Donny Schatz Turns In All-Star Performance at Volusia Speedway Park Barberville, FL -- Feb. 8, 2006 -- In the final event before launching the 2006 World of Outlaws Sprint Series season, Donny Schatz picked up where he left off in Australia and...
Donny Schatz Turns In All-Star Performance at Volusia Speedway Park
Barberville, FL -- Feb. 8, 2006 -- In the final event before launching the 2006 World of Outlaws Sprint Series season, Donny Schatz picked up where he left off in Australia and powered his way to Victory Lane Wednesday night in an All Star Circuit of Champions feature during Volusia Speedway Park's 35th Annual Winternationals.
Leader Chad Kemenah, a four-time All Star champion who has joined the World of Outlaws Mean 15 for 2006, was locked into the bottom groove as Schatz worked high and low to close the gap. With four laps to go, Schatz swept through the top in Turns 3 and 4 and slid in front as Kemenah quickly cut in behind him.
McCarl started third and held his ground as fellow Mean 15 racers Brooke Tatnell and Craig Dollansky rounded out the top five.
"We want to win," said Schatz, who picked up eight victories while racing in Australia this winter. "We definitely have all the pieces to the puzzle. Rick has worked awful hard this winter and I've stayed in the car. To be able to come off of the way we were running in Australia and come home and pick one off in Florida right away in an All Star show is great. Hopefully we carry the momentum through the year. We're pretty pumped up. We wish we could race every night. We're going to keep digging and hopefully win a lot of races."
For Kemenah, it was a final positive test before the points count in his first season chasing the World of Outlaws championship.
"He's a heck of a racer," Schatz said. "It's a pleasure to race with Chad. He's always raced me clean as well as everybody else. We both have the lucky numbers on our cars (Schatz's No. 15, Kemenah's No. 15K). He was probably better in open track but we got the job done in traffic. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of that throughout the year. He's a big asset to the World of Outlaws and we're glad to have him on board. Hopefully we can have a lot of races like that throughout the year."
After holding off Schatz for most of the 25-lap event, Kemenah finally had to give way when a couple of lapped cars were running his same line.
"Sometimes leading isn't the best spot," said Kemenah, of Findlay, Ohio. "When you're running second you can kind of watch what somebody's doing. But that's OK. We're running well in Florida right now so we'll take it and move on."
McCarl also is continuing his successful winter after posting two victories last week at East Bay Raceway Park.
"It was kind of a cat-and-mouse game," said McCarl, of Altoona, Iowa. "We got good in the middle of the race. I was bad on the restarts but after two laps into it I got really good but they already got away from me. We would run them down a bit. It wasn't too bad of a finish for us. We've been testing [Tuesday] night and [Wednesday] night. We had our Outlaws setup on trying to get better for the next couple of nights. That's what really means something to us.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series waves the green flag on its 29th season Thursday at Volusia Speedway Park following a media conference at 3 p.m. and autograph party for fans at 4:30 p.m. The World of Outlaws will return on Friday for another run at Volusia's high-speed half-mile oval following the inaugural Mean 15 Kart Clash at 2 p.m., when fans are encouraged to come out to Volusia's kart track and mingle with the racers and get autographs and pictures.