State Fair: Race report

Donny Schatz dominates State Fair Feature. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 14) -- Donny Schatz executed a daring, first-lap pass and led every lap on his way to winning Friday's O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature at State Fair ...

Donny Schatz dominates State Fair Feature.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 14) -- Donny Schatz executed a daring, first-lap pass and led every lap on his way to winning Friday's O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature at State Fair Speedway.

Schatz, who started outside the second row, passed Shane Stewart as the green flag fell, then took the high line in the first corner to pass front-row starters Johnny Herrera and Jason Johnson to take the lead. The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner beat Herrera under the checkered flag by 15 car-lengths to claim the $10,000 first prize.

"We were just at the right place at the right time," Schatz said. "Jason and Johnny got a little messed up at the start -- just like I did in the dash -- and we were able to get by them in the first corner. Randy (Hannagan) and Aaron (Berryhill) were racing pretty hard there for position (with five laps remaining). I kind of had to take my time, but I finally got by Randy and was able to stretch it out again.

"My guys have worked really hard this winter, and they've given me a great car. It's kind of a shame -- I'm not running the whole series because I'm going to do some (USAC) Silver Crown racing. The car's going to be at all the races, but I'm not, so I have to make these wins count when I can."

Schatz, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 30-car field, finished third in the Second Heat Race and earned the right to start on the second row by following Herrera across the finish line in the Second Dash Race. The "A" Feature victory was the 14th of his career, his first since last July 10th at The Raceway at Powercom Park.

After taking the lead early in the opening lap, Schatz quickly built a comfortable advantage. His #15 Parker Stores J&J as 20 car-lengths ahead of Johnson when he entered lapped traffic five laps into the race. Johnson caught Schatz in dense lapped traffic two laps later, however.

Herrera raced wheel-to-wheel through turns on and two with Johnson early in the eighth lap, but was unable to drive Billy Wilburn's #2W Heintz Brothers Maxim into second place. Herrera's battle with Johnson allowed Schatz to lengthen his lead to four car-lengths midway through the race. Herrera, the 1986 Rookie of the Year, took the runner-up spot late in lap 17, racing around Johnson high in the fourth corner.

Jac Haudenschild, who entered the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' fifth event of the year only 10 points out of first place in the standings, rode the rim through turns one and two to pass Second Heat Race winner Tyler Walker for eighth place early in the 19th lap.

Former Rookies of the Year Hannagan (1995) and Berryhill (1992) were battling for 17th place when Schatz approached them early in lap 25. Herrera closed to within two car-lengths of the leader, but with a quick move into the low groove in the first corner Schatz added 13 car-lengths to his advantage.

Craig Dollansky drove Karavan Racing's #7 VMAC Maxim around Johnson in the fourth corner with 1 ¼ laps remaining to claim third place. Finishing third pushed the 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion into second place in the standings, two points ahead of "The Wild Child."

Johnson finished fourth in his 2003 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series debut. Points leader Danny Lasoski finished in fifth place, ahead of Stewart, Steve Kinser, Haudenschild, Mark Kinser and Sammy Swindell. Jeff Shepard, whose blown engine kept him from taking a qualifying lap, drove the #11H Vivarin Maxim past 13 cars to finish 12th.

Lasoski, who won the "A" Feature at State Fair Speedway last March 17th, set quick time for the fourth time this season. "The Dude" drove NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval in 16.030 seconds, an average speed of 112.289 M.P.H.

Daryn Pittman, who lives in nearby Owasso, OK, was running sixth in the Second Heat Race when a blown engine sent him to the pit area. Mechanical problems in the #21 Hop & Sack J&J cost Pittman the lead in the "B" Feature. The 2001 Gumout Series champion used a provision and brought out a backup car for the main event.

Danny Jennings and Foster Landon crossed the finish line simultaneously as they battled for the final transfer position in the Second Heat Race. Both drivers transferred to the "A" Feature.

-WoO-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Daryn Pittman , Shane Stewart , Jac Haudenschild , Danny Jennings , Johnny Herrera , Jason Johnson