Australia news 2006-12-31

Schatz Wins Thriller in Australia Concord, NC--Dec. 31, 2006 -- Last week upon his arrival in Australia, reigning World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz said it would be very tough to match the success he had Down Under last year. He won eight...

Schatz Wins Thriller in Australia

Concord, NC--Dec. 31, 2006 -- Last week upon his arrival in Australia, reigning World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz said it would be very tough to match the success he had Down Under last year. He won eight of the first nine races at Parramatta City Raceway (PCR), including seven in a row at one point. After another strong showing on Saturday night, he is well on his way to another solid stint in Australia.

Schatz, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, aboard the Pick N Payless J&J for Gary Rush Racing, continued his prowess at Parramatta City Raceway in the Kasey Kahne International Sprintcar event, as he scored his second straight win against an extremely stout field of competitors, including 20-time World of Outlaws Champion Steve Kinser, NASCAR star and World of Outlaws team owner Kasey Kahne, and 1996 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Joey Saldana.

With 66 cars signed in, Schatz turned the fastest lap in time trials, stopping the clocks at 11.816 seconds. Kahne timed in third, with Kinser, who calls Bloomington, Indiana home, just behind him in fourth.

In preliminary action leading up the 30-lap Feature, Schatz started sixth in the first heat and worked his way up to third at the finish to qualify for the first dash. In the third heat, Kahne lined up sixth and finished third, to earn a spot in the second dash. In the fourth and final heat, Saldana lined up on the poll and picked up the win, with Kinser finishing a very strong second after starting sixth and charging to the front. Both earned spots in the first dash, which determined the inside starting positions for the first six rows of the main event.

Schatz earned the poll position for the Feature by winning the first dash, after starting on the outside of the front row, with Kinser finishing third and Saldana fourth. Kahne thrilled the crowd in the second dash taking the win after lining up second.

When the 24-car Main Event rolled out, it was Schatz on the poll, with Kahne alongside him. Kinser lined up on the inside of the third row, with Saldana on the inside of row four.

Kahne took the initial lead, and led the early part of the race before Schatz shot around him. Kinser then took the lead as the pair battled side-by-side for countless laps, keeping the crowd on their feet. A late caution bunched the field up and Schatz used a strong restart to hold onto the lead and take the win, edging Kinser for his second straight win at PCR, with Kahne finishing in third.

Saldana saw a very solid night come to an end after he ran over some debris on the track, which ruptured his oil tank, relegating the native of Brownsburg, Indiana who drives for Kahne to a 19th-place showing.

Schatz, Kinser, Kahne, and Saldana will again be in action at Parramatta City Raceway on Monday to ring in the New Year.

The 2007 World of Outlaws season opens on February 9 at Volusia Speedway Park with the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speed Shop.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Joey Saldana