SCHATZ CLAIMS SECOND WOO CROWN; FOCUS NOW TURNS TO AUSTRALIA FARGO, N.D. (November 8) - In the heart of motorsports country, Donny Schatz and his Schatz Motorsports team were crowned champions for the 2007 World of Outlaws season this past ...
SCHATZ CLAIMS SECOND WOO CROWN; FOCUS NOW TURNS TO AUSTRALIA
FARGO, N.D. (November 8) - In the heart of motorsports country, Donny Schatz and his Schatz Motorsports team were crowned champions for the 2007 World of Outlaws season this past Monday night. The 2007 banquet was hosted at the Hilton University Plaza in Charlotte where more than 400 people gathered for the festivities as Schatz collected his consecutive WoO crown.
"There are so many people to thank on a night like this," said Schatz, to those in attendance Monday night. "It starts with people like the late-Ted Johnson who built this series from scratch 29 years ago. Racers like Steve Kinser, who is the greatest sprint car driver ever, promoters like John Padjen, who keep giving us great races to compete in, and the World Racing Group for keeping us headed in the right direction."
"My parents helped me live a dream. My crew...Shane Bowers, you're like a brother to me, Dave Lawrence, you did an incredible job this year, Ricky Warner, we're glad to have you back on our side. Bill Klingbeil, you do all the things to make our corporate partners like Parker get every bit of exposure we can. I have to thank all the people from Parker for coming tonight. There's no way I could be standing here without the support you guys have given me since 1999, and I'm excited that we'll be able to continue the relationship next year."
The evening capped off a career season for the Fargo, N.D. resident. He raced his Global ParkerStore sponsored No. 15 J&J with Shaver-built Chevrolet power to win the championship by 146 points over Joey Saldana. The storybook season included 71 Top-10 finishes in 75 A-Feature events. He led the series in nearly every category including feature wins (19), laps led (467), Top-5 finishes (53) and Crane Cams Dash wins (12).
Consistency was the theme all season as he started 2007 with an opening night victory at Volusia Speedway Park and finished the season with 21 consecutive Top-10 finishes. Schatz also made history by becoming the first driver to win five of the major races in the same season. He won all four "Month of Money" events (the Kings Royal, Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, Williams Grove Summer Nationals and the Knoxville Nationals) in a four-week stretch in July and August and added his fourth Williams Grove National Open in late September, which kicked off a three-race winning streak that cemented his hold on the 2007 championship standings.
"We had a great year," continued Schatz. "This championship is special in a different way. When you do something once then the focus becomes doing it again. We were determined to try and surpass some of the things we did last year and we were able to. Each championship is special because the paths you took to win each was different. This year we won more races and won five of the biggest races so that makes this championship season unique.
"The other thing that makes this special is that we won this second championship with my family team, and we know next year things will be different with me driving for Tony Stewart Racing. My parents have given me a great opportunity and there's no way I could have reached this level without their commitment."
NO TIME OFF
Schatz, fresh off his championship, left Charlotte on Tuesday headed for his next race in Australia. He'll be behind the wheel of a sprint car on Friday night in Kwinana Beach, Western Australia. It's the first round of action for the World Series Sprint Cars, and he'll once again be behind the wheel of the Rush Racing No. 15 J&J with Shaver-built Chevrolet power. Schatz is scheduled to compete in the first four WSS races: Perth (11/9 - 10), Kalgoorlie (11/14) and Adelaide (11/17).
"It's probably asking a lot to get on a plane and fly to the other side of the world," admitted Schatz prior to his 17-hour journey to Australia's West Coast from Charlotte. "We really enjoy racing in Perth and most of the time our focus is on racing in Sydney at Parramatta City Raceway. We went over there last year and came up a spot short so we're looking forward to it."
Four times in the past, the Perth Motorsplex has hosted WSS events, and Schatz has won two of them. He won the opening round of the WSS at the track in 2001 and also the third round that year. He's been the fastest qualifier in three of the four events at the track.
"I enjoy Perth a lot," continued Schatz. "We have a great Shaver-built Chevrolet engine package with our J&J cars and an awesome shock combination that I can't wait to try out on that place. I'm also looking forward to working with the Rush Racing team again. Dwayne Lawrence came over and helped my Outlaws team for three weeks this summer. He was with us when we won the Kings Royal, Silver Cup and Summer Nationals, so it will be good to work with him again."
Schatz will be up against a star-studded field that includes 2007 Australian champion Brooke Tatnell, 2006-07 WSS champion Max Dumnesy, 2007 WoO Rookie of the Year Kerry Madsen, fellow American racers Jason Johnson and Mark Dobmeier and a host of other Australian racers.
"We race the best night in and night out with the Outlaws," explained Schatz, who won 38 World of Outlaws feature events during the past two years and 15 sprint car features in Austraila during his last two visits. "We set our sights on the win, regardless of who is there."
This is the first of two visits to Australia for Schatz. He will return to North Dakota on November 18. In late December, he'll return to Sydney for his annual assault on Parramatta City Raceway. He is scheduled to drive the Rush Racing No. 15 in eight races including the $50,000 Sprint Car International, which he has won four times including the last two, and the Outlaws Down Under event, where he is the two-time defending champ.
DONNY SCHATZ - 2007/08 Australia Racing Schedule
Friday, November 9 - Perth Motorplex - Kwinana Beach, WA World Series Sprint Cars Round 1
Saturday, November 10 - Perth Motorplex - Kwinana Beach, WA World Series Sprint Cars Round 2
Wednesday, November 14 - Kalgoorlie Raceway - Kalgoorlie, WA World Series Sprint Cars Round 3
Saturday, November 17 - Speedway City - Virginia, SA World Series Sprint Cars Round 4
Saturday, December 29 Sprintcar International - Track Championship Round 10
Tuesday, January 1 - Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW Sprintcar International - Track Championship Round 11
Friday, January 4 - Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW $50,000 To Win Sprintcar International Night 1
Saturday, January 5 - Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW $50,000 To Win Sprintcar International Night 2
Saturday, January 12 - Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW Sprintcar Track Championship Round 13
Thursday, January 17 - Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW Outlaws Down Under V - Night 1
Friday, January 18 Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW Outlaws Down Under V - Night 2
Saturday, January 19 Parramatta City Raceway - Sydney, NSW Outlaws Down Under V - Night 3