SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM DOMINATE 24TH KINGS ROYAL ROSSBURG, OH (July 14) - Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz was in a class of his own during Saturday's running of the 24th annual Kings Royal by Crown Royal at Tony Stewart's...
SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM DOMINATE 24TH KINGS ROYAL
ROSSBURG, OH (July 14) - Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz was in a class of his own during Saturday's running of the 24th annual Kings Royal by Crown Royal at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway. The ParkerStore sponsored No. 15 J&J with Shaver power was dominant in the 40-lap event as Schatz won by 7.8 seconds to collect the $50,000 prize.
"We want to win everything, and this feels awesome," said Schatz, following his first career Kings Royal win. "It's the Kings Royal. The one race that we hadn't been able to figure out, but tonight we got the job done. No one said winning $50,000 was supposed to be easy and it took us a quite a few years to do it here. Tonight, we just went back to our basic setup and it was game on."
Schatz entered his 12th Kings Royal leading the World of Outlaws championship standings following a third place finish Friday night where his team did some experimenting for Saturday's race.
The Kings Royal has always been a fan friendly format where the six heat races can make or break a driver's night. The Fargo, ND racer had luck go his way after having not so good luck in the qualifying order. The high speed half-mile track slowed down as qualifying went on and Schatz made his lap later in the order and ended up 24th out of 51 cars. The luck turned around when the heat inversion was drawn to be five putting Schatz on the outside of the front row in the sixth heat race.
By winning the sixth heat race, Schatz had the ParkerStore No. 15 on the pole for the five lap Crane Cams Dash. His victory in that event put him on the pole for the 40-lap event in front of more than 18,000 fans at the "Big E".
At the drop of the green, Schatz raced side-by-side with Jason Solwold, but Craig Dollansky passed them both to seize control of the feature event. Schatz remained patient and began working the middle groove while Dollansky pounded the cushion. On lap six, Schatz made his move for the lead and then quickly distanced himself from the rest of the field. By lap 15, he had built a six second advantage and the only thing that slowed his trek toward that elusive crown was a caution on lap 22.
Following the restart, Schatz again set sail and drove off to collect his 10th victory of the season and 79th career World of Outlaws feature win (62 "A" features and 17 preliminary wins).
"This is a huge accomplishment for this race team," continued Schatz. "My parents have built a great team and we've been fortunate enough to win all the big races. I know we all wanted this one tonight. ParkerStore, Bellerud Transport and Snap-on Tools are all great sponsors and a big part of our success. My crew (Dave Lawrence, Shane Bowners, Dave Nisbet and Dwayne Lawrence) busted their tales tonight. I have to thank Tony Stewart Racing for giving us some help tonight. Rick Warner works for them and was a big help to us tonight."
"It's great to finally be able to say we've won the Kings Royal. Tony (Stewart) and all the people here at Eldora did a great job this weekend. I hope all the fans enjoyed the race, because it was a lot fun from my seat."
The win is a great start for Schatz and his ParkerStore team as they begin the "Month of Money". With the $50,000 in bank, they can now focus on repeating their 2006 victory in the Don Martin Memorial at Lernerville Speedway on Tuesday night. Schatz will try to take another $30,000 from the half-mile oval near Pittsburgh before heading east to one of his favorite tracks, Williams Grove Speedway, where $20,000 is up for grabs in next Saturday's Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals finale.
"We're going to be greedy and try to win them all," continued Schatz. "You've got to win the first one and then forget about it and go get the next one. My crew will spend Sunday and Monday trying to get us ready. Everyone is really pumped up right now and the focus is on continuing to get better."