Schatz, ParkerStore Team Eye Gold Cup Crown CHICO, CA - Donny Schatz has been trying to win a race in California for eight years and until last Saturday night's triumph in the Harvest Classic, he had been shutout in the Golden State. Schatz and...
Schatz, ParkerStore Team Eye Gold Cup Crown
CHICO, CA - Donny Schatz has been trying to win a race in California for eight years and until last Saturday night's triumph in the Harvest Classic, he had been shutout in the Golden State. Schatz and his ParkerStore team are aiming for their second win in California during this weekend's 51st running of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, CA .
"The Gold Cup is the biggest race in California and we'd sure like to be the best guy on the track Saturday night," said Schatz, who will pilot his #15 ParkerStore J&J in the event. "This race is really unique because the track is a tight bullring and crazy things happen there. Luck plays a pretty big part of the race, but you have to be at the right place in the right time. It's a lot like the track in Grand Forks (River Cities Speedway) where I learned a lot about racing and in some ways is like Princeton (MN), where we finished second earlier this year."
"I feel really good about our racing program right now. The J&J cars are working really well and we feel like our Shaver motor program is performing the best it has all season. Winning at Calistoga last week gave everyone a little extra motivation and we'd like to add the Gold Cup to our list of accomplishments."
In eight seasons of racing sprint cars full-time, Schatz has an impressive collection of trophies from some of the sport's biggest races including the Western World (1999), National Open (2000), Warrambool Classic (2001 & 2002) and Historical Big One (2002).
The Fargo, ND driver continues to hold the third position in the World of Outlaws sprint series standings and he's excited about returning to Silver Dollar Speedway.
"John Padjen does a great job making the weekend an event rather than just a race," continued Schatz, who's best Gold Cup finish is fourth, which he has accomplish twice (1999 and 2001). "There's something going on each night and the Chili feed is always one of my favorites. There are a lot of people that come here that you get to spend some time with. All in all its a great time, and I hope we get to take home some of his money this year."
Schatz will qualify in Thursday night's opener as the program is similar to the Knoxville Nationals. The field is split in half and teams are awarded points for qualifying, heat race finishes and the qualifying night feature. Saturday's Gold Cup is lined up by qualifying points and Schatz, who has been hurt the past two years with his time trial points, knows that every point is crucial.
"We're going to try and do the best we can every time we hit the track," explained Schatz. "When you have more than 80 cars at an event anything is possible. Steve (Kinser) and Danny (Lasoski) are both going to be in Richmond for the IROC race, so they'll be qualifying here on Friday night. They are the two guys to beat in my opinion, so we'll try to take advantage of them racing each other and see where the points shake out. "
"There are a lot of guys that can win this race, but the driver that finishes first will most likely be in the best car. I know (Crew Chief) Tyler (Swank), (Crewman) Brian (Bloomfield), and (Crewman) John (Pate) are going to everything they can to give me the best car."
Each night fans can listen to the Gold Cup live on the Sprint Car Network by logging onto www.sprintcarnet.com.