SCHATZ AIMS TO CAPTURE FIRST EAGLE NATIONALS FARGO, ND (June 7) - The list of accomplishments for defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz gets longer each year he competes with "the Greatest Show on Dirt". Last season, he was finally...
SCHATZ AIMS TO CAPTURE FIRST EAGLE NATIONALS
FARGO, ND (June 7) - The list of accomplishments for defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz gets longer each year he competes with "the Greatest Show on Dirt". Last season, he was finally able to win the coveted Knoxville Nationals and added the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. This year there a couple more races he'd like to add including Saturday night's 25th annual Eagle Nationals.
Schatz will pilot a special schemed Snap-on Tools red and black No. 15 J&J with Shaver power at Eagle Raceway hoping to better his finishing position from last summer's event when he came home second.
"Ever since the fall of 2002, Eagle has been a really good place for me," said Schatz, who has won three of the last four September WoO "A" feature events at the track. "We had a good run going last June and made a mistake and finished second the first night and just got beat the second night. I guess we made up for it in September when we raced from 15th to first. This is our only shot at Eagle this year, so we'll have to do it Saturday."
This season, the Fargo, ND racer has continued the torrid pace he set last year en route to winning his first WoO championship. He leads the series standings by 64 points over Joey Saldana, and has won a series leading seven races. His statistics include 26 top ten finishes in the first 29 races of 2007 and 18 of those have been top three finishes.
"Once you reach a certain level, you really aren't satisfied with anything but winning," continued Schatz, who has 59 career "A" WoO feature wins. "We don't worry about the standings after each race. We worry about wins. I said it last year and I really believe that the guy that wins the most races is the guy to beat at the end of the year. We try to go out and win every night and that's all we worry about."
Winning Saturday would make a number of the fans planning on attending happy. Not only does Schatz have family relatives in the area, but more than 275 of his closest Snap-on Tools friends will be in the grandstands. Schatz Motorsports and Snap-on Tools began a relationship this season and it includes racing a unique red and black Snap-on branded sprint car.
Saturday's race will be the third of ten nights the car will be in action this season. Schatz is hoping for a repeat performance of the car's debut in Knoxville when he won the feature event on April 28.
"It's exciting to be involved with a marketing partner like Snap-on," continued Schatz, who will be making his 30th WoO start at Eagle Saturday. "They are a great group of people and we've been long users of their product. They have by far the best tools out there and when you see a group of people come out to support the program like they have, it's pretty special. We're going to do our best to get them another win and hope they have a great time seeing the race."
Schatz is coming off a runner-up finish on Tuesday night at Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, IN. Last year, Schatz was incredibly consistent and scored ten of his 19 wins in the races that followed a second place finish.
Before Tuesday night, he had three second place finishes to date this year. Twice he has finished third in the next race and following the third time he finished second (May 23 - Grandview Speedway), the 29 year-old raced to victory in Charlotte.
'Our short track program continues to get better," said Schatz, who has one short track victory this season (Houston - March). "We were pretty good at Kokomo and before that had a good night at Grandview. We've made a lot of laps at Eagle, so we've got a pretty good idea on where to begin with the car. The key is to have the car so that we are good enough at the end of the night to fight for another win."
Following Saturday's program in Nebraska, the team will return to Fargo for a couple of days in the shop. The team will also make an appearance on Tuesday at 1st International Bank & Trust from 4 - 7 p.m. (4501 40th Ave. S., Fargo).
The next race is on Thursday in Pontoon Beach, IL just a few miles east of St. Louis. The event at Tri-City Speedway was originally scheduled for May 4th and marks the debut of the Outlaws at the track in its reconfigured 3/8-mile shape. The track used to be a long and fast half-mile oval.
Two nights later, Schatz will return to Knoxville Raceway where currently holds a three-race winning streak. It started with last year's Knoxville Nationals in August and was followed by a victory during a rescheduled WoO event on October 7. He continued the streak on April 28th when Schatz debuted the Snap-on schemed No. 15 J&J with a win.