Schatz Bursts into Victory Column at Huset's By Richard Day BRANDON, SD (April 29) -- The tough circumstances Donny Schatz has endured in the last year make him enjoy the good times even more. He also appreciates those who have helped him...
Schatz Bursts into Victory Column at Huset's
By Richard Day
BRANDON, SD (April 29) -- The tough circumstances Donny Schatz has endured in the last year make him enjoy the good times even more. He also appreciates those who have helped him race to new heights with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series.
"The credit for this win goes to Kenny Woodruff," Schatz said after passing 10 cars Sunday to win the "A" Feature at Huset's Speedway. "He gave me an awesome race car tonight. I have to thank my entire crew for not getting down or letting me get down while we've been struggling. Parker Stores, Blue Beacon, Featherlite -- everybody has stuck with me the whole season, and this J&J chassis and Goodyear tires got me a win. That makes up for all the rough times."
The $10,000 victory, Schatz' first this season, snapped Mark Kinser's four-feature winning streak at Huset's Speedway. Eight drivers have combined to win the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' first 14 main events this year.
Schatz, the seventh-fastest in the 33-car time trial session, didn't qualify for the CHANNELLOCK Dash. He helped Woodruff fine-tune the #15 Parker Stores J&J during the 10-lap race, then lined up inside the sixth row in the "A" Feature.
Front-row starters Terry McCarl and Steve Kinser raced wheel-to- wheel down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the 30-lap main event. McCarl, the three-time defending Huset's Speedway champion, surged ahead in turn one to take the early lead.
Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski drove NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle into third place from outside the third row during the first five laps.
Randy Hannagan lost 10th place when he spun in the second corner early in lap six. Andy Hillenburg steered his #2 Luxaire J&J into the high groove between turns and two to pass First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Brooke Tatnell for fourth place as the race resumed.
Dale Blaney collided with Brad Furr and spun into "B" Feature winner Ryan Flynn and Micah Schliemann in the second corner late in the ninth lap. Hillenburg continued his run toward the front when the green flag replaced the yellow, taking the high line around Lasoski between turns one and two before challenging Kinser for second place.
McCarl was 10 car-lengths ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic midway through the 30-lap race.
Schatz, who passed only three cars in the first 14 laps, raced around Mark Kinser and fast-qualifier Jeff Shepard high in turn two late in the 16th lap. The 1997 Rookie of the Year used a similar move to pass Tatnell for fifth place two laps later.
"The King of the Outlaws" and Hillenburg exchanged the runner-up spot during the 20th lap. Andy surged ahead high in the second corner, but Kinser passed him in the low groove between turns three and four.
Schatz continued his run to the front during the next two laps, riding the rim around "The Dude," Hillenburg and Kinser between the first and second corners early in lap 21, then passing McCarl for the lead in the same spot the next time around.
Schatz built a comfortable advantage while Kinser battled McCarl for the next few laps. "The King of the Outlaws" steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the high groove in turn three to pass McCarl for the runner-up spot late in the 26th lap.
Stevie Smith, who started outside the eighth row, raced into fifth place during the first 25 laps. He drove his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim into the inside line to pass Hillenburg and McCarl during the 28th and 29th laps to claim third place.
Kinser was racing into the third corner when Schatz took the checkered flag for the sixth victory of his career.
"I didn't think I had any chance at all to win this one," Schatz admitted. "With the track taking rubber, I figured the best we could do was maybe a top 10. I went to the bottom there the first few laps, and it didn't seem like it was that sticky down there, so I decided I was either going to win it or wear it. I got up on top and got my elbows up and started passing some cars, and we were fortunate enough to get to the front."
McCarl finished in fourth place, ahead of Hillenburg, Lasoski, Paul McMahan, Tatnell, Craig Dollansky and Jason Meyers.
Shepard paced the qualifying session with a 123.649-m.p.h. lap around the high-banked, 3/8-mile oval.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run a $95,960 event at I-80 Speedway Friday and Saturday.