SCHATZ LOOKS TO CONTINUE WINNING WAYS IN SNAP-ON SPRINTER FARGO - (October 4) - For the final time in 2007 Donny Schatz will race in the Midwest as the World of Outlaws are set to compete in the fourth annual Polydome Prinecton National. The ...
SCHATZ LOOKS TO CONTINUE WINNING WAYS IN SNAP-ON SPRINTER
FARGO - (October 4) - For the final time in 2007 Donny Schatz will race in the Midwest as the World of Outlaws are set to compete in the fourth annual Polydome Prinecton National. The two-night event, which kicks off on Friday night, will also mark the final two races for Schatz in the hugely popular red and black Snap-on Tools schemed No. 15 J&J with Shaver-built Chevrolet power.
Not only will the defending WoO champion and current points leader be racing within hours of his home in Fargo, but the ParkerStore team will carry a lot of momentum following last Saturday's dominant run at the National Open in Pennsylvania.
"We're really excited to be racing back close to home one more time," said Schatz, who holds a 90-point advantage over Joey Saldana in the standings. "It's also special for us to run the Snap-on Tools car again. Paul Johnson and Carl Johanson took a chance with us this year and it's been a great relationship. We've built some awesome racecars with the best tools made. Now we want to go out and win Snap-on a couple more races and ultimately a championship.
"It doesn't matter where we are people are always talking about that red and black car. We've had a lot of success with it and I know they've got a lot of people coming out to see us, so we're really geared up for a great weekend."
Schatz will trade in his familiar yellow No. 15 J&J for the red and black Snap-on schemed car for two single nights of action. As the case has been for each of the other eight events, Snap-on representatives, franchisees and customers will be on hand to support the team. More than 425 Snap-on guests are expected to be in attendance Saturday night alone.
"When you have that kind of support at a race, it's really an awesome feeling," said Schatz. "They get an up close look at some really exciting racing and we get to know them a little bit better. Paul's done a great job getting his people excited about our team and the World of Outlaws."
Schatz has raced the car eight times in 2007 posting some very good results. The car made it's debut on April 28 at Knoxville Raceway where Schatz was victorious. After a pair of tenth place finishes with the car at Lake Ozark Speedway in May and Eagle Raceway in June, Schatz finished second and 10th with the car at Dodge City Raceway Park later in the month. The Snap-on Tools sprinter returned to victory lane on June 25 in Black Hills, SD when Schatz made a thrilling last-lap pass of Kerry Madsen to secure his second victory in the car. A tough night at Cedar Lake Speedway was followed by another clinic at Huset's Speedway on July 3 when Schatz led the final 29 laps to score the win at the track he spent a number of years racing weekly before heading out on the road.
"Winning at Knoxville the first night out was really big for our team," continued Schatz, who has 17 WoO wins this season. "Rapid City was just one of those deals where we waited as long we could and were at the right place at the right time. The night at Huset's was really special because we spent a lot of years there. We knew it was going to be the last time we raced the car for a awhile and we all talked about putting it away a winner. Now we've got to close the deal and win a couple more times with it."
Wins have been the focus for Schatz as he chases his second consecutive WoO title. He matched his 2006 total of 17 "A" features with last Saturday's win at Williams Grove, where he won five times this year. The 30 year-old racer is still focused on trying to have a 20-win season.
"You have to set goals and try to continue to improve," said Schatz, who has 68 career WoO wins just two short of current NASCAR racer Dave Blaney. "We've got to keep working to win races in these final seven nights. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself."
Schatz has six career WoO starts at Princeton Speedway dating back to his first visit to the fast, quarter-mile dirt track on May 21, 2004. He has finished in the top ten all six times with four of those finishes being a pair of fourths and two second place finishes.
"We've have a pretty good handle of the track, it's small and you've got to be able to negotiate traffic," admitted Schatz. "Last year we had two really good runs there. I made a mistake leading the race the second night and had to charge from the back to finish fourth. We've got a little redemption on our minds."
Last weekend, Schatz had something to prove at the Williams Grove National Open. In 2006, he finished third in the rain-shortened race after starting seventh and closing in the leaders when the race was called 14 laps from the scheduled finish. He got his payback by leading all 40 laps of the Cleveland Brothers CAT National Open and picked up the $50,000.
"Every time we go out we're looking to get better," explained Schatz. "We've excelled in the big races on the big tracks. Our short track program hasn't been on that same pace and we need to fix that. We tested some things during the Gold Rush tour that hopefully will help us this weekend. It's important to finish up strong."