Knoxville: Donny Schatz preview

FARGO, ND ~ AUGUST 8, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz is the ultimate team player with strong convictions to exceed all expectations when he makes a commitment which made the decision making process to forego the August 16 USAC Silver Crown event at ...

FARGO, ND ~ AUGUST 8, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz is the ultimate team player with strong convictions to exceed all expectations when he makes a commitment which made the decision making process to forego the August 16 USAC Silver Crown event at Springfield, IL difficult at best for the North Dakota driver.

"At the beginning of the season, I made a commitment to Roger Johnson and the R.E. Technologies team to run the entire USAC Silver Crown Series season," explained Schatz. "We have had an up and down season but each event, I am learning more and more about the basics of the racecar and the unique aspects of racing on pavement and the big dirt tracks without a wing. I am working with a great organization and have the support of my longtime sponsor ParkerStores.

"But, in the past several weeks, the ParkerStores winged sprint car program I run in the World of Outlaws series has really come together. I consistently have the best crew, cars and motors a driver can ask for when he straps into the cockpit and our finishes show the effort of everyone associated with the team. We put together three very strong wins in a row including the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove. This is exactly the momentum and confidence it takes to standup under the pressure of the competition at the Knoxville Nationals.

"After talking to everyone involved in both programs, I have made the difficult decision to focus strictly on winning the Knoxville Nationals and not compete in the Springfield USAC race. I can't thank everyone involved in both teams for their input and support. The pressure is now on me to go win our third Kele Challenge and then the Knoxville Nationals. I owe it to everyone who has helped me throughout my career and especially this season."

Schatz has been second twice in the race dubbed "The Superbowl of Winged Sprint Car Racing", capturing the runner-up spot in both 2000 and 2002. In 2001, Schatz was in the catbird seat to capture the prize sitting on the pole of the Saturday night finale but as he led the thundering field into turn one at the drop of the green, a problem with the bead on his left rear wheel caused the tire to separate from the rim sending him into a violent series of flips. Schatz emerged from the wreckage uninjured but his chances for the win were sitting in a heap of twisted metal in the middle of turns one and two.

The 43rd Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals will kickoff on Wednesday, August 13th with the first night of qualifying for the expected 120 plus entries. Schatz is set to qualify on Wednesday night, defend his Kele World Challenge title on Friday gunning for an unprecedented third consecutive victory against the best in the world and then run for the $125,000 to win prize in Saturday night's finale.

For up-to-the minute information on Donny Schatz and the ParkerStores race team, log on to www.donnyschatz.com.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Donny Schatz
Teams Williams