Schatz, Parkerstore team cap World of Outlaws season with Las Vegas victory LAS VEGAS, NV - Donny Schatz ended a career-best World of Outlaws Sprint Series season on Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway right where he had...
Schatz, Parkerstore team cap World of Outlaws season with Las Vegas victory
LAS VEGAS, NV - Donny Schatz ended a career-best World of Outlaws Sprint Series season on Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway right where he had hoped to be... in victory lane. Schatz raced his #15 ParkerStore J&J with Shaver power past early leaders Shane Stewart and Daryn Pittman on the eighth lap and raced away to win the 30-lap "A" Feature event for his ninth win of the season.
"This ParkerStores team kept digging and digging all year long," said Schatz. "My guys and everyone who gives us what we need to keep going give us 110%, and you can't ask for anything more than that, and that's what it takes to have a good team."
"I just want to thank the World of Outlaws for putting on these races, and bringing us to premiere facilities like Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We do out best to put on good races, and sometimes it doesn't work out that way, but there's always a victor, and tonight that's us."
Heading into the WoO's final weekend, no driver on the rugged Outlaws tour had been running any stronger than Schatz. In the previous 20 races, Schatz had scored victories in seven races including two at both the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Chico and 1/3-mile Nationals at Eagle Raceway and dominating the $30,000-to-win Williams Grove National Open.
Schatz kicked off the season's final weekend with a third place finish at the half-mile dirt oval located just north of Las Vegas finishing behind Danny Lasoski and Shane Stewart. The finished locked the ParkerStore team into Saturday's Dash.
In the five-lap dash which would determine the top eight starting spots in Saturday's 30-lap finale, Schatz raced past Shane Stewart early and was able to get his #15 ParkerStore J&J to run the bottom groove in turns one and two helping him to close in on leader Danny Lasoski. On the final lap, Schatz was closing quickly on "the Dude" when Lasoski's motor let go. Schatz flew by to claim his 13th dash win of the season.
The Fargo, ND driver took the lead when the green flag dropped in the "A" Feature, but the field didn't make a complete lap before Ronnie Day crashed in tour four. On the second start, outside polesitter Stewart took the lead with Pittman following. Schatz held down third in the early going and stalked the two drivers as they approached lapped traffic.
Schatz followed Pittman past Stewart on lap seven heading down the backstretch towards turn three. Schatz used the same part of the racetrack to take the lead from Pittman one lap later. Schatz couldn't shake PIttman until lap 17 when he passed three lapped cars coming out of turn four and heading towards the flagstand. For the next 13 laps, Schatz was in complete control and won the feature event by nearly a straightaway.
"Shane (Stewart) and Daryn (Pittman) had softer tires on than us, and I think it showed at the beginning," continued Schatz, who also closed the 1999 WoO season with a win at Las Vegas. " I guess I'm the type of driver who uses the tire a little more than others, so I need a little harder compound, but I knew as soon as the heat built up we'd be able to drive back to the front."
"Our chassis and engine programs with Jack Elam (J&J Auto Racing) and Ronnie Shaver (Shaver Engines) are the best in the country, and anytime you can get a lethal combination like that, it's fun to go racing. We'll take the way we finished this year and go back home and get ready for 2005, and hopefully we can come back and do this every night."
The ParkerStore team concluded the season with a third place finish in the World of Outlaws season-long standings. The finish for Schatz was the best in eight years of competing with the Outlaws and the team will return to Fargo and continue preparing for the 2005 season, which begins with three nights of racing in Australia in January.