Schatz breaks through in Fargo to claim popular hometown win. FARGO, ND - When Donny Schatz was growing up the highlight every summer was going to see the Pennzoil World of Outlaws at Red River Valley Speedway. On Saturday night, the Fargo, ND,...
Schatz breaks through in Fargo to claim popular hometown win.
FARGO, ND - When Donny Schatz was growing up the highlight every summer was going to see the Pennzoil World of Outlaws at Red River Valley Speedway. On Saturday night, the Fargo, ND, resident gave the biased crowd of 8000 fans something to remember by racing his #15 ParkerStores J&J to victory lane in the Duel in the Dakotas finale. The $20,000 win was his first career WoO "A" feature at Red River Valley and also his first of the 2002 season.
"This is unbelievable, my first win at home," said Schatz, who moved up to sixth in the WoO points with the win. "You couldn't repeat this feeling if you wanted to. This is probably the biggest win of my career, and I can't thank my parents enough for helping me get here. I know I'm probably one of the happiest people here, but they might be even happier."
After six years of trying to defeat the Outlaws on his old turf, Schatz finally won a WoO feature where he learned his trade. It wasn't easy as he battled through several mechanical gremlins during the three race program.
"My hat goes off to everyone on this ParkerStore crew," continued Schatz. "For some reason, every time we come up here to race crazy stuff happens. We had some problems with our driveline and rearend, but my guys worked their tails off to give me a chance at this deal. The J&J car was simply awesome and Ronnie Shaver built us a great motor. I still can't believe it."
Schatz started fourth in the 30-lap feature and passed Craig Dollanksy for second with a slide job heading into turn two on the fourth circuit. Six laps later he caught race leader Joey Saldana and took the lead with a high move around the outside in turns one and two, which brought the crowd to their feet. Once in the lead, Schatz ran away from the field by slicing and dicing through lapped traffic. A caution with eight laps remaining took Schatz out of lapped traffic, and during the final eight laps he ran a smooth line down low in turns one and two and on the cushion through three and four to claim the win.
The race was taped by Speedvision and will air on Thursday, July 25 at 11 PM (et).
"We've had a tough first half of the year, but this is the time to start running well," said Schatz, as the Outlaws close in the "Month of Money". "Winning the first one of year is always the hardest, so now that we've got that behind us hopefully, we can put a string of them together."
The ParkerStore team will continue their busy schedule with a race on Monday night at Cedar Lake Speedway in Somerset, WI.