A Night Two Remember: Schatz Wins Twice at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway Sedalia, MO-- June 11, 2008-- As a warm-up for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event on Wednesday night at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway, Donny...
A Night Two Remember: Schatz Wins Twice at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway
Sedalia, MO-- June 11, 2008-- As a warm-up for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event on Wednesday night at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway, Donny Schatz took part in a celebrity modified race to benefit the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation, filling in for his car owner Tony Stewart. While it was Schatz's first time ever in a modified, that did not slow him down as he held off NASCAR star Clint Bowyer for the win. He followed that up by winning a thrilling dual with Joey Saldana to pick up his third consecutive victory with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and his fifth triumph in the last six races.
After battling Joey Saldana for several laps, Schatz dove underneath him exiting the second turn on the 22nd lap in heavy lapped traffic to make the pass for the lead and ultimately the $10,000 win in the Ditzfeld Transfer Summer Nationals at the historic half-mile. It was the 76th career A-Feature win for the North Dakota native with the World of Outlaws and his second at Sedalia.
"It was a great night," said Schatz. "It was a lot of fun to be able to run that modified. I had a lot of fun. Tony (Stewart) was supposed to drive it and couldn't be here, so they asked me to drive it in his place. It took a little getting used to. I think Clint Bowyer was a little faster, but it was a short race. We started fifth and got our way to the front. I had a lot of fun."
Schatz began the night by turning in the second-fastest lap in time trials aboard the Armor All J&J. He was atop the leader board for most of the session before being knocked off by Meyers with just a couple of cars remaining. After a strong run in the second heat race he earned a spot in the Crane Cams Dash where he finished sixth to earn a third-row starting spot in the 25-lap A-Feature.
"My guys worked awfully hard tonight and they got the right amount of Armor All on the car," he said with a smile. "I learned a lot driving that modified. I ran the hot laps and they ran the dash for the sprint car, and then had some more laps in the modified feature before the sprint car feature."
Schatz has won three consecutive Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws events and now leads the series with six A-Feature wins as he chases his third consecutive title. He remains the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 of every event this season, a streak that now is at 18 races.
"We try to win every night out," he pointed out. "Right now we are not playing around, we are on top of our program. The crew is fine tuning the little things they need to fine tune and they are doing one hell of a job. They always do a great job, but it's more fun when you can show your appreciation with wins like we have been the last five or so races."
The event on Wednesday night was very reminiscent of the battle that Schatz and Saldana had last Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, where Schatz also came out on top in traffic late in the race. The two drivers sliced through traffic lap after lap as they chased each other for the top prize at Sedalia.
"It's a lot fun," Schatz said of the close racing. "This one and the one at Knoxville were certainly door bangers. It came down to the last couple of laps and he was good and we had a good car. We had to race in traffic and that is the fun part. We're glad to be in that position and those guys are running pretty consistent. We have to keep our game up and worry about what is going on with this (No.) 15 Armor All car."
Saldana led laps 17-21 on Wednesday night as he again nearly picked up his first win of the season. He has 15 Top-10 finishes with 10 of those being in the Top-Five. He quickly charged to the second position on the opening lap of the race and set his sights on Craig Dollansky who started on the pole and led the first 16 laps of the race. Saldana looked low on Dollansky on the third lap for lead through the first and second turns.
At the same time, Jason Meyers moved into fourth with Schatz, who started sixth just behind him. After the only yellow flag of the night flew four laps into the event, Saldana again tried to dive under Dollansky for the lead exiting the second turn on the restart.
Dollansky would pull away in open race track, with Saldana, Meyers, Schatz and Kraig Kinser chasing him.
Once the leader entered heavy traffic around the halfway point of the race, that allowed Saldana, Meyers and Schatz to really close in on Dollansky. While in traffic, Saldana took the lead on the 17th lap as he and Schatz shot around Dollansky who was held up by a slower machine.
This began an epic clash between Schatz and Saldana in traffic. On the 18th lap, Schatz looked high off the fourth turn for the lead and then again low in the second turn, to no avail. Saldana was able to open a slight advantage as he cleared a few of the slower machines, though Schatz gained momentum off the high side of the fourth turn to nearly take the lead with five laps to go.
The pair went side-by-side down the back straightaway on the next lap, with Schatz creeping ahead, but it was Saldana inching ahead on the front straightaway to officially retain the lead. On the 22nd lap while still in heavy traffic, Schatz darted under Saldana exiting the second turn, with a move that was similar to the one he used last Saturday night at Knoxville to take the lead from Saldana.
"It was a good run for us, because I felt like I was struggling all night," Saldana said. "We definitely got the car a lot better for the feature. We still didn't have what it took to win. I knew at the start I was pretty good and saw that Craig (Dollansky) was running the top and I was running the bottom and I thought I could get him."
Saldana aboard the Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI, did all he did over the last three laps of the race, as he tried to track Schatz back down.
"I felt like in the lapped cars I did the right thing," said the second generation driver. "His car was working better than mine. When we were in traffic he could turn off the top and run on the bottom. I couldn't do it. He had a better car."
Dollansky aboard the Auto Value Parts Stores Maxim led the first 16 laps of the event and wound up finishing third to earn his 17th Top-10 finishes in 18 starts, with 11 of those being in the Top-Five.
"We definitely would have been happier to have come home with a win, but it was a good team effort," said Dollansky. "I felt loose starting that race and thought that we may run into some trouble later. To come out with a Top-Three is good. We are working on some things here to get our program stronger and we'll just keep working at it."
Jason Meyers continued his strong start to the season with another Top-Five performance, as he was fourth on Wednesday night. He leads the series with 15 Top-Five runs, as he remains second in the championship standings heading into two events this weekend, driving the GLR Investments KPC.
"A top-four is not going to get it done," Meyers lamented. "We certainly need to be better than that. We missed the set-up tonight and struggled at a track we are usually a lot better at. We were kind of just sitting here talking about it, writing some notes of what we did wrong. We're going to have to run better than fourth each night to get back up there in the points. We learned a few things and we'll pack up tonight and head to Sioux Falls and see if we can't get them there."
Kraig Kinser finished fifth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim on Wednesday night, with 2001 World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski in sixth in the American Compressed Steel JEI. Jac Haudenschild was seventh in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim, with Kerry Madsen in eighth in the TK Concrete Maxim. Brian Brown was ninth in the SuperClean Maxim. Daryn Pittman rounded out the Top-10 in the Titan Garages Maxim.
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action on Friday, June 13 at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota.
SEDALIA'S STATE FAIR SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK
* A HELPING HAND: Several Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws drivers as well as series officials participated in the annual Michael Ross Memorial Foundation Golf Tournament on Tuesday afternoon at the Sedalia Country Club to help raise funds for the Foundation. In addition, all of the proceeds from the race on Wednesday night went to the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation. In the 11 years that the Foundation has been hosting the golf outing and race, over $1 million has been raised.
* DOUBLE DUTY: In addition to Donny Schatz doing double duty on Wednesday night, Johnny Gibson the "Voice of the Outlaws" also took part in the celebrity modified race in addition to his normal duties of announcing all of the World of Outlaws action. It was his first ever start in a full-sized race car and he ran very consistently in the event. He was joined in the celebrity race by NASCAR star Clint Bowyer, NHRA driver Gary Scelzi, NASCAR driver Randy LaJoie, USAC open wheel driver Brady Bacon, Kenny Sargent from Speed Freaks, and Scott Traylor from Racin' Boys.
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Meyers paced the 27 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked 1/2-mile oval at 16.553 seconds at 108.742 mph. For his qualifying effort, Meyers earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Donny Schatz (4), Terry McCarl (3), Jac Haudenschild (2), and Craig Dollansky (1).
* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Kraig Kinser, Craig Dollansky and Danny Lasoski won heat races...Craig Dollansky won the Crane Cams Dash... Steve Kinser won the B-Main.
* UP NEXT: A visit to Huset's Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota on Friday, June 13 for the first of a stretch of 11 consecutive short track races.
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Sedalia's State Fair Speedway; Sedalia, MO; June 11, 2008
1) 14-Jason Meyers 16.553
2) 15-Donny Schatz 16.573
3) 24-Terry McCarl 16.612
4) R19-Jac Haudenschild 16.642
5) 2-Craig Dollansky 16.650
6) 21-Daryn Pittman 16.695
7) 20-Kraig Kinser 16.698
8) 9-Joey Saldana 16.704
9) 33-Danny Lasoski 16.720
10) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 16.720
11) 21X-Brian Brown 16.742
12) 6-Tim Shaffer 16.798
13) 7S-Jason Sides 16.816
14) 83-Shane Stewart 16.817
15) 8K-Chad Kemenah 16.833
16) 11-Steve Kinser 16.866
17) 96-Bronson Maeschen 16.893
18) 55-Kerry Madsen 16.939
19) 5C-Chad Hillier 16.980
20) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 16.999
21) 22-Billy Alley 17.071
22) 57D-Tom Dickerman 17.243
23) A12-John Pate 17.646
24) 11T-Tyler Thompson 17.875
25) D12-Doc Sloan 18.573
26) 8-Jeff Wingate 19.070
27) 28-Andrew Korte 19.814
Heat 1 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 20-Kraig Kinser
2) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
3) 14-Jason Meyers
4) 7S-Jason Sides
5) R19-Jac Haudenschild
6) 5C-Chad Hillier
7) 57D-Tom Dickerman
8) D12-Doc Sloan
9) 11-Steve Kinser
Heat 2 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 2-Craig Dollansky
2) 9-Joey Saldana
3) 21X-Brian Brown
4) 15-Donny Schatz
5) 83-Shane Stewart
6) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
7) 96-Bronson Maeschen
8) A12-John Pate
9) 8-Jeff Wingate
Heat 3 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 33-Danny Lasoski
2) 24-Terry McCarl
3) 6-Tim Shaffer
4) 21-Daryn Pittman
5) 8K-Chad Kemenah
6) 55-Kerry Madsen
7) 22-Billy Alley
8) 11T-Tyler Thompson
9) 28-Andrew Korte
Crane Cams Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting
positions of A-feature)
1) 2-Craig Dollansky
2) 20-Kraig Kinser
3) 9-Joey Saldana
4) 33-Danny Lasoski
5) 14-Jason Meyers
6) 15-Donny Schatz
7) R19-Jac Haudenschild
8) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
9) 24-Terry McCarl
10) 21-Daryn Pittman
B-main (8 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 11-Steve Kinser
2) 22-Billy Alley
3) 96-Bronson Maeschen
4) 57D-Tom Dickerman
5) A12-John Pate
6) 11T-Tyler Thompson
7) D12-Doc Sloan [$200]
8) 28-Andrew Korte [$180]
9) 8-Jeff Wingate [$175]
A-main (25 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 15-Donny Schatz [$10,000]
2) 9-Joey Saldana [$5,500]
3) 2-Craig Dollansky [$3,200]
4) 14-Jason Meyers [$2,800]
5) 20-Kraig Kinser [$2,500]
6) 33-Danny Lasoski [$2,300]
7) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$2,200]
8) 55-Kerry Madsen [$2,100]
9) 21X-Brian Brown [$2,050]
10) 21-Daryn Pittman [$2,000]
11) 83-Shane Stewart [$1,500]
12) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$1,200]
13) 8K-Chad Kemenah [$1,100]
14) 11-Steve Kinser [$1,050]
15) 6-Tim Shaffer [$1,000]
16) 7S-Jason Sides [$900]
17) 24-Terry McCarl [$800]
18) 5C-Chad Hillier [$800]
19) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. [$800]
20) 22-Billy Alley [$800]
21) A12-John Pate [$800]
22) 57D-Tom Dickerman [$800]
23) 11T-Tyler Thompson [$800]
24) 96-Bronson Maeschen [$800]
Lap Leaders: Craig Dollansky 1-16, Joey Saldana 17-21, Donny Schatz 22-25
SuperClean Start Award: Craig Dollansky
Chicken Hawk Hot Lap Award: Craig Dollansky
Penske Power Position Award: Craig Dollansky
KSE Hard Charger Award: Kerry Madsen