Striking Silver: Donny Schatz Wins Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Sarver, PA--July 18, 2006 -- Donny Schatz has won a lot of races in his career, but one that has eluded him a couple of times has been the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at ...
Striking Silver: Donny Schatz Wins Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup
Sarver, PA--July 18, 2006 -- Donny Schatz has won a lot of races in his career, but one that has eluded him a couple of times has been the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway. On Tuesday night he took to the track in the 15th annual edition of the event that honors the former owner and promoter of the track, ironically driving the No. 15 ParkerStore J&J.
Schatz started the 40 lap A-Feature in the 6th spot and powered his way to runner-up position by the 10th lap. He gained a spot each of the first three laps of the race, by running the high grove. The native of Fargo, N.D., then patiently raced with local favorite Ed Lynch Jr., and used lapped traffic late in the race to his advantage.
He closed to within a couple of car lengths countless times but wisely backed off as there was not quite enough room to make the pass. Schatz bided his time and shadowed Lynch waiting to make a well calculated move.
That move came on the lap 33 as he looked low, to see if there was an opening. On the following circuit, Schatz used a power move to the high side of the track to take the lead and ultimately the win. His trip to RacinSoles Victory Lane was worth $30,000.
Lynch led the most laps on the night and came home second in the Howard Concrete J&J. Daryn Pittman ran in the top-five all night and finished third in the Titan Garages/Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim.
Craig Dollansky finished fourth in the Karavan Trailers Maxim after lining up 11th for the A-Feature, after he won the B-Main to transfer to the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. Lance Dewease in the Hamm Maxim rounded out the top-five.
"We really did want this one," said Schatz. "I thought we would beat Ed (Lynch Jr.) a few years ago. I drove every inch of this thing that I could. We were good the last couple of laps. It was a handful at the beginning and in the middle."
Schatz set himself up for success early in the night, by turning the fastest lap in qualifying. A solid finish in his heat race put him in the dash, where he finished sixth to earn that same starting spot in the 40 lap A-Feature.
"My guys did a great job and put the right tires on," said Schatz. "We didn't second guess ourselves tonight. We did everything right."
Schatz respects the great amount of success that Lynch has had at Lernerville, and knew that by following him around for part of the race, he would learn a thing or two, that he could later use as he searched to find the right line on the track.
"I wanted him to see me, so he would get off the top a little," said Schatz. "He did and he did exactly what I wanted him to do. He started moving around the racetrack, and second guessed where he was running. When I got close enough to him in traffic, he slowed down and I was able to go by him. It was like flipping a switch when I went by. The car started sticking real well on the top and I got up there and ran it."
A red flag halfway through the event, allowed the teams to make a few adjustments on their machines. Schatz and his team normally do not change anything under an open red flag, but decided to make a few adjustments to see if they could make the car a little faster for the second half of the race.
"We changed one shock and it was nothing drastic," said Schatz. "We just wanted to try something because when you are in second, you are in the catbird's seat. You have the opportunity to see what is going on and you have nothing to lose for trying. Ed was a little bit faster at that point, and I didn't know we would get that much faster at the end of the race. The car was awesome at the end and we are happy to be up here in victory lane."
The current series point leader used traffic to his advantage, but did have one anxious moment as a lapped car spun in front of him on lap 26. Quick reflexes steered him clear of any trouble and set the stage for the late race shootout with Lynch.
"We were very good (in traffic)," Schatz said. "I know that Kenny Jacobs is good around here and I was able to come around the top and drive around him, and you are doing things right when you can do that. The car was good the last 10 laps."
Schatz and his crew were all smiles in victory lane as he thanked the staff at Lernerville for putting on the annual event that bears the name of a man who gave more to the sport than can ever be measured.
Lynch took the initial lead from his outside front row starting spot, as he kept pace with Joey Saldana. The crowd favorite dove to the low side and swept pass Saldana, who was coming off his second Kings Royal win, over the weekend. Lynch would stay out front for the first 33 laps, and built a sizeable lead with open track in front of him. He was setting a very quick pace and encountered lapped traffic and that allowed Schatz to reel him in.
"We tried out best and you always want to win," said Lynch. "Finishing second with these guys is a big honor. We planned on winning it and didn't pull it off. We'll keep going. We had a pretty good week."
Lynch knows Lernervile like the back of his hand, as he has won four track champions, including the last three, and is the current point leader in weekly competition. He also won the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup in 2002.
"We feel real good about this time of the year," said Lynch. "I feel real competitive, and racy. The car is racy. The guys in the shop are doing everything possible, and in all this heat we don't have a crew as big as everyone else. We don't have the biggest bank account either, but we try to do the best with what we have."
Daryn Pittman turned in a solid effort to pick up his 14th top-five finish of the season as he crossed the line in third. He started in fifth and ran in the lead pack the entire night. He started the night out by posting the second fastest lap in qualifying to earn himself four bonus points.
"We had a good car and didn't take advantage of it. Schatz was better than we were," said Pittman. "I thought all three of us were about the same pace in the open track. It's kind of easy to be good when you can pick where you want to go. When we got in traffic, Donny showed he had the best race car. I'm happy with it. I'm frustrated because we had a good car and finished third. It's a lot better than knowing we were hanging on for third. I thought we were racing hard and right on pace, and I don't think we have been that way for the last couple weeks. It's definitely a good positive going into Williams Grove."
Craig Dollansky had a tough start to his night as he just missed transferring to the A-Feature through his heat race and had to run the B-Main. He made the most of the extra track time and easily won the "B" to earn the 11th starting spot in the feature due to his strong qualifying effort of fourth.
"We put ourselves in a hole by not getting out of the heat race," Dollansky said. "We changed things up and had a good race car for the B-Main. That gave us a good read for the feature. We got up to fourth, but it would have been nice to have started a few rows up, and I think we would have been right up there in the hunt."
Dollansky was hoping for the race to go green from flag-to-flag and had to change his strategy during the race, as a couple of cautions flags and one red flag flew.
"We didn't need that red," said Dollansky. "I think before it was out best shot, to get up there and challenge for the lead. To start where we did and to get up to fourth, it was a decent run."
After winning the Knight Before the Kings Royal last Friday for his third win of the year, the Elk River, Minn. native feels his team is headed in the right direction, and should be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the second Eastern Swing of the season.
"Williams Grove has become one of my favorite tracks, and I enjoy going there and racing," he said. "You have to be on top of your game with all the great local competition. We'll go there and see what we can do."
Lance Dewease made the trip to the Western half of the Keystone state on Tuesday night worth his while, as he turned in one of the most solid runs of the 39 cars on hand. He started the A-Feature in the 16th spot, and rolled all the way through the field up to the fifth position when the checkered flag flew.
"We race real good every time we come out here," said Dewease. "We just don't qualify well, and that put us behind the eight ball. We actually had a problem with the car that may have cost us in time trials, but we'll get those fixed. We were decent in the feature, but didn't need the cautions. They came out at the wrong times, but we got a fifth and we are happy with that."
The rest of the top-10 was pole-sitter Joey Saldana in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI in sixth. Terry McCarl was 7th in the Big Game Treestands Eagle, with Brooke Tatnell in the Race Outfitters/Castrol Eagle in 8th. Jac Haudenschild was 9th in the Wright One Construction Maxim, with Greg Wilson in the All-Star Plumbing Maxim in 10th.
The Mean 15 head to Williams Grove Speedway on Thursday for the Summer Nationals and three of the most intense nights of racing on the season.
DON MARTIN MEMORIAL SILVER CUP NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 39 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 4/10-mile high-banked oval at 13.049 seconds at 124.147 mph. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Daryn Pittman (4), Randy Hannagan (3), Craig Dollansky (2), and Terry McCarl (1). Joey Saldana holds the track record of 12.334 seconds set on May 15, 2002.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Mean 15 driver Dion Hindi, as well as Dale Blaney, Lance Dewease and Bob Felmlee. ... Craig Dollansky won the B-Main. ... Joey Saldana picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: Donny Schatz's win on Tuesday night at Lernerville Speedway was his eighth World of Outlaws A-feature victory of the season. There have been 14 different winners in 34 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, June 30 at 81 Speedway, and July 18 at Lernerville Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park, and July 15 at Eldora Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway, June 4 at Eldora Speedway, and July 14 at Eldora Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway), Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been four preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list included: Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim night on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, and Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9.
* 4/10-MILE WINNERS: Lernerville Speedway is a high-banked 4/10-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series have now raced three on a track that size this season. Winners include: Dean Jacobs at Lernerville Speedway on May 31 and Kevin Swindell at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 24, and Donny Schatz at Lernerville Speedway on July 18.
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 19 the 18th Annual Brad Doty Classic from Limaland Motorsports Park. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).