FARGO, ND - MAY 30, 2003 - Donny Schatz will return to the Red River Valley Speedway in his hometown of Fargo, ND to defend his title at the Duel in the Dakotas three-day World of Outlaws (WoO) event June 12-14th. Schatz, the only North Dakota ...
FARGO, ND - MAY 30, 2003 - Donny Schatz will return to the Red River Valley Speedway in his hometown of Fargo, ND to defend his title at the Duel in the Dakotas three-day World of Outlaws (WoO) event June 12-14th. Schatz, the only North Dakota driver competing in a professional motorsports national touring association, took his #15 ParkerStore J &J to victory lane in the 2002 A-Main giving him his first victory in the prestigious event at his home track.
Schatz had to choose between racing at the Duel in the Dakotas or participating in the upcoming June 14,2003 United States Auto Club (USAC) 100-lap event at Terre Haute Action Track, Terre Haute, IN.
"This was a difficult decision for me," said Schatz. "But this is where I am lucky as a driver. The Fargo race is obviously very important to all my sponsors but especially ParkerStores and Schatz Crossroads Truckstops. However, they have all been incredibly supportive of my USAC Silver Crown program and my aspirations to spread my racing wings. I had a long discussion with my parents and WoO team owners, Danny and Diane Schatz and Roger Johnson, my USAC Silver Crown team owner this weekend in Indiana. They were all supportive and as a group, we made the decision that it was in the best interest of everyone to forego the Terre Haute USAC Silver Crown race to try and win the Fargo race for a second consecutive year."
"We gave this a great deal of thought and discussed it will all parties before making any decisions," said Danny Schatz. "Diane (Schatz) and I appreciate the understanding and support given to Donny by Roger (Johnson) and his crew. Donny's local fans were disappointed there might be a chance he would not be at the Saturday night finale this year. The Fargo event is the only chance they get to see him run locally all season.
"We will look forward to watching Donny again in the Silver Crown car at the USAC event at Richmond and will be waiting to hear that Tyler (Walker, Schatz's R.E. Technologies teammate) had a tremendous run at Terre Haute."
"The Fargo WoO event is a very important race for Donny, his sponsors and his fans," added Roger Johnson, owner of Donny's USAC car. "The three day Fargo event is the only time that the WoO travels to North Dakota. He is the defending champion of the sixth annual "Duel in the Dakotas." We support his efforts to win at Red River Valley Speedway 100 percent."
Last year, family and friends mobbed Schatz after he won the Duel in the Dakotas before a standing room only crowd.
"Last year's win was just incredible," said Schatz. "I would rank it as probably the biggest win of my career and to finally get a win in front of all my family and friends just meant so much last year."
Schatz won the fifth annual Duel in the Dakotas last year, exchanging the lead with Joey Saldana twice and beating defending champion Craig Dollansky under the checkered flag by a straightaway.
With Donny defending his title at his hometown track on June 14th, the R.E. Technologies racing team will have more time to prepare Donny's new J&J Silver Crown dirt car. His original car was badly damaged in an accident last weekend at the Indiana State Fairgrounds after the throttle stuck.
"My USAC Silver Crown program this year is a learning process to make a serious run at winning races and the championship in 2004," Schatz continued. "Sure, I would love to win the Rookie of the Year title, but it is more important to me to learn about the cars and the tracks and get strong pavement racing experience. It makes more sense to me to have everything 100% ready for the Richmond race.
"Now, the Silver Crown crew can really focus on more development of my pavement car for Richmond and I can totally focus on winning in Fargo and doing a great job for all of my sponsors. Once my new J&J dirt car is completed, we will have plenty of time to test prior to the next dirt race at Springfield and I will get three USAC pavement races under my belt in the meantime."
Schatz concluded by saying, "I want to thank Roger Johnson from R.E. Technologies Racing; Danny and Diane Schatz, my WoO team owners; ParkerStores and all of my sponsors for supporting me this season. Also, thank you to my Silver Crown crew chief Jack French, team manager Chris Santucci and the crew members as well as my WoO crew chief Tyler Swank and my crew guys for their hard work to give me the quality of race cars I have the privilege to drive every time I climb in the seat."
Schatz and fellow WoO competitors have a short break in the schedule following the Saturday, May 31 event at Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, OH. The touring winged sprint car series will shift into high gear on June 10 at Fox Ridge Speedway in Arcadia, WI before heading to Fargo.
The next USAC Silver Crown event for Schatz will be June 27-28 at Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA.