SCHATZ CONTINUES AUSSIE DOMINANCE WITH ANOTHER $50K VICTORY GRANVILLE, NSW (January 7) - When Donny Schatz left for Australia two days before Christmas, he knew matching his results from last year's Australian tour would be tough. He set a lofty...
SCHATZ CONTINUES AUSSIE DOMINANCE WITH ANOTHER $50K VICTORY
GRANVILLE, NSW (January 7) - When Donny Schatz left for Australia two days before Christmas, he knew matching his results from last year's Australian tour would be tough. He set a lofty standard by winning eight of nine races last year at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway near Sydney.
After five nights of competition this year, Schatz has yet to lose a race taking on all comers including 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, Joey Saldana and NASCAR Nextel Cup star Kasey Kahne.
His latest victory came Saturday night when he continued his dominance of the Bevelite Glass $50,000-to-win Sprintcar International, picking up his fourth consecutive win in the race and sixth victory in the race's seven year history.
"It was a good night that obviously ended how we wanted it to," said Schatz, the 2006 WoO champion. "I've been saying these $50,000 races keep getting harder and harder to win and that was again the case tonight. We had a great race with Joey (Saldana) last year and this year it was another battle."
Schatz used Friday night's victory in the opening night program to continue his winning streak and prepare him for Saturday's 40-lap feature event. He led all 30 laps aboard the No. 15 Pick 'N Payless J&J of Rush Racing and won the first qualifying heat on Saturday night. He dueled Joey Saldana in the Dash event and started the feature event third behind Saldana and Steve Kinser.
Kinser got the jump at the start and Schatz patiently worked his way into second and took the lead on lap seven. Saldana took the lead on lap 14, but Schatz returned to the post on lap 17 and worked lapped traffic perfectly to open up a comfortable margin. He maintained the lead to the checkered flag ahead of Saldana, Peter Murphy, Jason Meyers and Kinser.
"We won the opening night on Friday and felt like we had a pretty good handle on things, but the track was different than we thought it would be on Saturday," continued Schatz. "It ended up taking rubber so it came down to being smart."
"We had a softer tire on than Joey did and I pushed the envelope a little bit there during the middle stages of the race before the rubber really started coming in trying to get through traffic. The rubber was around the bottom and after having a late stoppage, I knew saving my tires and being steady would win the race."
The Fargo, ND racer will remain in Australia for another two weeks to compete in five more nights of action. He is hoping to continue his winning streak before returning home to begin defending his World of Outlaws championship at Volusia Speedway Park on February 9 in his No. 15 Parkerstore sponsored J&J.
"I know its going to be tough to keep the streak alive, because guys just keep getting tougher and tougher," said Schatz. "We've worked really hard and done a ton of different things with the racecar. This J&J is the ideal car for this track because its worked on several types of surfaces and numerous different situations. To be able to win fourteen of fifteen at one track is a real testament to the team and everyone that is part of it. It's been a lot of fun that is for sure."