Late Pass Gives Schatz Victory at Rolling Wheels ELBRIDGE, NY (June 2) -- Donny Schatz spoiled Steve Kinser's 50th birthday Wednesday at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, passing the World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader with less than two...
Late Pass Gives Schatz Victory at Rolling Wheels
ELBRIDGE, NY (June 2) -- Donny Schatz spoiled Steve Kinser's 50th birthday Wednesday at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, passing the World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader with less than two laps remaining en route to his first "A" Feature victory of the season.
Schatz drove his family's #15 Parker Store J&J around "The King of the Outlaws" high in the second corner and took the checkered flag with 12 car-lengths to spare. Finishing among the top three in the last three main events pushed Schatz to within nine points of second-place Danny Lasoski in the standings.
"We really needed this one," Schatz said. "It seems like we just haven't had the luck or been on our game or whatever. My crewmembers have been working their butts off all year long, and maybe I've been letting them down a little bit.
"I didn't think I was going to get into victory lane here. Steve and I went three wide with the lapped cars, and the guy on the outside pretty much just hit his brakes. I nearly ended up into Steve, but we got by. It's nice to beat Steve Kinser. He's the best there's ever been racing these cars, and to be able to get by him at the end of a race is a rare thing. Maybe we can start doing it a little more often. It's getting too late in the year, and we're falling too far behind."
Kinser, who has won eight World of Outlaws Sprint Series main events at Rolling Wheels, admitted making a mistake in lapped traffic and praised the 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year.
"I eased up a little too much there in traffic," Kinser said. "I ran over a lapped car at Hagerstown and threw a race away, so maybe I was thinking about that a little bit too much. I'll tell you, though, Donny Schatz is one of the best sprint car drivers to come along and, when the car's right, there's no one that drives it in harder than he does.
"With the exception of Hagerstown, we've had a pretty good run. We've been pretty much top two every night and we had Hagerstown won before we crashed, so we're pretty satisfied with the way things have been going."
Schatz, the second fastest of seven drivers eclipsing the previous single-lap record, earned the right to start the 25-lap "A" Feature outside the third row by following Paul McMahan and Lasoski across the finish line in the Second Dash Race. Kinser won his seventh Dash Race of the year for the privilege of starting the main event on the pole.
Brian Carlson collided with "B" Feature winner Brian Brown and Ryan Coniam and flipped into the fourth-corner retaining wall as the green flag fell in the main event, bringing out the red flag and nullifying the original start.
McMahan burst into the lead as the green flag replaced the red, and Lasoski passed Kinser for second place with an inside move between turns one and two early in the opening lap. McMahan was 20 car-lengths ahead of "The Dude" when he drove the #11H Selma Shell Maxim into lapped traffic five laps into the race.
Lasoski closed to within seven car-lengths of the leader in dense lapped traffic two laps later, and raced nose-to-tail down the front stretch with McMahan and Kinser early in lap 11. McMahan increased his advantage to 10 car-lengths by passing Coniam with a daring slide job the next time around, however.
Kinser and Schatz raced past "The Dude" deep in turn four during the 17th and 18th laps. "The King of the Outlaws" steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the lowest point in the third corner to pass McMahan for the lead late in lap 19.
Schatz took the low line into turn four to pass McMahan two laps later, and immediately set his sights on the leader. Schatz caught Kinser early in the 24th lap, and rode the rim around him in turn two on the way to the 21st victory of his World of Outlaws Sprint Series career.
"This is a lot better than I've been here before," said McMahan, who finished in third place. It seems like every time I've come to New York, we've been building a new car. My car was a little bit tight. It was nice at the start of the race, but then I had trouble getting through the corners there at the end. Donny did a good job getting by me, and Steve, well, what can you say about the best sprint car driver ever? We had a pretty good run tonight, and we'll take it and move on from here."
Joey Saldana's second straight fourth-place finish pushed him past Daryn Pittman into ninth place in the point standings. Fast qualifier Craig Dollansky finished fifth, ahead of Pittman, Lasoski, Brian Paulus, Tim Shaffer and Kraig Kinser.
Dollansky sliced .306 seconds off the single-lap record Mark Kinser set on June 2, 1999, with a
141.048 M.P.H. lap around the high-banked, 5/8-mile oval.
"First Lady" Erin Crocker, who grew up in Buffalo, NY, tied her career-best finish in a World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature with her second 12th-place run in the last five events.