Schatz, Parkerstore Team Shooting For King's Royal Victory FARGO, ND - During the past five years, Donny Schatz has had a knack for winning his share of big money races. Whether it was in the fall of 2000 when he claimed his first ever win at ...
Schatz, Parkerstore Team Shooting For King's Royal Victory
FARGO, ND - During the past five years, Donny Schatz has had a knack for winning his share of big money races. Whether it was in the fall of 2000 when he claimed his first ever win at Williams Grove Speedway by taking the National Open or in August of 2002 when he won his first race at Eldora Speedway, which just happened to be the $100,000-to-win Historical Big One, Schatz always seems to be at his best when the stakes are the highest.
Schatz and his ParkerStore Team will begin the World of Outlaws Sprint Series richest month of racing on Friday night with the Eldora Clash at Eldora Speedway. Saturday's 40-lap King's Royal on the high-speed half-mile will pay $50,000 to the winner and the Fargo, ND driver is poised to stake his claim on another big payday.
"This is the time to be at your best and I honestly feel like we're heading in the right direction," said Schatz, who ranks third in the WoO standings while having one of his most consistent seasons on the Outlaw tour. "I said last week that I felt like the Fargo races were going to be a turning point. It didn't look like it after the first two nights, but in the 11 laps we raced before the rain came on Saturday, I think we found something."
Schatz finished that race with a fourth place finish as Mother Nature washed out the final 19 laps at Red River Valley Speedway, where Schatz spent many Saturday nights as a teenager learning his craft. The #15 ParkerStore J&J was on the move and the 26 year-old Fargo, ND driver has carried that momentum with him this week. He passed 17 cars on Monday night at Cedar Lake Speedway to finish third and on Wednesday night, he scored a second place finish at Hartford Speedway Park in Michigan.
"I like the progression of our finishes and hope this weekend we end up with a pair of firsts," continued Schatz, who has two career wins at Eldora Speedway. "Anything can happen when these big races arrive. The most important thing is to be heading in the right direction. We've been fortunate to have a lot of success during the "Month of Money" the past few years and we'd like that to continue."
ParkerStore Crew Chief Tyler Swank and Crewman Brian Bloomfield and John Cressman have put a fast racecar under Schatz this past week and Swank knows how running up front can impact the entire team.
"I know that I'm working for the best sprint car driver in the world," said Swank, who spent the entire 2003 season with Schatz. "No disrespect to Steve Kinser or the other guys out here, but Donny can win any race we start. He really steps it up when the big races come around and we're getting better and better at communicating with one another."
Swank and Schatz won together at Eldora in April of 2003 and each have another Eldora victory on their resume`. Swank won as a crewmember for the Cormack Racing team in 2000 and Schatz won the HBO in 2002 aboard his #15 ParkerStore J&J.
Schatz scored his best finish in the King's Royal in 2002 when he charged from 21st to finish fourth. He has made all eight King's Royal "A" feature events since 1996 when he came home eighth as an 18 year-old rookie.
"We haven't faired as well as I would like at the King's Royal, but I'm hoping that changes this year," continued Schatz. "Since the Big One is now a thing of the past, we have to get as much money from Earl (Baltes) as we can this weekend."
The event will be broadcasted live on the Sprintcar Network (www.sprintcarnet.com). Keep up with all of the latest news on Donny Schatz by logging onto www.donnyschatz.com and www.parker.com/racing.