EAGLE, NE ~ SEPTEMBER 20, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz powered the ...
EAGLE, NE ~ SEPTEMBER 20, 2003 ~ Donny Schatz powered the #15 ParkerStores Shaver J & J to victory lane leading flag-to-flag in the 40-lap A-Main finale of the 1/3 Mile Short Track Nationals at Eagle Raceway, Eagle, NE. Scoring his 11th win of the 2003 season, Schatz set a new single-season career win record in World of Outlaws competition. His previous record of ten was set in 2001.
"This is my first win at Eagle Raceway," said Schatz. "So that is exciting for the ParkerStores team. But even more important for our team is we got our 11th win of the year. At the beginning of the season, one of the goals we set as a team was to score more wins than I had previously in my World of Outlaws career. There is great satisfaction in the accomplishment and builds confidence in everyone involved with the team. The next step is to continue our winning ways the rest of the season, head to Australia and rack up some wins there so we are in championship form when the 2004 season begins. The momentum will be just the ticket to start the march for the WoO title next year. Every race we win between now and then builds excitement in our team and our sponsors.
"Its been a busy week, and I was a little tired coming in here from packing and moving. I was hoping nobody was pushing me there at the end because I was having trouble getting by lapped cars. They were racing two wide in front of me, and that's just how it goes.
"We finished second to the Million Dollar Man (Jac Haudenschild) last year," Schatz concluded. "I'm glad he's on the other side of the country tonight. Getting that dash win was pretty important for me, with the inside being so good for the starts. That first start (in the dash), Tim (Shaffer) tried to run me high, but I've raced with Kenny (Woodruff) before, and I know how he thinks. We were able to get it done in the dash, and that just set us up for the A-main."
As a result of his second place finish in the preliminary feature, Schatz was locked into the dash, starting on the outside of the front row. He led from green to checkered securing the pole for the start of the A-main.
The North Dakota driver got the jump on the field at the drop of the green flag and pulled out a 2.5 second lead over second place Paul McMahan. The margin dropped to under one-second when he headed into lapped traffic on lap seven.
McMahan began to feel pressure from World of Outlaws points leader Steve Kinser allowing Schatz to lengthen his lead to 3.5 seconds when the only caution of the race flew on the 25th lap.
Schatz led the field to the green on the restart and took advantage of the clear racetrack to extend his lead while McMahan, Kinser, Tim Shaffer, Joey Saldana and Daryn Pittman battled for position.
McMahan held on to second place at the checkered flag followed by Kinser, Shaffer and Pittman.
Next event for Schatz and the ParkerStores team is September 27 at the Talladega, AL Short Track.
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