Schatz wins rain-delayed Lernerville event SARVER, PA (May 21) -- Neither a 24-hour rain delay, dense lapped traffic nor a late caution period could keep Donny Schatz from winning Wednesday's O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature at ...
Schatz wins rain-delayed Lernerville event
SARVER, PA (May 21) -- Neither a 24-hour rain delay, dense lapped traffic nor a late caution period could keep Donny Schatz from winning Wednesday's O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature at Lernerville Speedway.
The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J passed Greg Hodnett early in the 12th lap and beat Pennsylvanian Lance Dewease under the checkered flag by 20 car-lengths to win his second "A" Feature of the season.
"I'd rather have the traffic in front of me than those restarts -- that's where you win or lose these races," Schatz said of the 34th-lap caution. "I got by Greg in traffic, and the traffic makes you move around and try to find something. I didn't think the bottom would come in tonight, but when I moved down there in (turns) one and two it worked, and the top was still fast in three and four.
"I caught up to Paul McMahan, and he was racing pretty hard with someone (Jason Meyers). When that happens, sometimes you just have to try something off the wall, and I did when I split Johnny Herrera and another guy (Stevie Smith) getting into the turn. It's nice to win here at Lernerville and Western Pennsylvania.
"The car was great tonight. My guys have been working real hard. We've been struggling a little bit with some DNFs lately, but maybe this will get us back on track. I have to go to Indy to run a Silver Crown car tomorrow (Thursday) night. Hopefully, we can do the same thing there that we did here tonight, though that may be a bit far-fetched."
The $10,000 victory was Schatz' 15th in 6 ½ years with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series.
Schatz, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 39-car field, won the Second Dash Race for the privilege of starting the 35-lap main event next to Hodnett on the front row.
Hodnett burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with the 1993 Rookie of the Year through turns three and four late in the second lap, but was unable to surge ahead. Tim Shaffer, who lives in Aliquippa, PA, brought out the caution flag when the #83 Beef Packers Eagle spun in the fourth corner several seconds later.
Tyler Walker was on the move when the race resumed, driving C&W Motorsports' #35 Maxim past First Heat Race winner Joey Saldana and Ed Lynch, Jr., within two laps to take over fifth place.
Hodnett controlled the restart, and was 15 car-lengths ahead of Schatz when he entered lapped traffic during the sixth lap. Schatz narrowed the gap to three car-lengths in dense lapped traffic three laps later.
Walker continued his run toward the front during the race's middle stages, passing fast qualifier Steve Kinser and O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski to claim third place.
Dewease, who started inside the sixth row, claimed second place by passing Kinser, Lasoski, Walker and Hodnett between the 25th and 29th laps.
Lasoski and Walker, the 2002 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, passed Hodnett as mechanical problems in the #12 Apple Motorsports Maxim forced him into the pit area late in lap 32. Daryn Pittman claimed fifth place with an inside move past Kinser between turns one and two several seconds later.
Shaffer spun in the second corner two laps later, setting up a two-lap dash to the checkered flag.
Schatz raced away from the field as the green flag replaced the yellow and coasted to victory. Pittman and "The Dude" exchanged fourth place during the final two laps.
Walker finished third, ahead of Lasoski, Pittman, Steve Kinser, 14th-starting Mark Kinser, Saldana, Dale Blaney and Sammy Swindell, who has won 14 main events at Lernerville Speedway.
"The King of the Outlaws" set quick time for the second time in as many races, circling the high-banked, ½-mile oval in 12.54 seconds, an average speed of 143.541 M.P.H.
Meyers, making his debut in Karavan Motorsports' #7 VMAC Maxim, was the 20th-fastest qualifier and finished second in the Fourth Heat Race. The 2000 Gumout Series Rookie of the Year raced into 15th place from outside the 10th row in the "A" Feature. Meyers will drive the #7 for the remainder of the season while Craig Dollansky recovers from a back injury.
After blowing an engine during hot laps and missing the qualifying session, Brian Paulus of Mechanicsburg, PA, drove the #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim past 14 cars in the "B" Feature and seven more in the main event to finish 17th.