TSR's Donny Schatz Pennsylvania, New York events preview

HEADING EAST Donny Schatz and Tony Stewart Racing Seek To Avoid Mother Nature In Action-Packed Week in Pennsylvania and New York INDIANAPOLIS (May 12, 2008) -- The story remains the same for Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR)...

HEADING EAST
Donny Schatz and Tony Stewart Racing Seek To Avoid Mother Nature In Action-Packed Week in Pennsylvania and New York

INDIANAPOLIS (May 12, 2008) -- The story remains the same for Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team as they continue to fight Mother Nature in the 2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint series. Following two more rainouts this past weekend, Schatz and his TSR teammate, Kraig Kinser, travel east for a busy week of action that includes four races scheduled over six nights.

The WoO schedule resumes on Tuesday with an event at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., on the western side of the Keystone State. It then moves to Central Pennsylvania for a pair of races at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg on Thursday and Friday nights. An event at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., on Sunday night concludes the week's slate of action.

With 12 of the first 19 events falling victim to weather-related problems, gaining a rhythm has been a difficult task for the two-time defending champion who drives the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J. Schatz is coming off his first WoO win of the season on May 3 at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway and is looking forward to returning to tracks where he's had a lot of success in the past.

The Fargo, N.D., resident has six consecutive top-10 finishes at Lernerville, including wins in the past two $30,000-to-win Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup events. He captured his first victory at the track by leading the final 23 laps of the 35-lap feature on May 21, 2003.

Williams Grove Speedway has been a personal stomping ground for Schatz of late. Last year, he won five of seven events, including a two-night sweep last May and his fourth National Open triumph last September. Thursday's race will be his 68th appearance at the famed semi-banked, half-mile oval. He has 14 career wins as the track, 29 career top-five finishes and 39 top-10s. And he's led 369 feature event laps.

During his 12-year WoO career, Schatz has competed at Orange County Fair Speedway on six occasions. He has scored top-five finishes in his last four, including second-place finishes in 1999, 2004, 2006 and last September.

Through seven events in 2008, Schatz holds the third position in the WoO standings with 1,012 points, trailing leader Craig Dollansky by 20. He has one victory, four second-place finishes and a pair of eighth-place runs.

The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series' first Eastern Swing begins at Lernerville Speedway, located near Sarver on State Route 356. Williams Grove Speedway is in Mechanicsburg. Orange County Fairgrounds Speedway is located just off of CR 96 near Middletown.

On Tuesday at Lernerville, pit gates open at 4 p.m. EDT and grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. At Williams Grove on Thursday and Friday, pit gates open at 4 p.m. EDT and grandstand gates open at 5:15 p.m. for advance ticket holders and 5:30 p.m. for all ticket holders. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. For Sunday's event at Orange County Fair Speedway, pit gates open at 3 p.m. EDT and grandstand gates open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m.

Tickets for the Lernerville event can be purchased by calling (724) 353-1511, or by visiting the track's Web site, www.lernerville.com.

Williams Grove tickets can be purchased at the speedway, and more information is available at its Web site, www.williamsgrove.com. Tickets for the race at Orange County Fair Speedway will be on sale at the track.

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:

Lernerville Speedway is one of the historic tracks on the WoO schedule. What are your thoughts of the track?

"I love coming to Pennsylvania to race. Lernerville always has a great surface for us to race on. There's not a track out there quite like it. I heard they changed it up a little this year, so we're looking forward to getting back on the track. The fans always pack the place and we just try to put on the best show we can. It's a big year for the track and we want to be greedy and win both times we are there."

There's no question Williams Grove Speedway has been one of your best tracks. Is there anything specific about the track that suits your driving style?

"Williams Grove is a track where experience prevails. You don't see too many guys go there and are fast right out of the box. I was like just about every young driver the first few times out there -- trying to flat-foot it around there and thinking that always being on the gas was the key. It took me what seemed like forever to get a handle on it. It's fast. Long straightaways. Tight corners. Car control and making consistent laps are the keys. They have some of the toughest drivers we'll face and they know that place. I feel like I know the place like the back of my hand. Sometimes I think I could drive around there blindfolded.

"We've been fortunate the last few years to have a program that has been really successful there. Our Chevy motor package that is built by Ron Shaver really gives us an advantage there. And with the way it works with the J&J cars we use, we've been really good. It's like any place else where you've tasted success. Once you get there, you only think about winning there again. All of that is great, but we have to go there like every other place and be fast right from the start if we want to have a chance to win the race."

Orange County Fair Speedway is the final leg of the week's schedule. Why have you been consistently good there in the past?

"Middletown is another one of the big, fast tracks that they have out east. We've been fast there in the past, but just came up one spot short the past few years. It's one of those places where you have to get to the front fast because the cars can really get spread out on the track.

"Mother Nature has been beating all of us, but hopefully we can take over from here on. We've been consistent, and the win at Knoxville really gave the entire team a big boost. We had a test session last week and (crew chief) Ricky (Warner) and the guys (Shane Bowers, Kyle Sundby and Evan Funk) did a great job with a number of combinations."

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.

-credit: -TSR-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Donny Schatz , Craig Dollansky , Kraig Kinser
Teams Williams