Schatz big winner at Williams Grove MECHANICSBURG, PA ~ July 26, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz brought the ...
Schatz big winner at Williams Grove
MECHANICSBURG, PA ~ July 26, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz brought the #15 ParkerStores Shaver J & J to the checkered flag first after waging a crowd pleasing 30-lap battle with Danny Lasoski. This is Schatz second Williams Grove Speedway Summer Nationals victory, his first in 2000. He captured the runner-up spot in 2001 and fourth in 2002.
Based on points accumulated during the first two nights of the annual three-day event, four drivers were locked into the first two rows of the five-lap dash to determine their starting positions in the A-main. Local Pennsylvania Posse favorite Keith Kauffman was the points leader going into the final night of competition followed by Schatz, Lasoski and another "Posse" member, Lance Dewease. Adding the points gained in the four heat races, the fifth and sixth in points, Fred Rahmer and Todd Hestor, were added to the make the last row of the dash.
Schatz won the dash from the outside of the front row giving him the pole for the feature. He jumped to the lead as the field thundered into turn one with Lasoski in hot pursuit. Lasoski, who started on the outside of the front row, worked the low grove while Schatz headed for the rim.
As the laps began to click off, the pair caught lapped traffic, at times encountering cars racing two and three wide for position. Schatz used whatever line he needed, high, middle grove and the inside, to maneuver through the congestion while Lasoski stayed low.
On lap 14, Lasoski got by Schatz as the pair crossed the line, taking the lead for the first time but two laps later, Schatz returned the favor in turn two. One lap later, Lasoski squirted past the North Dakota driver to grab the point again. Lasoski held the lead when the red flag flew on lap 19 for an accident involving Schatz's USAC Silver Crown teammate, Tyler Walker. Walker was unhurt in the incident.
Lasoski had the lead when the field lined up for the restart with ten laps remaining, still holding down the inside grove. Schatz went back on top to the cushion and powered around Lasoski on lap 25, just five to go, and never looked back. "This is a great win for the ParkerStores team," said Schatz. "We have always liked Williams Grove and have done well here in the past. The track was very well prepared tonight and there was racing room all through the corners.
"My car was perfect. Tyler (Swank, crew chief) made all the right choices. But Danny (Lasoski) was tough. He wasn't going to give me the win by any means!
"I was able to run anywhere on the track I needed to through the lapped traffic. There were times when I came up on guys running three wide. Those guys are racing for position so I had to pick my way through carefully without opening the door for Danny. When he got by me the first time, fortunately I had clear track on top and I could get back by him, but then the lower lane opened up again and he got underneath us before the red flew.
"On the restart, without lapped traffic and just ten to go, it was pretty much just the two of us. He likes the bottom and that is where is car always works the best, but there was enough of a cushion for me to get a good bite and get back by him and then get away a little until the finish.
"This is a good start for us to have momentum heading back to Eldora for the Big One then on to Knoxville."
Schatz and the ParkerStores team now head for New Egypt, NJ on July 28 followed by July 30 at Sharon Speedway, Hartford, OH. Schatz will miss the July 31 event at K-C Raceway, Chillicothe, OH to run the USAC Silver Crown event at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Schatz returns to the cockpit of the yellow #15 at the August 3 makeup race at PowerCom Raceway, Beaver Dam, WI then travel to Hartford, MI before heading to Eldora for the Big One.
For up-to-date information on Donny Schatz and the ParkerStores team, log on to www.donnyschatz.com.