WSS: Donny Schatz final two rounds preview

Door still "slightly open" for Schatz in World Series Sprintcars title chase S. GRAFTON, NSW (January 15) - When Donny Schatz arrived in Australia two months ago, there was a bullseye squarely on his back. Word was out that the Monte Motorsports...

Door still "slightly open" for Schatz in World Series Sprintcars title chase

S. GRAFTON, NSW (January 15) - When Donny Schatz arrived in Australia two months ago, there was a bullseye squarely on his back. Word was out that the Monte Motorsports Team put together a racing program with one goal in mind: Winning the World Series Sprintcar Series title with Donny Schatz.

After 13 rounds of WSS action, Schatz and the Monte Motorsports aren't on top of the point standings, but they still have a chance to claim the title heading into the final two events. The championship will be settled on the track on Wednesday (Jan. 16) at Lismore Speedway and Saturday at Newcastle Speedway.

"Our goal from the start was to win the World Series title," said Schatz, who finished second in his first WSS campaign in 1999-2000. "We put ourselves in a hole early and have been climbing up hill ever since. It's money time this week, and all I can do is try to win two more races and let the chips fall where they may."

The "Minot Missile" began the 15th World Series by dominating the opening event at Quit Motorplex in Kwinana, Western Australia in the #15 Monte Motorsports/./ J&J. A motor malfunction in the second event cost Schatz 854 points to WSS point leader Max Dumesny, and he has been chasing him ever since.

Even though Schatz won four of the first six rounds, he still trailed the consistent Dumesny by just over 1000 points. Trouble during Rounds 7, 8 and 9 gave Dumesny a cushion of 1993 points with only six rounds remaining.

If Schatz can claim the WSS crown, the turning point may have come on New Year's Day at Premier Speedway, the track where Schatz won Australia's biggest sprint car race last January. He finished second while Dumesny scored a 13th place finish.

"We struggled with some mechanical problems and that really let Max get away from us," said Schatz. "We've only finished outside the top five four times and that's when Max seemed to do really well. All the guys on this team continued to work hard and we found some things that got us going better."

Following consecutive second place finishes in WSS action, Schatz claimed the non-sanctioned Parts Plus 50,000 Summer Slam, which really boosted the confidence of Schatz and the team.

"After we got down so many points, we all said 'hey let's go win as much money as we can from here on out'," continued Schatz. "We've been running really strong these past two weeks and I hope it continues."

Heading into the final two rounds, Schatz trails Dumesny by 426 points meaning he needs to make up more than 215 points on him each night to claim the title. In three of his victories, Schatz and Dumesny finished first and second and in those events he picked up an average of 183 points.

"All we wanted was a chance in the final week," concluded Schatz. "It's going to be tough. Even if we win both and he finishes second, then we still won't win the title. All I can do is do try my hardest and hope it all works out."

- www.donnyschatz.com

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Series Sprint
Drivers Donny Schatz