UP TO THE CHALLENGE Two-Time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz Returns To Action In Missouri And Iowa Aboard Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (April 29, 2008) -- One of the best things about the nomadic racing ...
UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Two-Time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz Returns To Action In Missouri And Iowa Aboard Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (April 29, 2008) -- One of the best things about the nomadic racing schedule of the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series is the challenge each stop presents. For Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team, the biggest challenge this year has been getting races in as Mother Nature has forced the cancellation or postponement of nine of the first 15 scheduled nights of racing.
Schatz hopes turning the calendar to May will change the weather patterns and allow him to regularly get behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J in WoO competition.
This weekend, the challenge will be racing at two completely different facilities on consecutive nights. Schatz kicks off the month of May at one of the smallest tracks on the tour, US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. The high-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval is one of only three tracks currently on the schedule where the 1,200-pound, 800-plus-horsepower Sprint cars crack the 10-second lap barrier. In May 2006, the TSR No. 20 Bass Pro Shop sprinter set the track record at 9.846 seconds (135.36 mph).
This will be Schatz' third year competing in the Missouri High Banked Nationals. In 2006, he had one of his toughest nights of the season, which included being involved in four separate on-track incidents. Last season, he earned the fast qualifier award and raced from the ninth starting position to a fifth-place finish in the 40-lap "A" feature.
On Saturday, Schatz and his TSR teammate, Kraig Kinser, return to legendary Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. The event was originally scheduled for April 26 but was one of the early season casualties to Mother Nature. Schatz and Kinser have combined to win the last three Knoxville Nationals -- Kinser in 2005 and Schatz in 2006 and 2007. Schatz has four wins in his last six feature event starts at the track.
With six events in the books for 2008, Schatz has four second-place finishes and currently holds the third position in the WoO standings with 857 points, trailing leader Craig Dollansky by 36 points entering this weekend.
This weekend's Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series programs at US 36 Raceway located near Osborn, Mo., on State Road 33, and Knoxville Raceway, which is located on State Route 14 on the Marion County Fairgrounds, kick off the month of May, which includes 13 nights of racing at 12 different tracks.
On Friday at US 36 Raceway, pit gates open at 2 p.m. CDT and grandstand gates open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday at Knoxville Raceway, pit gates open at 4 p.m. CDT with the grandstand gates opening at 6 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m.
Race tickets for the US 36 Raceway event can be purchased by calling SLS Promotions (815) 344-2023, or by visiting its Web site, www.slspromotions.com. Knoxville tickets can be purchased by calling (641) 842-5431 or by visiting the track's Web site, www.knoxvilleraceway.com.
Race fans can also listen to all the action from the weekend on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Visit www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other fans listening to the action.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
US 36 Raceway is a pretty unique track. What are the biggest challenges you face there?
"It's a nice track and provides a great venue for us. Two years ago, we had one of those nightmare nights where we just kept being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think we cleaned out a trailer's worth of parts. Last year, things went a little better for us until we got moved up the track going for third about halfway through the feature. That may be one of the challenges that's unique about it. The banking makes it tough to see exactly where guys are around you. I don't think Terry (McCarl) saw me on the outside of him in turn two, and he just moved up and took the line.
"Like a lot of places, you have to be able to get your car working all over the track. There's going to be traffic to deal with. Whether you have to get up on the cushion and blast it around the top, have some finesse and run the bottom, or even get your car to roll the middle, it goes back to having the best car in the feature. I've got the best guys in the business working on the Armor All/Chevy car. (Crew chief) Ricky (Warner) has been doing this for a long time, and the rest of my guys (Shane Bowers, Kyle Sundby and Evan Funk) continue to work as hard they can to give me a great car. The nice thing this year is that we'll be able to work with (TSR No. 20 crew chief) Jimmy (Carr) and the Bass Pro Shop team throughout the night there. They've been really fast there in the past and, hopefully, both cars can run up front."
Last weekend you were scheduled to compete at Knoxville Raceway, but Mother Nature forced you to race at Eldora Speedway instead. Is there anything you learned at Eldora that can help you at Knoxville this weekend?
"Knoxville and Eldora are two completely different animals. We learned that we've got tremendous horsepower from Chevy and that will help us a bunch at Knoxville. We've got a really good baseline to work off of at Knoxville and that's where we'll start on Saturday night. With all the rain they've had, you just don't know for sure what to expect the track to do. We'll continue to try and keep getting better with our entire program and the best way to do that would be to get two nights of racing in this weekend."
For complete Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series results, log on to www.worldofoutlaws.com. For information regarding TSR, Schatz, Armor All, Chevy, or ParkerStore, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.donnyschatz.com, www.aa-ownercenter.com, www.chevrolet.com, or www.parkerstore.com.