STREAKING INTO JUNE World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Heads to Knoxville Aiming to Continue His Winning Ways for Tony Stewart Racing INDIANAPOLIS (June 3, 2008) -- Winning races is the only thing reigning Advance Auto Parts World of...
STREAKING INTO JUNE
World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Heads to Knoxville Aiming to Continue His Winning Ways for Tony Stewart Racing
INDIANAPOLIS (June 3, 2008) -- Winning races is the only thing reigning Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series champion Donny Schatz is thinking about. Following a pair of victories in Ohio this past weekend, the driver of the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J wants to extend his streak when the series heads to Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway for two nights of action on Friday and Saturday before concluding the weekend Sunday night at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Returning to Knoxville is welcome news for the racer from Fargo, N.D., who has won five times in his last seven starts at the "Sprint Car Capital of the World" and has a streak of nine consecutive top-five finishes at the track. In August of 2006 and 2007, he claimed the sport's crown jewel, the Knoxville Nationals, and has three WoO A-feature wins at the famed half-mile dirt oval since October 2006. During the Outlaws' most recent visit to the track on May 3, Schatz scored his first WoO victory behind of the wheel of the TSR No. 15.
On Sunday night, Schatz, along with his TSR teammate Kraig Kinser, will return to the St. Louis area for the WoO series' second event at Tri-City Speedway since it was converted from a half-mile to a 3/8-mile dirt oval before the 2007 season. Schatz had 14 career starts when the track was a sprawling half-mile, scoring a career-best second there on April 15, 2000. Last June, he finished third on the new configuration after bouncing back from a 17th-place qualifying effort. In the 30-lap feature, he made several attempts to get by eventual winner Danny Lasoski on the rubber-laden surface before crossing the finish line third.
Schatz and the Armor All-backed Chevy team are coming off their best weekend of the 2008 campaign, which saw them claim back-to-back feature wins on consecutive nights of racing in Ohio. Schatz bested 46 cars Friday night, taking the lead on lap 11 of the 40-lap feature at Attica Raceway Park. The following night, he chased down Jason Meyers to gain the lead with five laps remaining to score his third win of the season and fourth career triumph at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway. Through 14 WoO events contested in 2008, Schatz has three wins, nine top-fives, and has finished in the top-10 in every event.
Following Saturday's victory, Schatz took over the top spot in the WoO standings with 2,016 points, 23 ahead of Meyers entering this weekend.
Both Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series programs at Knoxville Raceway, which is located on State Route 14 on the Marion County Fairgrounds, will be broadcast on SPEED later in June. Check the WoO Web Site at www.worldofoutlaws.com for broadcast times. Sunday's race at Tri-City Speedway, located a half-mile south of I-270 on State Route 203, continues a busy slate of races to kick off June. The Outlaws will race five times in nine days at four different tracks.
Friday and Saturday at Knoxville Raceway, pit gates will open at 3 p.m. CDT with the grandstand gates opening at 5 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. For Sunday's race at Tri-City Speedway, pit gates and the grandstand gates will open at noon CDT. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Race tickets for the Knoxville event tickets can be purchased by calling (641) 842-5431, or by visiting the track's Web site, www.knoxvilleraceway.com. Information and tickets for the Tri-City event are available by calling (800) 617-9077, or by visiting the track's Web site, www.tricityspeedway.net.
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:
You've just finished May with a pair of wins. Do you feel like your transition to TSR is complete?
"Tony Stewart Racing is a first-class organization and they have built me an unbelievable team. We played havoc with a lot of rainouts early this year. But this past weekend, we got back to racing on slick tracks. I feel so good to win races for Tony, all the people at TSR, our sponsors Armor All, Chevy, and ParkerStore. We want to win everything, and when you have the kind of weekend we just did, you feel like anything is possible.
"We're excited to go back to Knoxville, where we've been really good and just hope to keep things rolling. We knew once we got going that everything would work out, and now we'll just try to keep getting better every race."
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J (continued):
You won the first race at Knoxville earlier in May. Will you use anything that you learned that night this weekend?
"You always have to keep learning or the competition will go right past you. We've had a good program for Knoxville the past couple of years, but you have to keep getting better. We had a really good night in May, but it's warmer now and the track will likely be a little different. I'm sure we'll have the car pretty close to where we were last time. We'll look at what we did here last June and compare that to what we did at last year's Nationals and make a plan of attack.
"Having two nights to race gives us more time to learn. This will be our last time at Knoxville before coming back for the (Knoxville) Nationals in August, so everything we do will have some significance."
The weekend concludes with a race at Tri-City Speedway. You were solid there last year. What will be the biggest key to putting yourself in a position to win?
"They made Tri-City a 3/8-mile last year and it made for a really good race. The problem is they still have the same dirt, and for some reason, it has a tendency to lay rubber. So the biggest key will be starting up front and getting to the lead as fast as you can. Once the rubber comes in, it just becomes a freight-train deal where you follow the guy in front of you and hope they make a mistake.
"I know Kevin and Tammy (Gunndaker, track owners) will do everything they can to give us a good racing surface. I was close last year and, hopefully, we'll have the same kind of chance this year."
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.