BARBERVILLE, Fla. - It was only the second World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series race of the season on Saturday night at Volusia Speedway Park, but Donny Schatz looks like he's in midseason form after charging from 11th to victory in front of packed grandstands at the DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
But Saturday night belonged to Tony Stewart Racing's Schatz. Just when it looked like Kasey Kahne Racing's Cody Darrah was cruising toward victory in the 30-lap main event, Schatz took off, eventually passing last year's World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Daryn Pittman for second, then charging past Darrah for the win.
"It was a lot of fun, you kind of had to pass everywhere," said Schatz, the five-time series champion from Fargo, N.D. "We didn't have the greatest night (Friday) night, but you'll have that in racing. It's how quick you rebound, came back today with had an awesome race car and got ourselves qualified well. Every time we made changes we went the right direction. It was a fun race, it was awesome and fast. Sometimes I didn't know where I was going to end up. I don't know anybody who doesn't come to the race to win, but we were extra hungry leaving here (Friday) night, we felt like we had a decent run from the back. It just wasn't very good and we were a long ways off on balance. Those guys are what make that car fast and I get the fun job."
In the 20-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified feature, which was one of two qualifying races for Monday night's Gator Championship, Dillon couldn't be touched. As he was in control out front, a wild battle behind him broke out as six cars battled for the fifth position, guaranteeing them a shot at the pole on Monday night's random draw. Brian Ruhlman, Nick Hoffman, Devin Gilpin and Kyle Strickler eventually rounded out the top five and will join Dillon plus the top five finishers from Sunday night's feature in the draw for positions on Monday.
"You always want to keep going because the second you slack up, there's some good drivers here and they'll pounce on you," Dillon said. "If we can keep chugging along like this, we want to get that big Gator and then we'll have an awesome weekend. I'm as tickled as I can be right now with getting two wins this week. It's a lot of fun for us."
Nightly doubleheaders at Volusia run Sunday through Saturday. Sunday night will be the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series final event of this season's DIRTcar Nationals. DIRTcar Late Models begin competing on Monday night.