Schatz, Parkerstore team shooting for caution-free run at XM Satellite Radio Outlaw showdown. CONCORD, NC (May 23) - Donny Schatz has quickly taken a liking to The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, and the 24 year-old Fargo, ND Pennzoil...
Schatz, Parkerstore team shooting for caution-free run at XM Satellite Radio Outlaw showdown.
CONCORD, NC (May 23) - Donny Schatz has quickly taken a liking to The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, and the 24 year-old Fargo, ND Pennzoil World of Outlaws (WoO) star will drive his #15 ParkerStore/Featherlite J&J sprinter in this weekend's XM Satellite Radio Showdown set for Friday and Saturday Nights at the state-of-the-art racing facility.
"I always get pumped up when we are Charlotte," said Schatz. "It's a really great place to race because the layout of the track really provides some great speed. The corners are really challenging, and you have to stay on your toes the entire time you're on the track. We've done pretty well there, and last year if it weren't for two late yellow flags, I think we would have won both "A" features. Having good results at a particular track really helps you prepare for a weekend like this."
Schatz will be looking to continue his success on the high-banked 4/10-mile oval, which includes seven finishes of sixth or better in eight starts. He won a preliminary feature in October of 2000 and last season, he finished sixth, third, third and second. In both "A"feature programs in 2001, he was running down the leader, but late caution flags hurt his chance for victory.
This season the team has been battling problems with qualifying. The new WoO format puts a much higher premium on qualifying, and even though the #15 ParkerStore sprinter has been one of the fastest cars on the track in the features, he hasn't been challenging for the wins like he was a season ago.
"We've been strong at the end of the nights, but haven't been able to qualify well enough to start up front," said Schatz, who last weekend raced from 21st to 7th at Williams Grove and 16th to 6th at Hagerstown Speedway. "This year we've changed a lot of things trying to get better. Last year by this time, we had two wins under our belt and that helped everything. We've been able to charge from the back to get top ten finishes, but that's not cutting it."
Schatz had his best weekend of the season that last time the WoO shared the card in a race market with NASCAR. He finished second at the Talladega Short Track on April 20th after leading the feature for 26 of 40 laps. Schatz lost the lead late in the race when he wasn't able to clear two lapped cars.
"We've had a couple chances to win races this year, but we haven't got the job done yet," continued Schatz. "The weekend at Talladega was a positive because we qualified good (2nd) and (Crew Chief) Kenny (Woodruff) and (Crewman) Shane (Anderson) really had the car nice for me. Our goal is to give ourselves a chance to be up front and that starts early in the night. We know we can race good, but we just need to be closer to the front when the race starts."
Through 28 nights of action in 2002, Schatz has 17 top ten finishes and ranks eighth in the WoO standings. He is one of only five drivers to win a feature race at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, and his six top five finishes rank just one behind Steve Kinser who leads all Outlaw competitors at the track through eight races.