A Month to Remember: Schatz Caps off June with Win at Cedar Lake Speedway New Richmond, WI-- June 29, 2008-- Donny Schatz has had a lot of strong months during his career with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, but...
A Month to Remember: Schatz Caps off June with Win at Cedar Lake Speedway
New Richmond, WI-- June 29, 2008-- Donny Schatz has had a lot of strong months during his career with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, but never had he won more than five A-Feature events with the series during a single month. That all changed on Sunday night, as he picked up third consecutive win and sixth in the month of June, as he was victorious at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin to wrap up the month for the series.
The win was the first in Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series competition for Schatz at the high-banked 3/8-mile. He now has 79 career A-Feature victories with the series, including a series-best nine this season, and is just two wins out of the fifth spot on the all-time win list. He pocketed $10,000 on Sunday night, as he also extended his streak of being the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all 24 events this season.
"It was a good last week and a very good month," said Schatz, the two-time defending series champion. "I'm glad to put the Armor All machine in victory lane again tonight and cap off three in a row. We have things rolling so to speak. These guys are on top of their game and we are where we need to be at the right time. The hard part is trying to continue that."
The race began with Kerry Madsen taking the lead from Schatz who started on the pole, as the pair charged into the first turn. Madsen used the momentum he found on the high side of the speedway to quickly jump to a four- car length advantage. Also on the opening lap, Joey Saldana gained a spot and moved into third, with Steve Kinser and Jac Haudenschild just behind him battling for the fourth spot.
Madsen entered lapped traffic just four laps into the 30-lap event, with Schatz gaining ground as the pair negotiated the slower machines. While in heavy traffic on the seventh lap, Schatz looked high off the fourth turn for a way around Madsen and then dove to the low side of the second turn on the next lap. Madsen retained the lead for another lap, before Schatz powered his way to the lead exiting the third and fourth turns on the 10th laps, using the high side of the track.
"Kerry (Madsen) has been doing a very good job and he was setting a good pace," said the Schatz. "I didn't know what the race track was going to do. My car wasn't any good on the bottom and his car rolled around there. We had to play it cool. That is where all of these races are won and lost, in lapped traffic. You have to make the right decisions and I am glad that I made the right one and got around him. It's fun to race in lapped traffic. I feel like I have an advantage when I get to it, and can get my car to go wherever I need to go. It really helps me."
Once in the lead, Schatz quickly pulled away with Madsen keeping ground in second. At the same time, Steve Kinser and Joey Saldana were entrenched in an epic battle for the third spot. Kinser would take that position on the 18th lap. Jason Meyers who was running fourth gained some ground on the pair at this time as well.
As Schatz continued to slice through traffic in the Armor All J&J, the Top-Five began to get strung out a bit, before the first caution of the night flew on the 18th lap. The restart saw Schatz maintain his lead over Madsen, while Saldana again battled Kinser for the third spot. Just two laps after the restart, the leaders were in lapped traffic, with Madsen right on Schatz.
The caution flag flew once more on the 22nd lap, setting up a final eight lap shootout for the win. Schatz again used a strong restart to open about a four-car length lead over Madsen.
"I had a really good car on the restarts," noted the North Dakota native. "It would stick when the tires cooled down. You could feel the extra heat in the surface tonight. That caused everything to get hot, the rear end, the driveline, even the seat. I knew that as long as I kept the tires underneath me and kept them cool and didn't spin them that I was going to be in good shape."
With five laps remaining, as the leaders were yet again in heavy traffic, Madsen tried a slide job on Schatz in turns one and two and nearly took the lead, coming up just a couple feet short. He slipped up the track a little bit, allowing Kinser and Saldana to get around him. With two laps to go, Kinser tried everything he could to track down Schatz, but ran out of laps.
"Championships are won and lost on nights that you don't win on," shared Schatz. "We try to win everything. We are pushing for the tracks that we have not been good at it. I have started up front here in the past and given some races away and this kind of makes up for that tonight. Now we don't have to come back to Cedar Lake (Speedway) and say that we have never won an Outlaws race here."
Kinser who has five career wins with the World of Outlaws at Cedar Lake Speedway and has finished in the Top-10 in all but one of his 23 career starts at the track finished a very solid second on Sunday night. It was eighth Top-Five finish of the season, as he moved to within four points of the Top-Five in the championship standings aboard the Q Oil Maxim.
"We used the car that we ran well with in Pennsylvania here tonight," said Kinser, the 20-time series champion. "It's a car that I feel comfortable in. We just need to get a little more smoke in this thing, but the chassis was working pretty good tonight. We had a good night tonight. Whether we cured anything or not, I don't know. I have always felt good in this race car and hopefully we'll get going faster, because the big stuff is coming up."
Saldana earned the final podium position after battling Kinser for most of the 30-lap contest to finish third. For the second generation driver, it was 14th Top-Five finish of the season driving the Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI for Kasey Kahne Racing. He gained a spot late in the race as Madsen slipped high as he attempted to take the lead.
"It was a good solid run for us," said Saldana. "I thought on that restart the bottom was better than what it was and cost myself a spot. At the end, Kerry (Madsen) was working on Donny (Schatz) pretty good and Steve (Kinser) and I were able to get by him. At least we got that spot back. We're still struggling, but if we keep doing what we are doing, we are learning and getting better. If we can continue to run in the Top-Three hopefully we can get some more wins."
Madsen led the first nine laps of the event on Sunday night, as he was in contention for a win for the second consecutive race. He would wind up fourth to earn his second Top-Five finish of the season and his 15th Top-10, as he continues to close in on his first win of the season in the TK Concrete Maxim.
"We are happy to be running this well right now," said Madsen. "I zigged when I should have zagged. We had a shot and I didn't get the slide job cleared. I didn't catch the best breaks in traffic and didn't do what I should have and dropped a couple of spots. Overall it was a great night for us. The car worked excellent and the team worked great. If we can keep running like this, we'll get some wins for sure."
Jac Haudenschild was fifth in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim. Jason Meyers began the night by setting fast time in time trials and came home sixth in the A-Feature aboard the GLR Investments KPC. Brooke Tatnell was seventh in the Leading Edge Repair Maxim. Craig Dollansky came from the 17th starting spot to finish eighth in the Snap-on Tools/Auto Value Parts Stores Maxim, earning the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award in the process. Paul McMahan picked up his first Top-10 finish in just his second start behind the wheel of the Casey's General Stores Maxim for car owner Lonnie Parsons, as he finished ninth, after turning the second quickest lap in time trials. Chad Kemenah rounded out the Top-10 in the Kantor Oil Company Maxim.
Kinser started the A-Feature in third and lost that spot to Saldana on the opening lap, before battling him for the remainder of the race. The native of Bloomington, Indiana used strong restarts after both of the cautions to gain ground. He also picked a spot when Madsen slipped high up the track, though he was right on Madsen for a number of laps after the halfway point of the race.
"For the first 10 laps wherever you came off the second corner is where you were running, until the track slicked up a little bit," explained Kinser. "They it went back to the top. It got pretty racy over the lap few laps with the lapped cars in there. I would have liked to have had that all the way through the race. You never know though, it could have benefited us or hurt us. The main thing is that we got around there pretty good tonight."
While he was pleased with his third-place performance, Saldana wondered what might have been if the race had been longer. His car was handling very well in lapped traffic and he did not want to see the two cautions on Sunday night, especially not the one with just eight laps to go.
"You get going and get in lapped traffic and that can do a lot of things," he said. "If this had been 40 laps things probably would have gotten pretty interesting. It was 30 laps tonight and we'll take a third and go on to Huset's (Speedway)."
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action on Thursday, July 3 at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota.
CEDAR LAKE SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Meyers paced the 26 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval at 11.138 seconds at 121.207 mph. For his qualifying effort, Meyers earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Paul McMahan (4), Brooke Tatnell (3), Joey Saldana (2), and Terry McCarl (1).
* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Chad Kemenah, Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz won heat races... Donny Schatz won the Crane Cams Dash.... Jerry Richart Jr.won the B-Main.
* UP NEXT: The month of July opens with a return to Huset's Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota on July 3,
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Cedar Lake Speedway; New Richmond, WI; June 29, 2008
1) 14-Jason Meyers 11.138
2) 6-Paul McMahan 11.170
3) 34-Brooke Tatnell 11.183
4) 9-Joey Saldana 11.186
5) 24-Terry McCarl 11.200
6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 11.229
7) R19-Jac Haudenschild 11.231
8) 11-Steve Kinser 11.260
9) 15-Donny Schatz 11.261
10) 8K-Chad Kemenah 11.291
11) 55-Kerry Madsen 11.318
12) 83-Shane Stewart 11.336
13) 63-Jerry Richert Jr. 11.336
14) 21-Daryn Pittman 11.375
15) 5C-Chad Hillier 11.380
16) 56-Davey Heskin 11.391
17) 2-Craig Dollansky 11.398
18) 5-Danny Lasoski 11.398
19) 20-Kraig Kinser 11.465
20) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 11.552
21) 7S-Jason Sides 11.583
22) 17B-Bill Balog 11.626
23) 9K-Brent Kronfuss 11.711
24) 55K-Joseph Kouba 12.000
25) 29-Leigh Thomas 12.001
26) 3TK-Tony Kaus 12.816
Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 8K-Chad Kemenah
2) R19-Jac Haudenschild
3) 14-Jason Meyers
4) 9-Joey Saldana
5) 20-Kraig Kinser
6) 17B-Bill Balog
7) 63-Jerry Richert Jr.
8) 29-Leigh Thomas
9) 56-Davey Heskin
Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 11-Steve Kinser
2) 55-Kerry Madsen
3) 6-Paul McMahan
4) 2-Craig Dollansky
5) 24-Terry McCarl
6) 21-Daryn Pittman
7) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
8) 9K-Brent Kronfuss
9) 3TK-Tony Kaus
Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 15-Donny Schatz
2) 83-Shane Stewart
3) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
4) 34-Brooke Tatnell
5) 5C-Chad Hillier
6) 5-Danny Lasoski
7) 7S-Jason Sides
8) 55K-Joseph Kouba
Crane Cams Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting
positions of A-feature)
1) 15-Donny Schatz
2) 55-Kerry Madsen
3) 11-Steve Kinser
4) 9-Joey Saldana
5) 14-Jason Meyers
6) R19-Jac Haudenschild
7) 6-Paul McMahan
8) 34-Brooke Tatnell
9) 8K-Chad Kemenah
10) 83-Shane Stewart
B-main (8 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 63-Jerry Richert Jr.
2) 7S-Jason Sides
3) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
4) 56-Davey Heskin
5) 9K-Brent Kronfuss
6) 29-Leigh Thomas
7) 3TK-Tony Kaus [$200]
8) 55K-Joseph Kouba [$180]
A-main (30 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 15-Donny Schatz [$10,000]
2) 11-Steve Kinser [$5,500]
3) 9-Joey Saldana [$3,200]
4) 55-Kerry Madsen [$2,800]
5) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$2,500]
6) 14-Jason Meyers [$2,300]
7) 34-Brooke Tatnell [$2,200]
8) 2-Craig Dollansky [$2,100]
9) 6-Paul McMahan [$2,050]
10) 8K-Chad Kemenah [$2,000]
11) 21-Daryn Pittman [$1,500]
12) 20-Kraig Kinser [$1,200]
13) 5-Danny Lasoski [$1,100]
14) 24-Terry McCarl [$1,050]
15) 56-Davey Heskin [$1,000]
16) 7S-Jason Sides [$900]
17) 5C-Chad Hillier [$800]
18) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. [$800]
19) 17B-Bill Balog [$800]
20) 9K-Brent Kronfuss [$800]
21) 63-Jerry Richert Jr. [$800]
22) 29-Leigh Thomas [$800]
23) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$800]
24) 83-Shane Stewart [$800]
Lap Leaders: Kerry Madsen 1-9, Donny Schatz 10-30
Chicken Hawk Hot Lap Award: Kerry Madsen
Penske Power Position Award: Joey Saldana
SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Joey Saldana
KSE Hard Charger Award: Craig Dollansky