Indianapolis, IN- Donny Schatz and Tyler Walker competed in a challenging race weekend at the Kroger Pavement/ Dirt Showdown presented by the Dellen Automotive Family in Indianapolis. For the first time in USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series ...
Indianapolis, IN- Donny Schatz and Tyler Walker competed in a challenging race weekend at the Kroger Pavement/ Dirt Showdown presented by the Dellen Automotive Family in Indianapolis. For the first time in USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series history, drivers raced back-to-back nights at Indianapolis Raceway Park (pavement) and the Indiana State Fairgrounds (dirt).
HOOSIER TWIN 50's
Both drivers performed well against USAC's best Thursday night at IRP. Walker started on the outside front row, as the green flag dropped, the driver of the Curb Records sponsored #35 took the top position from Dave Steele. Walker held the lead for 23 laps before Steele regained the lead passing Walker in heavy lap traffic. Walker eventually finished 9th.
"We got on the front row, which is a feat in itself for the second race out with this team and these new cars," said Walker. "I think we had a bit of an oil problem that was getting on the tires and making me loose. We have to fix that and we will be right there."
"We did not end up where we wanted to be, but we learned a lot," said Walker. "If we keep getting better and better, pretty soon I think they will be following us a lot more."
Rookie of the year contender Schatz for the second consecutive race, finished in the top 20. Donny drove the Parker Stores sponsored #115 from 28th at the 50 lap break to finish 19th.
"The car was loose in the first 50 laps, but Jack French made adjustments at the break and I had a better handle on the car in the second 50 laps," said Schatz. "The best way for me to learn about the Silver Crown car is to put laps together like we did tonight. It would be great if we could hop in and put wins together like we do in our Parker Stores World of Outlaws car. But when I look at the number of USAC champions in the field tonight and realize that they have driven these cars a lot longer than I, I have to understand that there is a learning curve there."
Schatz and Walker qualified strong, driving their J&J's to 16th and 2nd respectively. Walker's 2nd quick time was the best qualifying position on pavement in the history of R.E. Technologies Racing.
The R.E. Technologies Racing team's luck ran out Friday night at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Trouble started before the race got under way when Schatz's #115 "Spirit of Knoxville's" throttle stuck on the backstretch during practice.
"Something caused the throttle to stick. When I realized what was going on, I clamped down on the brakes and tried to spin it around so it backed into the wall instead of hitting the wall head on," explained Schatz. "I did not expect it to catch and flip, but it did and flipped hard. I'm ok, just a little sore."
The impact bent the chassis, eliminating Schatz from the rest of the night's competition. "I feel bad for the crew, all the hard work on this brand new car. I was looking forward to having fun on the mile. This was not my first crash and it will probably not be my last either. Just one of those deals."
The night started out a little better for Walker after qualifying 21st. When the green flag dropped, Walker raced through the field passing cars and avoiding wrecks in front of him. Tyler was in 12th place on lap 75 when motor problems developed.
"We had a burned piston, it's just one of those things that happens," Walker said. "The car felt wonderful once again and I was getting more and more comfortable there adapting to the car. I had a lot to learn with the big long heavy car."
"I am really trying to focus on these points," Walker added. We are going to go on to the next one and keep plugging away with our eyes on the championship." Tyler Walker is now 11th in driver points, while Donny Schatz sits 26th.
JACK FRENCH WINS "LITTLE 500" AGAIN
Jack French, Donny Schatz's Crew Chief, won his fourth "Little 500" Saturday night in Anderson, Indiana. Eric Gordon piloted Jack's J&J built sprint car to collect $36,180. The win was Gordon's record-tying fifth "Little 500" win.
The R.E. Technologies Racing team will travel on June 14 to the Terre Haute Action Track for the Sumar Classic 100 presented by Terre Haute First Bank. Tyler Walker says he is looking forward to another run on dirt. "It is a nice and flat half mile and should have a good cushion on it." The team started on the outside front row of last year's event, finishing 11th.
R.E. TECHNOLOGIES RACING ON TV
The Hoosier Hundred will be broadcast on Speed Channel, June 12 at 9pm EST.