Series Elbridge spotlight - Donny Schatz

Schatz Looks for Third Career Win at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge, NY-- May 26, 2008--Over the years on the road with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Donny Schatz has taken a great liking to a number of tracks...

Schatz Looks for Third Career Win at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park

Elbridge, NY-- May 26, 2008--Over the years on the road with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Donny Schatz has taken a great liking to a number of tracks that the series annually visits from coast-to-coast. Many of those are big, fast, wide, momentum race tracks such as Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York, where the series will compete today.

Schatz has two career A-Feature wins at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. He was victorious for the first time at the track in 2004, taking the lead from 20-time champion Steve Kinser who was celebrating his 50th birthday that day, to lead the final two laps of the event. Schatz also picked up the checkered flag at the sprawling 5/8-mile in 2006, besting Daryn Pittman and Joey Saldana. He has seven Top-10 finishes at the track in his career, with six of those being in the Top-Five, including two consecutive. He will look to add to this impressive record at the track, as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series make their traditional Memorial stop at Rolling Wheels tonight.

"It's always good to go up there," said the two-time defending series champion. "The track is unique and there are always good fans there. We always enjoy going there. I've had some wins there and we always seem to be pretty fast up there. I'm excited to get to a race track that we know will get slick."

The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers reach some of their highest speeds all season at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. With the track record being just a tick over 141 miles per hour, the track holds the distinction of having the fastest average lap time in terms of speed, of any track the series visits.

"You definitely feel it when you enter the corners," noted the North Dakota native, of the speed the cars carry at the track. "You have to have your race car pretty decent. The track is usually pretty wide and good for moving around, which allows for plenty of passing. Hopefully we put ourselves in a good position there."

The event at Rolling Wheels is one of just two stops this season for the World of Outlaws on 5/8-mile tracks, both of which are in New York Along with his strong track record at Rolling Wheels, Schatz also has had a great deal of success at Orange County Fair Speedway, the other 5/8-mile facility that the series visits.

"You really don't have to do anything different," Schatz pointed out of racing on larger tracks. "The track is pretty flat and the straight-a-ways are so long. When the track gets slick, that is when it slows down some and gets racy."

The second generation driver is in the midst of his first season behind the wheel of the Armor All J&J for Tony Stewart Racing, as part of a two-car effort for the two-time NASCAR champion. Schatz recently moved into the second spot in the World of Outlaws championship standings, as he chases his third consecutive title. He picked up his first World of Outlaws win with the team on May 3 at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. He is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all 11 races thus far in 2008.

"I'm not doing anything different than I was before," he shared. "I probably have some things off of my mind and also some things that I never had on my mind before. I don't approach the races any different. I don't have my expectations set any higher or any lower. Really it's no different. I am still driving the (No.) 15. I'm just lucky to have people like Armor All, Chevrolet and Tony Stewart involved."

Schatz has many of the same elements that he had last season when he won 19 A-Feature events and his second consecutive title, which has helped ease the transition to joining Tony Stewart Racing. He again has Ricky Warner turning the wrenches as crew chief, along with driving a J&J Chassis with Shaver power under the hood.

"As we go, we find things that are a little different over here," he explained. "It's a work in progress. Anytime you have a work in progress, you try to get better in the whole process. You are always finding things that make you better and you are always finding things that make you worse. We're just excited to be part of it and hope to get ourselves back in super form like we have been in the past."

While the competition on the track has been fierce this season, Schatz and his fellow drivers have also had to battle the weather more this season than they ever have in the past. In his 11-plus years on the road with the World of Outlaws, Schatz has never seen a spring quite like this one, with the number of events that have been postponed due to rain.

"Mother Nature has definitely won a lot of races," Schatz stated. "You look back at the history of the series and a lot of the places that we try to run in February have rained out for the last 10 years. If the schedule would have been pushed back a month, we probably would have been fine. That's the way it goes and what's done is done."

As the first East Coast swing of the season wraps up tonight at Rolling Wheels, the World of Outlaws schedule begins to pick up steam. The event today at Rolling Wheels will be the third race in four nights for the best sprint car drivers in the world. A return to the Midwest awaits Schatz and his fellow drivers this coming weekend, followed by a busy month of June, which will see them compete 11 times over a three week period.

"There is no doubt that once we get racing every day, we'll see the teams that are strong versus the teams that are struggling," he said. "There will be some separation at that point. We're just working through everything we can so we make sure that we are in a good position when we start racing every day. I am definitely looking forward to getting back on the race track more than one day a week."

On Monday, May 26 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, General Admission tickets for adults will be $30, with general admission tickets for seniors (ages 65-over) $28, with general admission tickets for children (ages 10-14) just $12, with kids 9-under admitted free of charge. Reserved tickets will also be available for $32. For ticket information visit: www.rollingwheelsraceway.com or call 315-834-6606. The pit gates will open at 1 p.m. Eastern, with the grandstand gates opening at 4 p.m. Eastern. There will be an autograph session featuring World of Outlaws drivers at 5:15 p.m. Eastern on the Midway.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Joey Saldana