TURNING UP THE HEAT World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz, Tony Stewart Racing Team Continue to Sizzle in Armor All Chevy Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (June 10, 2008) -- Reigning Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series...
TURNING UP THE HEAT
World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz, Tony Stewart Racing Team Continue to Sizzle in Armor All Chevy Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (June 10, 2008) -- Reigning Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series champion Donny Schatz has made winning streaks a habit the past two seasons. And this season, he is continuing the pattern. For the second consecutive weekend, the driver of the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J will be looking to extend a winning streak. This week's slate includes three nights of action beginning with Wednesday's event at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Mo., and will continue with single-night programs at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., Friday, and at Eagle (Neb.) Raceway Saturday.
On five different occasions in 2006 and 2007, Schatz put together consecutive WoO wins. And twice last season, he had three-race winning streaks. All three of this week's races take place at tracks where Schatz has scored a WoO "A" feature triumphs.
State Fair Speedway was where Schatz made his first career Sprint car start in 1993. He won the WoO feature there in July 2003 and has 10 career top-10 finishes at the central Missouri facility, including a runner-up finish last June.
Schatz spent many Sunday nights at Huset's Speedway early in his racing career with his first two victories at the 3/8-mile dirt oval coming on Mother's Day and Father's Day 1995. He spent the first 15 years of his career racing a family owned Sprint car before joining TSR for the 2008 campaign. The Fargo, N.D., resident has 18 career WoO starts at Huset's with two wins, including the series last stop at the track in July 2007.
The high banks of Eagle Raceway have also been good to Schatz during his 12-year WoO career. He has made 31 career WoO starts at the track and has picked up three "A" feature triumphs and one preliminary feature win. His most recent win came in the fall of 2006, when he put on a thrilling display racing from the 15th starting spot to take the win.
This past weekend, Schatz and the Armor All-backed Chevy team continued their recent surge in the 2008 campaign. He came home second at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway Friday night and followed it up with a hard-fought victory at the same facility Saturday night. Schatz led all 35 laps of Sunday's feature event at Tri-City Speedway to claim his 75th career WoO "A" feature. It was his first victory at Tri-City, marking the 43rd different track where he's captured an "A" feature win.
Through 17 WoO events contested in 2008, Schatz has five victories, 12 top-fives, and six consecutive podium finishes. That consistency has pushed Schatz to the top of the WoO standings with 2,467 points, 37 ahead of Jason Meyers entering this week's action.
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series program at State Fair Speedway, which is located a half-mile mile south of US 50 on US 65, at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, will benefit the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation. Friday's race at Huset's Speedway, located near Sioux Falls, three miles south of I-90 on State Road 11, will be the first of two summer stops at the track. Saturday's event at Eagle Raceway, which is located in Eagle, 11 miles south of I-80 on SR 63, will be the 25th consecutive summer appearance for the traveling Outlaw series.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
Wednesday's race offers the TSR team another shot at racing on a big half-mile. Do you think your recent success at Eldora and Knoxville will help?
"Any time you are winning, that helps. But it's a new night at a completely different place. Obviously, we'll take a look at the track and see how the surface compares to what we had at both Eldora and Knoxville. High-speed momentum places, where the tracks slick off and slow down, have been where we've really been good the past few years. I've raced in Sedalia quite a few years and feel pretty good getting around there.
"I know all of my TSR guys (Ricky Warner, Shane Bowers, Kyle Sundby and Evan Funk) will work hard to give me a car that is the best it can be and we'll go from there."
You spent a lot of time learning your craft at Huset's Speedway early in your career. How did racing there help you become a better driver?
"I said last summer when we won there that Huset's has always been a place near and dear to me. I felt like there have been some times that I should have won that I didn't, so that made winning last summer pretty gratifying. I learned a lot racing there on Sunday nights. When you are just trying to figure things out and guys like Danny Lasoski and Terry McCarl pretty much owned the place, it was tough. When you considered everything from the quality of the competition to the shape and size of the track, you really had to learn how to drive, whether it was being able to qualify or dealing with traffic. When you get 24 cars out there, it doesn't take long to get to lapped cars. You learn how to read cars in front of you and know where they were going to go. You have to learn how to make your car work all over the track, not just on the bottom or top."
Eagle Raceway has been another one of those places where you've been successful. Any specific reason why?
"It's been a place where we did well in the fall, but for most of my career, we've haven't been as good as we would have liked to be in the summer there. The track is a really nice facility and almost always provides us, as drivers, a great place to race. We've been close there in the summer races, but just had something not go our way. Last year, we were running in the top-six when (Daryn) Pittman and Steve (Kinser) got together and we had no place to go. My crew fixed the car and we raced from the back to finish 10th. Hopefully, we can continue the kind of success we've had on the short tracks, recently.
"This team is really working hard right now and I want to reward them for their efforts by winning as many races as we can. Same goes for everyone at Tony Stewart Racing. They've given me a great opportunity to work with Armor All, Chevy, and ParkerStore and we just want to keep doing the best we can for all of them at every race."