SARVER, PA - Having momentum can be a valuable asset on the grueling Pennzoil World of Outlaws tour. Donny Schatz and his ParkerStores team have been one of the hottest teams in the Outlaw series recently, and they are hoping that continues on ...
SARVER, PA - Having momentum can be a valuable asset on the grueling Pennzoil World of Outlaws tour. Donny Schatz and his ParkerStores team have been one of the hottest teams in the Outlaw series recently, and they are hoping that continues on Friday at Lernerville Speedway at the Commonwealth Clash.
"We've been running real well here lately," said Schatz, who has jumped to seventh in the WoO standings following eight top ten finishes in the last nine races, including three victories. "This is the first time since I started with the Outlaws in 1997 that we've been consistently up front for this long of stretch. It feels really good and I'm thankful that I've got Kenny Woodruff as my crew chief. We've been working really well together and it's showing on the track."
The team started the season with some inconsistency, but lately they've been a player in most events. Two weeks ago, Schatz dominated the preliminary program at Williams Grove Speedway and was ready to lead the field to the green flag the following night from the pole position before rain stopped the event. Last weekend, Schatz qualified his #15 J&J first and second at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and in Saturday's 40-lap "A" Feature, he charged from 10th to third. On Monday at Lebanon Valley Speedway in W. Lebanon, New York, Schatz led every lap he raced as "the Minot Missile" claimed his seventh career WoO "A" Feature.
"I really wanted to string together a few wins," said Schatz. "We ran 10th at Rolling Wheels on Wednesday, and I feel like we could have won it too. The track was really slick, and KW devised a plan. We moved forward in the Dash when no one else was really passing anyone. I out thought myself about how I wanted the car for the feature, and it was just kind of a hang on deal. I'm really getting used to the equipment we're using and am feeling good about it. Ron Shaver has been building us some strong motors, and I'm really happy with the way our J&J cars have been rolling around the track."
Schatz has competed in nine WoO events at Lernerville. After struggling during his first two seasons at the high-banked 1/2-mile oval, he began to find the fast way around track in 1999. In the May event, he qualified fifth and raced from seventh to third in the 35-lap race. In the Eighth Annual Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup later that season, Schatz started the "A" Feature third and took the lead on the 12th lap before surrendering the lead with a cut tire. Last September, he raced at the track with Kenny Woodruff for the first time and qualified second. He finished eighth in the feature for only his second top ten finish at Lernerville.
"I've had some great chances to win at Lernerville before," said Schatz. "If you look at the tracks where I've won an Outlaw race (including three preliminary victories), you'll see that for the most part I've been good there in the past and just happened to put it all together one night. Williams Grove is the only exception, and Kenny has been a real key to my success there. You've got to be able to run up front to win and right now we've been up front a lot. Were hoping that continues and we can make Lernerville the ninth different track where I've won an Outlaw race."
Schatz and the ParkerStorers team will be join the rest of the Outlaws in Friday's race which will air live on TNN: The National Network at 9 PM (et).