K-C Masterpiece: Donny Schatz Earns 11th Victory of 2006 Chillicothe, Ohio--August 5, 2006 -- Donny Schatz felt like he let a win slip away on Friday night at Eldora Speedway. He was not about to let that happen two nights in a row. Schatz...
K-C Masterpiece: Donny Schatz Earns 11th Victory of 2006
Chillicothe, Ohio--August 5, 2006 -- Donny Schatz felt like he let a win slip away on Friday night at Eldora Speedway. He was not about to let that happen two nights in a row.
Schatz aims to have his World of Outlaws Sprint Series machine dialed in for a charge about a third of the way into each race. His patience was the perfect strategy as he worked lap traffic for the second night in a row and used it to his advantage.
On Saturday night at K-C Raceway as the World of Outlaws battled the All Star Circuit of Champions, Schatz's ParkerStore J&J was tuned so perfectly by crew chief Ricky Warner that he shot from fourth to second, charged to the rear bumper of leader Dale Blaney, eventually going side-by-side, and finally grabbed the lead with a bold move to the outside of Blaney on Lap 17 as they exited Turn 4.
Blaney tried to slide back to the front, but Schatz was gone. He weaved through traffic and held off Blaney's George Fisher Racing Maxim to cruise into the RacinSoles Victory Lane for the second consecutive year at K-C Raceway.
"We were good most of the night," said Schatz. "We were fast in hot laps, fast qualifying, and it just went the same way all night long. We kind of misjudged the rubber a little bit. We didn't expect it to lay rubber that good, but at least we put hard enough tires on that we were able to go the distance. I was glad to see the checkers."
Schatz lined up fourth for the 40-lap event and sliced his way to third on the very first lap before the races lone caution flag flew after the initial lap was complete. The remainder of the race went green and with the blistering pace that Schatz and Blaney were setting, they were in lapped traffic for the majority of the event.
"It's awful hard to race in the rubber," Schatz said. "You can make mistakes, and you can't slip off the bottom. That is what we made sure we didn't do. You also have to try to pass guys or you will not have enough room there. We got a couple of lap cars in there and I was being patient and getting going. I'm glad we made the right choices."
Blaney who won the dash and started on the pole, led the first 16 laps and with a clean track ahead of him, showed a great deal of speed. He was quick in traffic as well, but had to change his line a few times to negotiate around the slower cars.
"We were really good all night," Blaney said. "I've made a lot of laps at this track and like coming here. My car owner is from down here and this is probably his best race track. We were definitely hoping to do well. We did do well. I'm disappointed that we ran second, but overall it was a great night for us."
Schatz who normally run as close to the wall as he can, kept his car stuck to the bottom of the track, as he sliced through traffic. Even after his 11th win of the season, the competitor inside of the series point leader was still thinking about Friday night and what could have been.
"I don't know if you can ever rectify a win," said Schatz. "It was my fault last night and I made a mistake in lap traffic. I started to move around late in the race and thought I had a little bit bigger lead than I had. He (Joey Saldana) drove the wheels off it. It wasn't that way tonight. "
Schatz was able to celebrate on Saturday night for a few minutes, but his focus quickly turned to the impending Knoxville Nationals. He has been close to winning the race a handful of times in the past and knows his team carries plenty of momentum to the storied track.
"Glad to be here, but next week is what we are all about now," said Schatz. "Tonight is over with and our mind is on next week. We have a great race car. Our motors have just been superb. We're going to give it everything we got."
Schatz carries plenty of momentum into sprint car racing's biggest event, as he has picked up 30 top-five finishes in 41 races so far this season. He also has led 294 laps, which is tops in the series as well. Always a fierce competitor, Schatz and his team are making sure they have everything covered as they seek to the race that they have been so close to winning a number of times.
"We have a lot of work to do," said Schatz. "We've been racing awfully hard. We have a Knoxville car with a new paint scheme we are coming out with next week there. These guys are jetting out of here right now, and will be getting going. They have a lot of work to do. It's really not time off for me. I'm gonna go home to a big birthday party tomorrow for my daughter. I'll enjoy that. Then I'll go to Knoxville and hopefully get the job done."
Daryn Pittman held his ground throughout the 40-lap feature and wound up third in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim. Brooke Tatnell methodically worked his way from 10th on the starting grid to finish fourth in the Race Outfitters Eagle with Rob Chaney rounding out the top five in the IPC Packaging Eagle.
Blaney knew all the teams were taking a gamble on what tires to put on for the feature Saturday night. He was pleased with his teams choice, and the former Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt winner knows that one of these days he will pick up that elusive second World of Outlaws Sprint Series win.
"It got rubber down quicker that I thought it would," said Blaney. "It got down to the middle quicker than I thought it would. I saw somebody's nose there in turn two and I moved down and got through some guys. After I got through four or five of them, I thought I was ok down there. Donny was running second and he kind of got around me in (turn) three and four, kind of where the rubber was more than I would run. That was kind of all she wrote. I don't know if he was better than us or not. He was beating his way through traffic. Overall it was a good night for us."
Daryn Pittman picked up his 19th top-five finish of the season on Saturday night. He started the A-Feature from the outside of the front row and ran in the top-three all night long.
"We were good," said Pittman. "We're not unhappy with third. We started on the front row of the dash the front row of the feature. We just weren't good enough to win. It was slick out there until it rubbered up. Schatz has proved time and time again that he is good like that. Honestly I feel like we are a second place car to him which is better than being a 10th place car to everybody else. We're happy. We could have finished worse. It was a good point's night. It's a good momentum builder and we'll go to the Nationals and try to make the best out of it."
Pittman wants to win every time he hits the track, but he knew that his effort at K-C was a moral victory, and helped his team continue to stay solidly in the top-five in series points.
"We were a little soft on tires, and I was careful to make sure we made it to the finish,"said Pittman. "I wasn't pressing the issue in lap traffic. I don't think having a yellow would have helped any."
Pittman who has three A-Feature wins this season to go along with two preliminary wins, is excited for the Knoxville Nationals, but before that he will do some extra racing in the Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway in an event that fellow Mean 15 driver Terry McCarl is promoting.
"For some reason, our team gets better when we race, and the more often we race," said Pittman. "Everybody here is always thinking of doing a better job. We're looking forward to running at Oskaloosa on Monday for the Front Row Challenge. We came close from going to the back and winning it a couple of years ago."
Tatnell staged a very entertaining battle with Rob Chaney over the last five laps of the race, and the native of San Souci, NSW, Australia came out in the fourth spot.
"We rolled the dice early for qualifying and went with a big left rear (tire) that no one else did," Tatnell said. "I think it wasn't too bad. We just didn't get the car right from then on. In the feature race we threw some more things at it. We were good in the feature. Then it laid rubber and that hurt us. Another top-five, but we need some wins, I can tell you that."
Tatnell like the rest of the leaders battle traffic all night long. When pondering if a yellow flag would have helped him, the always affable driver felt indifferent.
"I had a couple of lap cars in front of me," Tatnell said. "I would get underneath them and they would want to chop my nose off. They would have still been in front of me if we would have had a caution. I was hoping for more lapped cars. Then it gets to the point of who's the bravest. If someone is brave enough and prepared to get out of line and lose a couple of spots going forward. That's what were hoping for, that we could get them all bottled up."
The rest of the top-10 was Craig Dollansky in sixth in the Karavan Trailers Maxim. Joey Saldana who won on Friday night at Eldora was seventh in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI. Butch Schroeder was eighth in the AAG Inc. Maxim. Brandon Wimmer came home ninth in the Waverly Quick-Lube JEI. Jac Haudenschild in the Wright One Construction Maxim was 10th.
The World of Outlaws drivers will catch their breath for a couple of days before heading to Knoxville Raceway for the 46th Annual Knoxville Nationals beginning on Wednesday.
K-C RACEWAY NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jac Haudenschild paced the 42 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the half-mile high-banked oval at 11.823 seconds at 101.396 mph. For his qualifying effort, Haudenschild earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Butch Schroeder (4), Justin Henderson (3), Jim Nier (2), and Jason Martin (1). Brock Mayes holds the track record of 10.915 seconds set on Sept. 27, 2005.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Mean 15 drivers: Jac Haudenschild and Chad Kemenah, as well as Todd Kane and Danny Smith. .... Dave Dickson won the C-Main. ... Randy Hannagan won the B-Main. ... Dale Blaney picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 14 different winners in 41 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, June 30 at 81 Speedway, July 18 at Lernerville Speedway, July 23 at Lebanon Valley Speedway, July 25 at Fulton Speedway, and August 5 at K-C Raceway), Joey Saldana (Feb.10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park, July 15 at Eldora Speedway, and August 4 at Eldora Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway, June 4 at Eldora Speedway, July 14 at Eldora Speedway, and Aug. 2 at Butler Speedway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway, July 22 at Williams Grove, and July 29 at Princeton Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), and Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt at Lowe's Motor Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been seven preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list includes: Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9, and at Princeton Speedway on July 28, Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim night on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, Terry McCarl who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 20, and Craig Dollansky who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 21.
* 3/8-MILE WINNERS: K-C Raceway is a 3/8-mile high-banked oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced nine times this season on a track that size. Winners include: Donny Schatz (Batesville Speedway, 81 Speedway, Fulton Speedway, and K-C Raceway), Jac Haudenschild (U.S. 36 Raceway and Sharon Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Butler Speedway), Paul McMahan (USA Race Park), and Joey Saldana (Dodge City Raceway Park).
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on August 9 the 15th Annual Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup from Lernerville Speedway. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).