SPEEDWAY CITY, SA - Donny Schatz approached his third Australian Tour a little different than he did his first in 1999 and second last year. The World of Outlaws veteran jumped the Pacific pond this winter to win races. So far, he's two for...
SPEEDWAY CITY, SA - Donny Schatz approached his third Australian Tour a little different than he did his first in 1999 and second last year. The World of Outlaws veteran jumped the Pacific pond this winter to win races. So far, he's two for five, but he hasn't finished worse than third, a position he finished Saturday night at the third Australian Sprintcar Stampede at Speedway City.
"I was hoping we had win number three tonight," said Schatz, who recently ranked sixth according to the Australian National Sprintcar Poll in their "Salute to the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic" edition. "If the caution hadn't of come out, we might have had something for Max (Dumesny). We keep getting closer and closer. I was happy we were able to start the evening with a quick time, but I would have liked to finish the night first."
The program was run in unseasonably cool weather as the methanol burning sprint cars were competing with the temperature in the 30's. Schatz didn't take long to get the crowd's attention as he posted the fastest qualification lap in the 26-car field. A fourth place finish in the first heat race and a second in heat four, qualified the "Minot Missile" for the $10,000-to-win main event.
In the feature, Schatz moved quickly from his sixth place starting position. Californian Tommy Tarlton took command of the field with Jason Meyers, Max Dumnesy, and Schatz in tow. By lap nine, Dumnesy had caught Tarlton and took the lead two laps later. Schatz passed Meyers and Tarlton as the race entered the 21st lap, but a caution flag put Schatz back to third. Donny wasn't able to retake the runner-up position and finished third in the 35-lap contest.
The third place finish was his first to go along with two first's and a pair of runner-up's during his annual Australian assault. Next weekend, the 22 year-old from Minot, ND, will compete in Australia's most prestigious international sprintcar racing event, which is simply known a s "The Classic" . The 29th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic will be staged at Premier Speedway, in Warrnambol, Victoria. Prior to the two-night affair at Warrnambol, Schatz will take Luch Monte's #17 to the Borderline Raceway clay on Thursday as the defending King's Challenge champ.