a rhythm going that has translated to two consecutive third place finishes as the World of Outlaws continues on a whirlwind of races. Starting with Huset's Speedway on Wednesday, June 18, the winged sprint car series will have run five races in six nights with the addition of make up events rescheduled due to rainouts earlier in the season. The marathon of events will end Monday evening in Farmer City, IL.
Saturday at Lakeside Speedway, just west of Kansas City, Kansas, Schatz turned in the eighth fastest time of the 37 cars on hand. Starting from the inside of the third row in the first heat race of the evening loaded with talented drivers including Tyler Walker and Sammy Swindell. The Minot, North Dakota native got a great start at the drop of the green flag, using the low groove to his advantage. He moved to the front of the field expertly using the power of the Shaver engine and the handling of his J & J chassis taking the win in the eight-lap event.
Starting on the pole of the second dash to determine the starting positions for the 30-lap feature, Schatz again dove to the inside groove and held off the field to take his second win of the night. The victory placed him on the outside of the front row for the A-main.
It was clear the low groove was the fast way around the track so the ParkerStores Tyler Swank led crew set the yellow #15 up to run low.
Starting on the outside presented a challenge since the remainder of the competitors knew where the fast track was as well. At the drop of the green, pole sitter Daryn Pittman got the jump taking the lead and never looked back. Schatz, Swindell, Danny Lasoski, Steve Kinser and Jason Meyers waged a race long battle for second through sixth as the field quickly caught lapped traffic. With not much racing room above the inside groove, passing was difficult. At the checkered, Meyers, Schatz, Kinser and Swindell followed Pittman across the finish line.
Qualifying didn't go as well Sunday night at Tri-City Speedway, Granite City, IL. Schatz posted the 15th quickest time of the 28 entrants putting him on the outside front row for the third heat race. Track conditions were similar to those the previous night at Lakeside, with the low groove clearly being the best way around the track.
Jumping to the lead at the drop of the green, Schatz easily won his heat race putting him in the second dash. Despite the heat race win, WoO rules revert back to qualifying for the dash starting positions therefore his qualifying effort put him in the last row of the dash.
He was able to move to the sixth finishing position in the five-lap dash putting him on the outside the sixth row in twelfth for the 30 lap A-Main.
The track had gained a little racing room off the bottom as Schatz made his charge to the front at the drop of the green. The best groove was still on the bottom so Schatz had to weave his way through lapped traffic and pass his way to the front at the same time.
He brought home his second third place finish in as many nights at the drop of the checkered behind pole sitter Paul McMahan and Joey Saldana.
"We have been running so well during this stretch of races," said Schatz. "I couldn't be more proud of my crew guys. We seem to have a great rhythm going and keep building on it every night.
"Passing has been a little tough the last couple of nights because there wasn't much race track above the low groove. If you didn't really hold your line and lost your concentration for just a second and drifted high, a bunch of cars were going to get by you before you could get it gathered up and back in the groove. In a 30 lap A-Main, you just don't have a lot of time to think out a strategy. That all happens before you get in the car. Once you get in the cockpit, you have what you have and better just focus and race.
"It is fun to race this well and great for the morale and enthusiasm of everyone involved with our team. We aren't that far away from all the big races of the season. I think we are putting together the combination we need to be a serious contender at Eldora and Knoxville."
Following the Monday, June 23 makeup race at Farmer City Raceway, the World of Outlaws head to Eagle Raceway, Eagle, NE, near Lincoln. Danny Wood will assume the driving duties in the #15 ParkerStore car while Schatz heads to Richmond, VA for the USAC Silver Crown event.
"I know Danny Wood will do a good job for us at Eagle," said Schatz. "I haven't been in the ParkerStore Silver Crown car since Indianapolis because our testing sessions got rained out so I am really looking forward to being back in the car at Richmond. I understand it is a fast track and well suited to the Silver Crown cars. We will continue to focus on qualifying for the Silver Crown race and finishing every lap one of the 100-laps. The more laps I finish, the more experience I gain on the pavement. I want to thank ParkerStores and my other sponsors for giving me the opportunity to expand my career to the Silver Crown car."