Schatz Golden at Silver Dollar Speedway: Wins Night ...
Schatz Golden at Silver Dollar Speedway: Wins Night #2 of the Gold Cup Race of Champions with Joey Saldana Moving Back into World of Outlaws Point Lead
Chico, CA-September 10, 2010- Donny Schatz has experienced the highest of highs during the Gold Cup Race of Champion at Silver Dollar Speedway in California, winning the famed event in 2004 and the lowest of lows, enduring a frightening wreck and subsequent fire at the high-banked ¼-mile bullring in 2006. He took a big step in putting himself in a position to contend for his second Gold Cup on Friday night, as he picked up the win on the second night of the three-day classic in an exciting 30-lap contest with California native Paul McMahan.
Schatz started second and fell back fell back to third on the third lap before getting around Jason Sides to move into the runner-up spot and then track down McMahan, who led from the outset. Schatz battled McMahan for a number of laps in traffic before taking the lead on the high side of turn four on the 13th circuit. Schatz would lead the remainder of the distance to score his fourth win of the season and the 104th of his World of Outlaw career, which puts him just three behind Hall of Famer Doug Wolfgang for fourth on the series all-time win list.
"It was a great night for us," said Schatz. "We kept plugging away and plugging away at it. It's fun to race with guys like Paullie (McMahan) and Joey (Saldana). I haven't had that much fun in a while. It's good to have that and great to return to Victory Lane, especially here at Chico."
Joey Saldana came home third on Friday night to retake the lead in the World of Outlaws championship standings by a mere two markers over Jason Meyers, who had taken the lead on Thursday night by two over Saldana. Meyers finished fourth on the second night of the Gold Cup as he too chases his first title. Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, remains third in points and is 55 points back after contact with a lapped car on the final lap on Friday night relegated him to a 19th-place finish, following a first lap spin that sent him to the rear of the field from which he had worked his way back into the Top-10. Schatz is currently fourth in the standings, 119 markers out, as he chases his fifth consecutive title.
Schatz and McMahan battled for the majority of the 30-lap contest in traffic, with Schatz nearly taking the lead a couple of times between the seventh and 12th laps in turns three and four, before taking the top spot on the 13th circuit on the high side of turn four. Three cautions and two red flags slowed the race, with the leader choosing the low line on the double file restart each time. Schatz was out front on the lap-18 red flag and quickly shot out to a lead when the green flag flew aboard the Armor All/STP J&J as McMahan had his hands full with Jason Sides.
"The car was great, especially in traffic," noted the winner. "I have struggled every time I have come back here after I won the Gold Cup (in 2004). A lot of it is probably having the hardest crash of your life and the fire and walking away from it and coming back to a place I enjoy. They do a great job here and make the track great. There was a middle, a top and a bottom. I got by Paul (McMahan) in traffic and just about got passed back. That's the way it's supposed to be. I hope the fans enjoyed every minute of it, because I know I did."
Schatz earned the sixth most points on the first two nights of the Gold Cup to solidly put himself in the 40-lap main event on Saturday night as he looks to claim his second career Gold Cup. He came all the way from 19th to finish eighth in Thursday night and looks to use a number of things he learned on the first two nights in the $50,000 to-win finale.
"The track will be closer to what it was tonight tomorrow night rather than what it was on the first night," shared the North Dakota native. "It's still sticky and slick out there and my guys had an awesome balance on the car and I think we have a good handle on it. I'm just looking forward to it and to be starting in the Top-10 is a great start."
McMahan led the first 12 laps on Friday night aboard the Great Clip Maxim en route to the runner-up finish at his home track. Coupled with a seventh-place finish in the opener of the Gold Cup, he earned the third most event points to earn a second row starting spot on Saturday night.
"We had a good run," said McMahan. "I think my car may have been a little better than Donny's (Schatz) in traffic. I think I got close to the lead there on lap-27. He got back around a lapped car and kind of used it as a pick. It was a good run and anytime you can run up front against these guys is great, especially here at home."
Saldana started eighth and charged around the top of the ¼-mile bullring to work his way into the Top-Five and then onto the podium to come home third in the Budweiser Maxim. He finished two spots ahead of Jason Meyers to retake the series point leader after losing it on Friday night after a 15 th-place finish.
"I was dying for lapped traffic and when we got to it, I thought I was much better than those guys," stated Saldana. "We were running the top in (turns) one and two and I think that was the difference. In traffic we had that yellow and just didn't have enough time. It was a good run for us and we are in a pretty good spot for tomorrow."
Jason Sides continued a solid weekend at Silver Dollar Speedway coming home fourth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim, after a sixth-place effort in the opener. The veteran earned the second most event points and will start on the outside of the front row tomorrow.
Jason Meyers came home fifth on Friday night in the GLR Investments KPC and wound up earning the most event points, which will put him on the pole for the 57th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions on Saturday night as he looks to add his name to the illustrious list of past victors. He finished fourth on Thursday night.
Jonathan Allard finished a very solid sixth on Friday night in the Red Line Oil A.R.T. and coupled with a runner-up finish on Thursday night earned the fourth most event points.
Kerry Madsen ended up seventh on the second night of the Gold Cup aboard the Halls Haulage KPC, with Sam Hafertepe Jr. eighth piloting the Lone Star Speedway Maxim. Kyle Larson scored the best finish of his World of Outlaws career coming home ninth in the Stadlehoffer Construction Maxim after a 10 th-place run on Thursday night. Sammy Swindell, who was victorious in the opener of the Gold Cup, came from the 20th spot to finish 10th in the Big Game Treestands Maxim to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award.
The 57th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California wraps up on Saturday, September 11 with the 40-lap $50,000 to-win finale.
GOLD CUP RACE OF CHAMPIONS NIGHT #2 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Sam Hafertepe Jr. paced the 48 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/4-mile oval at 11.299 seconds at 79.653 miles per hour. For his qualifying effort Hafertepe earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jason Sides (4), Evan Suggs (3), Paul McMahan (2) and Donny Schatz (1).
* SILVER DOLLAR SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Jayme Barnes, Joey Saldana, Kerry Madsen and Danny Lasoski won heat races. Paul McMahan won the dash. Lucas Wolfe won the Last Chance Showdown. Sean McMahan won the C-Main
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 58 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway-twice, Dodge City Raceway Park, River Cities Speedway, LaSalle Speedway, Beaver Dam Raceway, Lernerville Speedway, Nodak Speedway and Castrol Raceway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, I-96 Speedway, North Central Speedway, I-55 Raceway and Castrol Raceway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Autodrome Drummond, Fulton Speedway and Skagit Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park, The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Ohsweken Speedway and Silver Dollar Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway, Missouri State Fair Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway and Nodak Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway, Knoxville Raceway and Skagit Speedway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway, Huset's Speedway and Silver Dollar Speedway), Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway), Danny Lasoski (Cottage Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).
* 1/4-MILE-WINNERS: Silver Dollar Speedway is a high-banked 1/4-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced seven times this season on a track that size. The winners include: Joey Saldana (River Cities Speedway and LaSalle Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Steve Kinser (River Cities Speedway), Danny Lasoski (Cottage Grove Speedway), Donny Schatz (Silver Dollar Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park) and Sammy Swindell (Silver Dollar Speedway).