River Cities results 2008-06-27

Patience, Perseverance & A Little Luck Pay Off for Schatz on Wild Night at River Cities Speedway Grand Forks, ND-- June 27, 2008-- On the second lap of the first heat race on Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Donny...

Patience, Perseverance & A Little Luck Pay Off for Schatz on Wild Night at River Cities Speedway

Grand Forks, ND-- June 27, 2008-- On the second lap of the first heat race on Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Donny Schatz's night took an unexpected turn, which could have been disastrous. After setting fast time and lining up fourth in the heat race, he was battling for the lead when Jac Haudenschild spun, leaving him no place to go and severely damaging the front end of his car.

The two-time defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion was forced to race his way into the A-Feature by way of the B-Main, which he handily won. He used a little luck late in the 40-lap A-Feature to inherit the lead when Jason Meyers and Kerry Madsen got together, while they were battling for the lead. He had a late battle with Craig Dollansky to pick up his series leading eighth A-Feature win of the 2008 season, in the opener of the 2008 Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour which also served as the opener of the Duel in the Dakotas.

"It was a good night," said the winner after conquering the high-banked three-tenths mile. "The car really came on at the end and we had a very good car late in the race. We could roll through the middle in (turns) one and two. We need lapped traffic and we got it. That allowed us to get some spots and watch the battle-fest with the 14 (Jason Meyers) and 55 (Kerry Madsen)."

The race began with Meyers leading from the pole position with Madsen chasing him. Sam Hafertepe Jr. moved up to third on the opening lap. Just five laps into the 40-lap event, Meyers was already in lapped traffic. The traffic became heavier, with Madsen able to close in a little bit, as he looked to the low side of the track on several occasions early in the race as he tried to track down Meyers.

The first yellow flag of the race flew on the 11th lap giving the leaders open race track to work with. Meyers used a strong restart to maintain his lead, as several battled ensued behind him, including Hafertepe and Mark Dobmeier jockeying for the third position. Just a couple of laps later, Dollansky was able to get a strong run to take the third position from Dobmeier.

The second caution of the night came on the 19th lap just as the leaders were about to enter traffic. Meyers used another strong restart to maintain his lead. At this same time, Jac Haudenschild began to close on the leader as he was running fourth.

With 15 laps remaining, Meyers was utilizing the high side of the track to stay ahead of Madsen. The caution flew again on the 29th lap. On the restart, it was Haudenschild and Madsen battling side-by-side for the second spot for a number of laps. With five laps to go, Haudenschild drove deep into the third and fourth turns, with contact ensuing which caused him to go off the track, though he kept the car running and despite losing a few positions, he motored on.

At the very same moment that Haudenschild had his off-track excursion, Madsen made contact with Meyers in turns one and two as he made a bid for the lead. This caused Meyers to spin, with Madsen then running into him. Both cars went to the work area and returned at the tail end of the lead lap on the restart. Madsen would finish 14th, while Meyers who led the first 35 laps of the race wound up 16th.

Schatz inherited the lead at this point, which was the 36th lap, though on the restart he was passed by Craig Dollansky exiting the fourth turn. He quickly battled back and on the very next lap shot around Dollansky coming off the second turn to take the lead and ultimately the $10,000 win.

"I was kind of playing it cool," Schatz explained of the late restart. "I didn't know what he was going to do on the restart. He got a run on me. He was running the top and slid me and I just had to be calm and cool and get back by him, which I did. It was a good race. He raced us clean and we had a good time. I'm glad we came out on top."

Schatz, driving the Armor All J&J for Tony Stewart Racing, became the first driver this season to come from the B-Main to win an A-Feature event, earning the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award in the process. His 11th-place start in the main event is the farthest back any winner has come from this season. He remains the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each and every event in 2008, as he continues to chase his third consecutive title.

"Everything happens for a reason and we had to run the B (Main)," Schatz said. "To come from 11th to win, I am happy for these guys. They dug down deep. It goes to show how good these guys are in adversity. We'll come back tomorrow night and try to do it again."

Schatz received the winner's trophy from Kevin Hanson of Gerdau Ameristeel in Victory Lane, which was his 78th career Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature victory. He is just three wins shy of breaking into the Top-Five on the all-time wins list. It was his second career win at River Cities Speedway and first with the World of Outlaws at the track in his home state.

"It was awesome tonight," said Schatz. "The stands were full. I think this was one of the best crowd we have seen all season tonight. I'm glad to see that for the folks here and they got to see a good race. They can't say there wasn't any passing, because the guy who started 11th won. I'm glad to have that."

Schatz patiently worked his way to the front after starting 11th. He moved into 10th on the fourth lap and then began a steady march to the front. After battling Shane Stewart for a few laps, he got around him and then Jason Sides, before working on Joey Saldana. He then set his sights on Sam Hafertepe Jr. and fellow North Dakotan Mark Dobmeier. With 11 laps to go, Schatz found himself in the Top-Five. He powered his way past Dollansky on the next lap, before gaining a spot on the 35th lap when Jac Haudenschild had his off-track excursion exiting the third and fourth turns. This put him in third, behind Meyers and Madsen.

Dollansky led the 36th lap and would up second in a specially painted Aggressive Hydraulics Maxim, after starting fifth. It was his 22nd Top-10 finish in 23 events this season as he continues to chase Schatz and Meyers in the standings.

"It would have been nice to have been one more spot better, but we were struggling," said Dollansky. "The car wasn't what we were looking for in the feature. We made a few changes that did not work out too well. It was a good second-place effort. Donny (Schatz) did a good job and they had a good race car. We had the Aggressive Hydraulics car tonight and it would have been nice to win for them."

Joey Saldana started seventh aboard the Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI and after losing a couple of spots early, he too steadily worked his way to the front. He also was a benefactor after the contact between Madsen and Meyers.

"It was a good finish," noted Saldana. "We struggled all night and fell back to ninth. We kept sticking with it. The top paid off for me at the end. I think the bottom slicked off for those guys and I just stayed on the top. I don't know what happened at the end with (Jason) Meyers and (Kerry) Madsen, but it put us in position to run in the Top-Three. It was a good night for us."

Sam Hafertepe Jr. had another strong night in the G.H. Plumbing J&J, as he finished fourth. The sophomore driver has nine Top-10 finishes this season as he continues to close in on his first win of the season, as well as closing in on the Top-10 in the championship standings.

"We are really pleased with tonight," said the native of Sunnyvale, Texas. "If the car hadn't been so tight, we might have had a better shot at the win. We'll take a fourth. It was a really good win for the team. We are just performing so well right now. The motors are running good and we are excited for the races coming up."

Daryn Pittman was fifth in the Titan Garages Maxim, with Haudenschild in sixth in the Owerns-Corning Fiberglass Maxim. Mark Dobmeier, a native of Grand Forks was seventh in the Senske & Son J&J. Chad Kemenah was eighth in the Kantor Oil Company Maxim, with Steve Kinser in the Q Oil Maxim ninth and Jason Sides in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim rounded out the Top-10.

The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series wraps up the Duel in the Dakotas on Saturday night at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, in the second event of the Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour.


* BACK ON THE TRAIL: Paul McMahan made his debut behind the wheel of the No. 6 for the Parson Motorsports team on Friday night at River Cities Speedway. The California native who now calls Nashville home won twice last season with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and has seven career A-Feature wins with the series. He finished 13th in his first start for the team.

* HOME STATE HONOR: Donny Schatz, the two-time defending World of Outlaws champion was recently named the recipient of the 2008 Dakota Award, from the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, given annually to a North Dakotan excelling outside the state. It was the second time in his career he has received the prestigious honor.

* FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 36 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked three-tenths-mile oval at 9.832 seconds at 109.845 mph. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Kerry Madsen (4), Jason Meyers (3), Steve Kinser (2), and Jason Sides (1).

* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Jason Sides, Craig Dollansky, Jason Meyers and Joey Saldana won heat races... Jason Meyers won the Crane Cams Dash....Donny Schatz won the B-Main... Nick Shirek won the C-Main.

* UP NEXT: The second round of the Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota on Saturday night, followed by a stop at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin to close out the month of June.

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Gerdau Ameristeel Duel in the Dakotas Night #1; Grand Forks, ND; June 27, 2008

1) 15-Donny Schatz 9.832
2) 55-Kerry Madsen 9.887
3) 14-Jason Meyers 9.895
4) 11-Steve Kinser 9.904
5) 7S-Jason Sides 9.917
6) 2-Craig Dollansky 9.933
7) 83-Shane Stewart 10.027
8) 9-Joey Saldana 10.038
9) R19-Jac Haudenschild 10.043
10) 34-Brooke Tatnell 10.061
11) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 10.078
12) 13-Mark Dobmeier 10.083
13) 6-Paul McMahan 10.100
14) 21-Daryn Pittman 10.123
15) 5C-Chad Hillier 10.197
16) 22-Jason Linnell 10.230
17) 8K-Chad Kemenah 10.232
18) 33-Scott McDonald 10.239
19) 10TR-Bob Martin 10.242
20) 56-Johnn Cressman 10.279
21) 21K-Lou Kennedy 10.318
22) 24-Terry McCarl 10.360
23) 6N-Greg Nikitenko 10.394
24) 20-Kraig Kinser 10.409
25) 9K-Brent Kronfuss 10.427
26) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 10.438
27) 1-Chris Shirek 10.483
28) 9N-Wade Nygaard 10.501
29) 8-Casey Mack 10.566
30) 18X-Ryan Wilson 10.572
31) 20K-Thomas Kennedy 10.916
32) 14X-Tom Egeland 11.089
33) 11K-Nick Shirek 11.194
34) 12-Jeff Vonasek 11.207
35) 17-Todd Mickelson 11.340
36) 20J-Kevin Lawson 11.750
37) 81-Chris Burke -.---
38) 20L-Dusty Lawson -.---
39) 99-Jordan Graham -.---

Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 7S-Jason Sides
2) R19-Jac Haudenschild
3) 6-Paul McMahan
4) 8K-Chad Kemenah
5) 9K-Brent Kronfuss
6) 21K-Lou Kennedy
7) 8-Casey Mack
8) 15-Donny Schatz
9) 20L-Dusty Lawson

Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 2-Craig Dollansky
2) 55-Kerry Madsen
3) 21-Daryn Pittman
4) 24-Terry McCarl
5) 34-Brooke Tatnell
6) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
7) 18X-Ryan Wilson
8) 12-Jeff Vonasek
9) 33-Scott McDonald

Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 14-Jason Meyers
2) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
3) 83-Shane Stewart
4) 5C-Chad Hillier
5) 1-Chris Shirek
6) 6N-Greg Nikitenko
7) 10TR-Bob Martin
8) 20K-Thomas Kennedy
9) 17-Todd Mickelson

Heat 4 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 9-Joey Saldana
2) 13-Mark Dobmeier
3) 11-Steve Kinser
4) 20-Kraig Kinser
5) 9N-Wade Nygaard
6) 22-Jason Linnell
7) 14X-Tom Egeland
8) 20J-Kevin Lawson
9) 56-Johnn Cressman

Crane Cams Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
1) 14-Jason Meyers
2) 55-Kerry Madsen
3) R19-Jac Haudenschild
4) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
5) 2-Craig Dollansky
6) 13-Mark Dobmeier
7) 9-Joey Saldana
8) 7S-Jason Sides
9) 83-Shane Stewart
10) 11-Steve Kinser

C-main (6 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to B-main)
1) 11K-Nick Shirek
2) 12-Jeff Vonasek
3) 20J-Kevin Lawson [$275]
4) 17-Todd Mickelson [$275]
5) 20L-Dusty Lawson [$275]
6) 81-Chris Burke [$250]

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 15-Donny Schatz
2) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
3) 22-Jason Linnell
4) 33-Scott McDonald
5) 8-Casey Mack
6) 21K-Lou Kennedy
7) 20K-Thomas Kennedy [$350]
8) 14X-Tom Egeland [$330]
9) 18X-Ryan Wilson [$325]
10) 6N-Greg Nikitenko [$310]
11) 11K-Nick Shirek [$300]
12) 12-Jeff Vonasek [$300]
13) 10TR-Bob Martin [$300]
14) 56-Johnn Cressman [$300]

A-main (40 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 15-Donny Schatz[11] [$10,000]
2) 2-Craig Dollansky[5] [$5,500]
3) 9-Joey Saldana[7] [$3,200]
4) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[4] [$2,800]
5) 21-Daryn Pittman[14] [$2,500]
6) R19-Jac Haudenschild[3] [$2,300]
7) 13-Mark Dobmeier[6] [$2,200]
8) 8K-Chad Kemenah[17] [$2,100]
9) 11-Steve Kinser[10] [$2,050]
10) 7S-Jason Sides[8] [$2,000]
11) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.[22] [$1,500]
12) 34-Brooke Tatnell[12] [$1,200]
13) 6-Paul McMahan[13] [$1,100]
14) 55-Kerry Madsen[2] [$1,050]
15) 24-Terry McCarl[19] [$1,000]
16) 14-Jason Meyers[1] [$900]
17) 5C-Chad Hillier[15] [$800]
18) 9K-Brent Kronfuss[21] [$800]
19) 9N-Wade Nygaard[24] [$800]
20) 83-Shane Stewart[9] [$800]
21) 20-Kraig Kinser[20] [$800]
22) 22-Jason Linnell[16] [$800]
23) 1-Chris Shirek[23] [$800]
24) 33-Scott McDonald[18] [$800]

Lap Leaders: Jason Meyers 1-35, Craig Dollansky 36, Donny Schatz 37-40

Chicken Hawk Hotlap Award: Jason Meyers
Penske Power Position Award: Joey Saldana
SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Mark Dobmeier
KSE Hard Charger Award: Donny Schatz

-credit; woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Kevin Hanson , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.