Texas: Donny Schatz preview

Parkerstores Team heading to TMS looking for Texas heat. FT. WORTH - Donny Schatz thinks the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track is an awesome facility, but he wishes that one thing could be added to 4/10-mile dirt facility: a big dose of Texas heat.

Parkerstores Team heading to TMS looking for Texas heat.

FT. WORTH - Donny Schatz thinks the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track is an awesome facility, but he wishes that one thing could be added to 4/10-mile dirt facility: a big dose of Texas heat. Hot temperatures bring out the best in Schatz and his #15 ParkerStores J&J sprinter, and he'd love the temperature to be hot when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws return to TMS this weekend for the third annual Southern Bleacher Classic.

"If I could wish for anything, it would be for one of those really hot Texas weekends," said Schatz, the 24 year-old WoO star that calls Fargo, ND home. "We've built our program to be at its best when the air is the absolute worst in the middle of the summer. Every time we've been to TMS the weather has been pretty good, but not nearly hot enough for us."

Schatz and the ParkerStores team will get an early start to the event at TMS on Wednesday as they will be participating in a Goodyear tire test at the track.

"We haven't been very good at TMS," explained Schatz. "We are doing a Goodyear test on Wednesday and are hoping that will give us a chance to see if we can keep up with Stevie (Smith) and Haud (Jac Haudenschild). If we can get things going well at the test, we might be better off on Friday and Saturday."

Everyone on the team is working hard in order for the team to be as competitive as possible, and Schatz admits that getting every aspect of the race team working at their peak performance is the goal.

"We want to be at our best when it means the most and that makes it tough early on and late in the season," continued Schatz, who currently ranks 10th in the WoO standings. "Quite a few years ago, we had a program that allowed us to run well early and late in the season when the air was cool, but we got tired of struggling during the summer when all of the big races were taking place."

"It's a give and take deal, but no one likes to give anything. Everyone likes to take, but we're still right there on most nights and we know that when the weather warms up we'll end up taking a lot more. It's not a confidence thing right now, we just know that things will get better for us and hopefully, we'll be able to hang in there in the meantime."

Through 15 races in the 2002 season, Schatz has had some bright spots including a runner up finish at Houston Raceway Park by a mere .012 seconds to Mark Kinser on March 25. He also finished third last Saturday night at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO. His best finish at TMS came last spring when he finished eighth in the opening night feature.

If the weather forecasters are right the temperatures for the weekend will be in the 70's, which isn't quite like the 90's that Schatz was hoping for, but it might be just warm enough.

- www.donnyschatz.com

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Jac Haudenschild