SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM CONTINUE WINNING WAYS WITH A ONE-TWO FINISH IN DEEP SOUTH WOO ACTION MAGNOLIA, MS (March 18) - Donny Schatz continues to set a torrid pace in the World of Outlaws (WoO) 2007 campaign. The defending WoO champion raced...
SCHATZ, PARKERSTORE TEAM CONTINUE WINNING WAYS WITH A ONE-TWO FINISH IN DEEP SOUTH WOO ACTION
MAGNOLIA, MS (March 18) - Donny Schatz continues to set a torrid pace in the World of Outlaws (WoO) 2007 campaign. The defending WoO champion raced his ParkerStore sponsored No. 15 J&J with Shaver power to a victory on Friday night near Houston and came home second on Saturday night in Mississippi. The finishes continue a strong early season surge that has seen the Fargo, ND racer finish inside the top three in eight of the first nine races.
"I would have been happier had we won both nights to tell you the truth," said Schatz, who maintained his lead in the WoO series standings with the first and second place finishes. "Things went really well in Houston and we came up a bit short in Mississippi. We've built our program to expect a certain level of results and we've got to continue pushing ourselves every night. This team still has a relatively new group of guys working together and we're still working towards getting better."
It would be tough for them to be much better than they were on Friday night when Schatz dominated the program at Houston Raceway Park near Baytown, TX. He won his heat race, the dash event and led all 35 laps of the feature on the newly configured dirt-oval, which was previously a 4/10-mile track and now is more of a quarter-mile "D" shaped track.
In the feature event, Schatz charged out to a comfortable lead in his ParkerStore sprinter and withstood several cautions to back up his 2005 victory at the facility. It was his third victory of the season and 72nd career WoO feature win (55 "A" features, 17 preliminary wins).
Following the event, the team traveled east to Magnolia, Mississippi and Pike County Speedway where they were one of 31 cars in the field. Despite being the second to last driver to qualify, Schatz turned the 11th fastest qualify lap and earned a front row starting spot for the second heat. His victory in that race put him in the dash event where he raced from sixth to third.
He started the 35-lap feature event inside the second row and stalked early leader Joey Saldana during the opening laps. Schatz pulled next to Saldana several times as the two raced side-by-side for the lead. A couple of cautions during the race's middle stages took them out of traffic and then rubber began to come in around the bottom groove of the 3/8-mile dirt oval. Once the rubber came in, the passing was over and Schatz raced to his first second place finish of the season behind Saldana.
"We figured the rubber would come in, but hoped we had enough time to get the lead," continued Schatz. "We battled Joey pretty good there for a few laps, but we didn't get to race in lapped traffic when there was still a top and bottom groove. That happens in racing I guess, but we're focused on winning so the second place finish doesn't sit real well with this team. It's motivation for next week in Tennessee where hopefully we can be in the hunt for another win."
The ParkerStore team will return to action next weekend when the World of Outlaws make their debut at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN. The event is on Saturday night and coincides with the NASCAR festivities taking place down the road at Bristol Motor Speedway. Schatz hasn't raced at the high-banked clay oval before, but does have a World of Outlaws feature win in the Volunteer State. He raced from 10th to win the opener of the Channellock Challenge on the dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway in June of 2001.