Outlaws to Open Northeast Tour at Lernerville SARVER, PA (May 24) -- Neither a 24-hour rain delay, dense lapped traffic nor a late caution could keep Donny Schatz from winning the World of Outlaws Sprint Series' Commonwealth Clash at...
Outlaws to Open Northeast Tour at Lernerville
SARVER, PA (May 24) -- Neither a 24-hour rain delay, dense lapped traffic nor a late caution could keep Donny Schatz from winning the World of Outlaws Sprint Series' Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway last May 21st.
The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year drove his family's #15 Parker Store J&J past Greg Hodnett early in the 12th lap and beat Pennsylvanian Lance Dewease under the checkered flag by 20 car-lengths to claim the $10,000 first prize.
"I'd rather have the traffic in front of me than those restarts -- that's where you win or lose these races," Schatz said of the 34th-lap caution. "I got by Greg in traffic, and the traffic makes you move around and try to find something. I didn't think the bottom would come in tonight, but when I moved down there in (turns) one and two it worked, and the top was still fast in three and four.
"I caught up to Paul McMahan, and he was racing pretty hard with someone (Jason Meyers). When that happens, sometimes you just have to try something off the wall. It's nice to win here at Lernerville and Western Pennsylvania."
Schatz, who ranks third in the point standings and leads the World of Outlaws Sprint Series with 14 top-10 finishes in 16 events, will be racing for his first victory of the season Tuesday when the "Mean 15" returns to Lernerville Speedway. From Sarver's semi-banked, ½-mile oval, the fire-breathing, mudslinging sprint cars will race at Williams Grove Speedway Thursday and Friday and run single-program events at Hagerstown Speedway, Grandview Speedway and Lebanon Valley Speedway Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
"I'd say we've been pretty consistent, but you always want to be better," Schatz said recently. "We want to be in the top three every night and win our share of races. Last year we won 12 races (seven main events and five preliminaries), and we'd like to do better than that this year. We're still trying to get our first win of the season, so that's the main goal right now."
The Parker Store team, which consists of Crew Chief Tyler Swank and Crewmen Brian Bloomfield and John Cressman, spent last week preparing for six races in the next week.
"We won't be able to get back to the shop for quite a while, so we've been busy trying to make sure everything is in order," Swank said. "Everyone has been working hard and trying to keep the big picture in perspective. We're heading to Pennsylvania where the competition is really tough, but Donny is pretty tough out there too."
Ed Lynch, Jr., winner of the 2002 Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, says the World of Outlaws drivers "are the best in the world."
Lynch, who has won 67 feature races at Lernerville, leads the Pennsylvania Posse against the "Mean 15." Lynch and fellow Pennsylvanian Fred Rahmer have won World of Outlaws Sprint Series main events at Lernerville Speedway.
Steve Kinser, who leads the World of Outlaws Sprint Series standings by 57 points over Danny Lasoski, is a 12-time winner at Lernerville. "The King of the Outlaws" has also won 24 "A" Features at Williams Grove Speedway, five at Hagerstown Speedway, three at Grandview Speedway and seven main events at Lebanon Valley Speedway.
Lasoski, who won the World of Outlaws Sprint Series championship in 2001, moved into second place in the point standings with a pair of runner-up runs at Eldora Speedway in April. "The Dude" has driven 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into the top 10 in 11 "A" Features, including seven in the top five.
Meyers, who leads the World of Outlaws Sprint Series with nine top-five finishes, has driven the #14 Elite Landscaping Maxim to victory at Perris Auto Speedway, the Talladega Short Track and K-C Raceway.
McMahan has driven Dave Helm's #11H Selma Shell Maxim into the top 10 in 12 main events, including a victory in the Bluegrass Classic at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway.
Craig Dollansky has driven Karavan Racing's #7 VMAC Maxim to victory at I-55 Raceway and swept the feature races in the Inaugural Polydome Princeton National last weekend. Dollansky's victory in Saturday's finale remained unofficial Monday as World of Outlaws Sprint Series officials reviewed incidents concerning the race's controversial finish.
Daryn Pittman, who received the Manufacturers' Hard Charger Award in 2002, has driven the #21 Hop & Sack CMC into the top 10 in 11 of the first 16 "A" Features.
Tim Shaffer, who won the Lernerville Speedway track championship in 1992, has driven Roth Motorsports' #83 Beef Packers Eagle into the top 10 in 11 main events, including five in the top five, and ranks eighth in the point standings.
Joey Saldana, who started driving Larry Woodward's #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim in early April, won his first "A" Feature of the year at Tri-City Speedway May 15th.
Jason Sides, the 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, has recorded three top-five finishes, including a third-place run in the Freedom 40 at K-C Raceway.
Brian Paulus of Mechanicsburg, PA, drove the #28 Arnold Transportation Maxim into the lead late in the 28th lap on his way to winning the NGK Spark Plugs Shootout at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track April 3rd.
Kraig Kinser, Erin Crocker, Jonathan Allard and Brian Brown form the strongest rookie class in World of Outlaws Sprint Series history as they battle for the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht award.
Kinser, Steve Kinser's son, drove the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim into second place in the NGK Spark Plugs Shootout at the Motor Speedway Dirt Track April 3rd. Allard, the 2002 Silver Dollar Speedway champion, has driven the #35 PRT Travel Maxim into 13th place in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings. Brown, Lasoski's nephew, has driven the #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim into 14th in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings. Crocker, the first female to qualify for the Knoxville Nationals championship feature, drives the #16 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Maxim for former racer Mike Woodring.
The pit gates will open at 4:00 p.m., time trials will start at 7:15 p.m. and the First Heat Race will take the green flag at 8:00 p.m. The rain date is Wednesday.