SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM EYE RETURN TO "BIG E" FARGO, ND (April 11)- The high banks of Eldora Speedway will welcome defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and his ParkerStore sponsored race team this weekend. Schatz, who finished...
SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM EYE RETURN TO "BIG E"
FARGO, ND (April 11)- The high banks of Eldora Speedway will welcome defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and his ParkerStore sponsored race team this weekend. Schatz, who finished second at the track in his last two visits, is excited to return to the legendary high-mile dirt oval for two nights of racing.
"I'm really looking forward to racing some more as our schedule picks up the next few weeks, but more excited that we're heading to Eldora," commented Schatz, who will race his familiar No. 15 ParkerStore sponsored J&J with Shaver power. "It's is one of those places where we haven't been real stellar in the past, but during the last couple of races there last year we had real good finishes. Just one spot short both times. I think we may have finally got things figured out there. It's been quite a challenge for us to get to that point."
Even though the Fargo, ND racer admits to having a tough time figuring out the track, he's been a consistent top ten finisher at the track dating back to his first King's Royal in 1996 when he came home eighth on national television as an 18 year-old.
Schatz does have a pair of victories on his resume at the track, but neither will show up as an Outlaw "A" feature victory. In August 2002, he put on a dominant performance during the 40-lap Historical Big One picking up the $100,000 first prize, and then in his next visit he won a WoO preliminary feature in April 2003.
Since the 2005 season, he has 10 top ten finishes in 12 starts and five of six finishes last year were second or third.
That consistency has carried over to the 2007 campaign, where Schatz has finished in the top six 11 times in 12 starts. He has three victories and nine top three finishes leaving him just 12 points behind points leader Joey Saldana.
Saturday's race at the track has added appeal as it will be the first televised WoO race of 2007. The program will be taped by SPEED and air on Sunday, May 13th at 2 p.m. Schatz is looking forward to the new television opportunities and getting started this weekend.
"We can't wait to begin this season's television package," said Schatz. "SPEED and ESPN2 have given us an opportunity to showcase some of the best racing in the business and to provide great exposure for our marketing partners like ParkerStore. The schedule includes races at some of the most exciting tracks in the country, and these networks offer some of the best motorsports programming available so being included in that should only help attract new fans and help the sport."
Mother Nature slowed the team down last weekend, when cold weather forced the cancellation of Saturday's race at Pevely, MO. Eldora has been unsuccessful in getting either of their first two events in, where they had hoped to see how the track would respond with some newly added dirt.
"If you look at Eldora's races in April these past ten years, we haven't always gotten both nights in," continued Schatz. "We've had snowouts and rainouts stop shows in the past. With this being our first TV race, we're hoping the weather warms up so we can work in the track enough to have a surface that offers plenty of passing and action in order to put on a good show. A first impression is a lasting one."
"I know Tony (Stewart), Larry (Kemp) and all the people at Eldora will do their best to make that happen."