Schatz Nominated for SPEED Performer of the Year Award
Donny Schatz won 19 times with the World of Outlaws en route to claiming his second consecutive series title this season. For his remarkable year, he has been named one of 12 finalists for the second annual SPEED Performer of the Year Award.
The North Dakota native won three times on SPEED this season, including twice at the historic Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, as well as at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway. In 10 total events on the network in 2007 with the World of Outlaws, his average finish was 4.4. In those events, he led 68 laps, won four heat races and won the Crane Cams Dash twice to earn pole positions.
Along with his 19 wins in World of Outlaws competition, Schatz also earned his second consecutive Knoxville Nationals triumph, earning a record $150,000 for the victory. In the process, he became the first driver in sprint car racing history to win the Knoxville Nationals, the Kings Royal, the National Open, the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and the Williams Grove Summer Nationals all in the same season.
Schatz led the World of Outlaws in several statistical categories in 2007 including: A-Feature wins, laps led, money earned, Top-10 finishes, Top-Five finishes, wins in the Crane Cams Dash and pole positions.
The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year finished the season tied for six on the all-time World of Outlaws A-Feature win list with 70.
The winner of the SPEED Performer of the Year will be selected by a 15 member voting panel with the winner to be announced as part of the SPEED Performance Awards, a one-hour television special hosted by racers Tommy Kendall and Danica Patrick, in February. The Top-Six vote getters from the SPEED Performer of the Year nominees will be featured during the SPEED Performance Awards.
Schatz is joined on the ballot by two-time defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who won the award last season, AMA Supercross champ James Stewart, IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, four-time Champ Car World Series titlist Sebastien Bourdais, MotoGP champ Casey Stoner, Formula One rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, USAC National Midget Series champion Jerry Coons Jr., USAC sprint car driver Jon Stanbrough, F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series runner-up Jeff Gordon.
The second annual SPEED Performer of the Year will be selected by a panel including: "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Bob Varsha and Ralph Sheheen, SPEEDtv.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen and versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder. The winner will receive the Mario Andretti Trophy, created by bronze artist Elie Hazak.
The 30th anniversary 2008 World of Outlaws season opens on February 8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida.