SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM RETURN TO KNOXVILLE JUNE 22 - Every World of Outlaws visit to Knoxville Raceway is critical in preparing for the season's biggest sprint car race. Donny Schatz and his ParkerStore team return to the legendary half-mile...
SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM RETURN TO KNOXVILLE
JUNE 22 - Every World of Outlaws visit to Knoxville Raceway is critical in preparing for the season's biggest sprint car race. Donny Schatz and his ParkerStore team return to the legendary half-mile dirt oval this weekend for The Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out Presented By Sonic, America's Drive-In.
The two-night event is the final tune-up for Schatz at the track prior to the 46th annual Knoxville Nationals, which will be held August 9 - 12. The Outlaws first visit to Knoxville on April 29th was rained out and postponed to October 7, but Schatz and the ParkerStore team did get some laps in on April 22 finishing eighth in the track's season opening feature.
Schatz enters the the weekend on roll as the current World of Outlaws points leader swept last weekend's Duel in the Dakotas event at his home track, Red River Valley Speedway, near Fargo, ND.
"We had an awesome weekend at home," said Schatz, who leads the series with six "A" feature victories in 2006 driving his No. 15 ParkerStore J&J with Shaver power. "We brought out a new car last Friday night and we were good every time we hit the track."
"Our goal this weekend is to continue that success. We've only been to Knoxville once this year and that was a weekly show where the track rubbered up, so we're hoping for two good nights of racing. With this being the last time we'll be here before the Nationals, it's important for us to make some good notes for when we come back in August."
August at Knoxville always seems to be good for Schatz as he has finished second in sprint car racing's premiere event four times in the last six years. He's certainly ready to get one spot better in August, but he is also still searching for his first "A" feature win at the track. He has three career wins at the track, all of which were Nationals preliminary features. He also won the World Challenge event twice (2001 and 2002).
He has success during the summer Outlaws stop at the track in the past. In 2000, he finished second in the "A" feature and in 2001, he was the runner-up in the preliminary feature. The Fargo, ND racer charged from 16th to finish fourth in 2003.
Schatz, who is in his tenth season with the Outlaws, is off to a great start with six "A" feature wins, a preliminary win, four fast qualifier awards and a new track record. In his last twelve races, he hasn't finished outside the top seven. The only race in the last 15 where he failed to finish was at Sharon Speedway on May 20, when he took the $50,000 Challenge and was inside the top ten before getting involved in an accident.
"We've been consistently running near the front all season, but we want to get greedy and win more races," continued Schatz. "I've said all along the guy that wins the most races has the best chance at the championship."
The ParkerStore team led by Ricky Warner continues to put a fast car under Schatz.
"My guys have kept working hard and the car owners have done a great job of putting things in place for us to be at our best every night," said Schatz. "The people behind us like ParkerStore, Bellerud Transport and Petro have been with us a long time and we're thrilled to be able to represent them."