Top 10: Donny Schatz Earns Fulton Speedway Victory for 10th Win of 2006 Fulton, NY--July 25, 2006 -- Donny Schatz has recently taken a liking to the state of New York and would not mind if the World of Outlaws added more races in the state.
Top 10: Donny Schatz Earns Fulton Speedway Victory for 10th Win of 2006
Fulton, NY--July 25, 2006 -- Donny Schatz has recently taken a liking to the state of New York and would not mind if the World of Outlaws added more races in the state. In four events this season in the Empire State, his lowest finish has been a second. That averages out to a nightly result of 1.25.
Schatz was searching for a way around Craig Dollansky on Tuesday night at Fulton Speedway when Dollansky jumped the cushion on Lap 26 giving Schatz all the room he needed to power into the RacinSoles Victory Lane.
After Joey Saldana led the first 19 laps in the Kasey Kahne Racing #9 Curb Records Dodge JEI, Dollansky and Schatz battled back and forth through traffic. The two swapped the lead on Laps 20-21 before Dollansky's Karavan Trailers Maxim took control. But with Schatz, the World of Outlaws points leader, pushing the pace on the bottom in the ParkerStore J&J and Dollansky riding the cushion, it was Schatz who found himself in front when Dollansky spun in Turn 2 with four laps to go.
Saldana trailed Schatz to the checkered flag with Dollansky, who kept his machine under power during the spin, recovering to finish third, followed by Randy Hannagan's Penthouse Maxim and Brooke Tatnell's Race Outfitters Eagle.
"It's nice to have that many wins," Schatz said.
The tenth win of the season, was no walk in the park though for Schatz, as he not only battled Saldana and Dollansky, but also lapped traffic, that forced him to change his line many times through the course of the 30-lap A-Feature.
"It's always tough in the driver's seat, but I am more comfortable in the driver's seat in lapped traffic than I am out of it," Schatz said. "I don't really like watching the races, I like being in the middle of them."
Schatz began the night by turning in the 10th qualifying, and his crew worked on the car all night as he finished second in his heat race to earn a spot in the dash, where he turned in another solid second place run. That lined him up on the outside of the front row for the feature.
"It (the car) would go anywhere, that's the way these race cars are," Schatz said. "You can't ask for much more. You have to slow them down to be good. Every time we slow them down we seem to get better. It's pretty exciting to be able to race that good at the end. I wish it would have been a 40-lap race, we would have been much better. That's the way it goes. We did the best we could. We got out there and got them in lapped traffic, and everything just seemed to roll our way from the dash on."
Saldana has the car to beat early in the race, as he took the lead on the initial start from his third starting spot going around Schatz and Dollansky. He built some sizeable leads that were diminished by a couple of caution flags.
"I was really good early," said Saldana. "We got down there with about 10 laps to go and I was just hanging on. We got a second and we'll go on to the next race."
Dollansky had a strong car all night, as he picked up the win in the dash to claim the pole position. He ran in the top-three the entire race. He was disappointed to not pick up the win, but was relieved that he was able to hang on to the third spot after his late race spin.
"The cautions really weren't hurting or helping us a whole lot," said Dollansky. "There again when I came into the corner I had a lapped car low and a lapped car high. I had to make a decision and I followed the one in from the top. He got slowed up and I got on him and it took the air off my wing. It got me tight and I had to jack the car and spun it around."
In the 37 World of Outlaws A-Feature events run this season, Schatz has an astounding 27 Top-five finishes, and has finished outside the Top-10 only six times. He now only leads the series in wins, but also lap led, as well as fast qualifying times.
"This team has had that many wins (10) before," said Schatz. "We are kind of shooting for the stars. We were hoping to be in victory lane 30 times to try to beat the record. That is a lot of races, and I don't know if that can be done. We're going to try out best to do everything we can to get to victory lane every night. It sure helps when you get there very often."
After his second straight win, Schatz was all smiles and even joked around about the long trip the teams have ahead of them the next couple days, as they head to Princeton (Minn.) Speedway. He is very excited to get back on the track to see if he can pick up his third win in a row.
"We just have to get there. It obviously is 1,200 miles," said Schatz. "We only have a day and a half to get there, but we are looking forward to getting there. We had a decent run there last year and finished toward the front. We want to be a little better. It is near home and we're excited to get back on some of the smaller slick short tracks."
Saldana set a very quick pace early in the event with clear track ahead of him, but lost some time when he encountered lapped traffic. A couple of cautions bunched the field as well and he lost the advantage that he had gained.
"It (lapped traffic) was a problem for me because I needed to run my line," said Saldana. "I wasn't as good as those guys moving around the track That's just the way it goes."
Saldana wanted to be in the winners circle at the end of the night, but was able to find some solace in his 19th top-five finish of the season. He also gained some points on Schatz, as the Brownsburg, Ind. native was the fourth fastest qualifier and led the most laps to rack up six bonus points.
"We felt really good all night here," said Saldana. "We were a little conservative on the car because we were so good. You have to lead that last lap. It doesn't matter how many laps you lead, the last one is the one that counts."
Dollansky who started on the pole, wanted to pick up his fourth win of the year very badly, but knows that there will be many more chances to add to his victory total as the season winds on.
"We had a pretty good car, and the 15 car (Schatz) was pretty good as well," said Dollansky. "We'll just get ready to head to Minnesota."
After the race, Dollansky quickly began to think about the trip back home to Minnesota and to Princeton Speedway for the PolyDome Princeton Nationals this weekend. He won the inaugural World of Outlaws event at the track in 2004, and still holds the track qualifying record.
"It will be great to get back home, and have a few days there," Dollansky said. "It will be nice and convenient to race 10 minutes up the road from my house. We're definitely looking forward to going back there. There has been a lot of good racing there in the last couple years."
From his strong finish of fourth, not many people would have guessed that Randy Hannagan was making his first ever start at Fulton Speedway on Tuesday night. He rolled off for the A-Feature in the 16th spot and methodically worked his way into the Top-10 and then the top-five.
"Things were going pretty good," said Hannagan. "I didn't like how things went in qualifying. This was my first time here, and we got it right for the main event. We'll write it all down so that when we come back here, we'll know what to do."
Lapped traffic caused trouble for some of the front runners, but not for Hannagan. The 1995 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, was able to slice and dice his way through the slower cars and then slide his way passed the cars on the lead lap.
"Traffic worked pretty well for me," Hannagan said. "I guess it would have been better if it had held the leaders up and we could have got to them. I thought we were pretty good. Maybe a yellow flag could have helped us near the end."
If Tuesday night is any indication, look for Hannagan to be tough at Princeton Speedway this weekend, another track that he will be making his maiden start at.
"That's another place I have never been," he said. "So, hopefully we won't struggle as much as the beginning of the night and finish a little bit better."
Brooke Tatnell picked up his third straight top-five finish and now has 18 on the year. Though he wants to add to his three wins as well, he knows the team is on the right path and puts a fast car underneath him every night.
"We're in a good rut to be stuck in right now with top-fives," said Tatnell. "We need some wins on the board too."
Tatnell did not have any problems with the lapped traffic as they raced him clean. He knew it would be a demanding race and said the track held up very well and was smooth during the feature.
"We all had to fight it (traffic)," he said. "We closed on Joey (Saldana) and Craig (Dollansky) in traffic, and Randy (Hannagan) gained on me in traffic. The lapped cars we got to, really were not a problem. They didn't get in the way. They didn't try to race you. They just held their line, and that's what you expect them to do."
The rest of the Top-10 was Daryn Pittman in sixth in the Titan Garages/Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim. Danny Smith was seventh in the Doug Williams Trucking Maxim. Jac Haudenschild was eighth in the Wright One Construction Maxim with Terry McCarl ninth in the Big Game Treestands Eagle. Jessica Zemken rounded was 10th in her first World of Outlaws start in the NativePoker.com Eagle, after making her way from the back of the field after some early contact.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series next makes a long trek from upstate New York to Princeton, Minn., for the PolyDome Princeton Nationals on Friday and Saturday.
FULTON SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Justin Henderson paced the 26 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 3/8-mile high-banked oval at 13.911 seconds at 97.410 mph. For his qualifying effort, Henderson earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jac Haudenschild (4), Daryn Pittman (3), Joey Saldana (2), and Terry McCarl (1). Steve Kinser holds the track record of 13.820 seconds set on July 25, 2005.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Mean 15 drivers Jeremy Campbell, and Randy Hannagan, as well as Jessica Zemken. ... Chad Kemenah won the B-Main. ... Craig Dollansky picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 14 different winners in 37 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, and July 25 at Fulton Speedway), 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, and July 15 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, and July 14 at Eldora Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway and July 22 at Williams Grove), 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 six preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list included: 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 and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim night on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9, 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: Fulton Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked oval. The series has raced six times this season on a track that size. Winners include: Donny Schatz (Batesville Speedway, 81 Speedway, and Fulton Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (U.S. 36 Raceway and Sharon Speedway), Paul McMahan (USA Race Park).
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 26 the Knight Before the Kings Royal from Eldora Speedway. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).