Donny Schatz Earns His Record-Setting Fourth World of Outlaws Las Vegas Victory Las Vegas -- March 9, 2006 -- Donny Schatz tailed race leader Jeremy Campell through heavy traffic and high winds Thursday night in the opener to the Las Vegas World...
Donny Schatz Earns His Record-Setting Fourth World of Outlaws Las Vegas Victory
Las Vegas -- March 9, 2006 -- Donny Schatz tailed race leader Jeremy Campell through heavy traffic and high winds Thursday night in the opener to the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals until the two had to make a decision. With cars running in the middle groove in Turn 3 at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Schatz went to the bottom as Campbell went high.
By the time they cleared lapped the traffic on Lap 16, their roles were reversed. Schatz, who started seventh, had powered to the lead in the ParkerStore J&J with pole-sitter Campbell giving chase in the America's Best Value Inn Maxim. Once in front, Schatz masterfully worked through the crowd to earn a checkered flag in a World of Outlaws Sprint Series feature in Las Vegas for a record fourth time, and the third consecutive year.
"We're just glad tonight is over," said Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D., who won for the 35th time in his World of Outlaws career and the first time this season. "It was miserable conditions for everybody. We were good enough to come from seventh to win."
It appeared track position would be key as the grid took shape, but cars from four and five rows deep in the field all took shots at running toward the front, with Schatz finding a groove that worked to carry him through traffic and to victory.
"My car was pretty good," said Schatz, who moved into the lead in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series championship standings with his $10,000 victory. "It was free and lapped traffic helped. We were in the right place at the right time. Jeremy set a real good pace. He did a good job leading."
Randy Hannagan motored the Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim to a solid third-place finish. With 37 cars going through time trials, Terry McCarl powered the Big Game Treestands Eagle to the quick time of the night for the second consecutive event and later earned a fourth-place finish in the feature. Daryn Pittman, in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim, finished fifth to remain the only driver this season who has earned a top-10 finish in all five events.
Kevin Swindell raced to a sixth-place finish in the York Excavating Maxim, holding off his father and three-time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell, who drove the Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim to a seventh-place run. Rob Chaney, subbing for injured Mean 15 racer Jason Martin, turned in a solid eighth-place finish, with Joey Saldana in the Central Merchant Services JEI and Chad Kemenah in the Underground Utilities, Inc. Eagle rounding out the top 10.
"I'm happy but I'm disappointed at the same time," said Campbell, a Mean 15 racer from Monroe, Mich., who is contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. "I was so close. The lapped car got in the way one time and that's all it took. I just pushed up to the wall. I tried to get it back down as quick as I could but it wasn't quick enough."
Campbell set the pace early on, holding off hard charging Brooke Tatnell on a restart with five laps complete. With nine laps down, the second caution of the race came out and under yellow the right rear tire on Tatnell's machine went down. Schatz moved into second on the restart and set his sights on Campbell.
"It felt awesome running out front of everybody. On that caution [with nine laps complete], Brooke pulled in and I saw on the scoreboard that Donny was behind me. I just had to keep it smooth and straight.
"Ever since [crew chief] Rob Hart came on board the car feels real balanced. I felt a lot of change in how he's setting up the car."
Hannagan earned his best finish this season, but believes he could have been better if he had one more opportunity to make an adjustment on his car.
"It's good for our team," said Hannagan, Mean 15 racer and native of San Jose, Calif. "We needed a good solid top-five finish. You need top-fives and top-10s before you can win.
After his run Thursday night, Hannagan believes he knows what to change on his car to make it even better on Friday.
"We can anticipate conditions," he said. "We got a jump on Friday, we'll just see what happens."
McCarl posted the fastest time of the night for the second consecutive event, but like he did Saturday night at Tucson, he pulled a 6 pill after time trials, which meant the fields for the dashes would be completely inverted.
"It feels good," said McCarl, of Altoona, Iowa. "We're being consistent, which is good. I think we're definitely proving we're a contender. I think it's going to be a good points race."
After leaving Las Vegas, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series will invade Batesville Speedway on March 31 in Batesville, Ark., and then roll into I-55 Raceway April 1 in Pevely, Mo., just south of St. Louis. The following week, the Outlaws will return to historic Eldora Speedway for a two-night event.
LAS VEGAS NATIONALS NIGHT ONE NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Terry McCarl paced the 37-car field in the Bi Game Treestands Eagle with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 1/2-mile oval in 14.419 seconds at 124.835 mph. For his qualifying effort, McCarl earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Greg Wilson (4), Donny Schatz (3), Joey Saldana (2) and Brooke Tatnell (1). The single-lap record of 13.719 seconds was established on March 4, 2004.
* VICTORY PARADE: Donny Schatz's victory Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was his first World of Outlaws victory this season. By winning, Schatz became the fifth different racer in five events to visit Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. In addition to Schatz, the win list includes Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia) and Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia).
* HALF-MILE WINNERS: The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a big half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced four times this season on half-mile ovals. Winners include Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Joey Saldana (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita) and Donny Schatz (Las Vegas).
* HEAR THEM ROAR: Among the 37 drivers in the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals are three women, Mean 15 racer Becca Anderson of Houston, Del., Natalie Sather of Fargo, N.D., and Kaylene Verville of Avondale, Ariz. Sather fared the best, qualifying for the dash and starting on the pole after the invert.
* QUALIFYING EVENTS: Jeremy Campbell and Rob Chaney captured the dashes to earn front-row starting spots for the feature. -- Ned Powers, Chad Hillier, Brian Carlson and Brian O'Donnell transferred from the B-main to the main event. -- Craig Dollansky, Kaley Gharst, Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana earned heat race victories.
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on March 15 all the action from the World of Outlaws event at United Sports Arizona Race Park. The first show from the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals will air on March 22 followed March 29 by the second event. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).
* ON THE WEB: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is at www.dirtmotorsports.com/sprint. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases. Also, links to the Media Guide and 2006 Official Rulebook can be found at the bottom of the home page.
* UP NEXT: After leaving Las Vegas, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series will invade Batesville Speedway on March 31 in Batesville, Ark., and then roll into I-55 Raceway April 1 in Pevely, Mo., just south of St. Louis. The following week, the Outlaws will return to historic Eldora Speedway for a two-night event.