STEVE KINSER & DONNY SCHATZ Tony Stewart Racing Duo Eyes Only 2010 Outlaws Stop in Indiana INDIANAPOLIS (April 20, 2010) -- After kicking off the 2010 World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series schedule in winning fashion, Tony Stewart Racing's...
STEVE KINSER & DONNY SCHATZ
Tony Stewart Racing Duo Eyes Only 2010 Outlaws Stop in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (April 20, 2010) -- After kicking off the 2010 World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series schedule in winning fashion, Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser were envisioning a season-long battle to claim the coveted Outlaws crown. They weren't the only drivers with the goal of capturing one of motorsports' toughest titles, and after a dozen races, its clear that this may be one of the most competitive season's in the series 32-year history.
Both Kinser, who drives the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/JD Byrider Maxim, and Schatz, pilot of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/STP/ParkerStore J&J, have been stuck on one victory since that early February weekend at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. The goal for each is to change that this weekend, when the Outlaws continue their early season run through the Midwest with Saturday's program at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind.
Returning to the high-banked quarter-mile dirt track in southwest Indiana may be just what the doctor ordered. For years, the track has been a personal stomping ground for Kinser, who has won 22 Sprint car feature events at the track. He raced there 10 times in 1978 and won every race. The Bloomington, Ind., native scored his first of eight WoO wins at Tri-State in May 1980. Kinser is also the most recent WoO winner at Tri-State after taking home the checkered flag last April. He dominated the A-Feature in his previous three WoO wins (1997, 2005 and 2007), leading all 40 laps each time.
The flag-to-flag win he scored in May 1997 came on one of the more memorable days of his historic racing career. That particular Sunday began with Kinser qualifying for the 81st Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and concluded at Tri-State with him scoring his 415th career WoO A-Feature triumph.
Ironically, it was that same day in May 1997 when a rookie from North Dakota named Donny Schatz made his debut at Tri-State. The night was one of his best during a tough rookie season. Early in the 40-lap race, he found himself in second position chasing Kinser. Schatz ended up finishing the race in sixth, scoring the first of his eight career top-10 finishes at the track. In 2007, Schatz raced from the 18th starting position to finish sixth again and, in July 2008, he charged to third, his best career finish at the track.
The TSR teams are both coming off consecutive top-10 finishes last weekend in WoO action. Schatz finished fifth in Friday night's Outlaws main event at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway in the Armor All/STP J&J, and Kinser raced the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to a fifth-place finish at I-55 Raceway near St. Louis on Saturday. Those finishes kept the TSR teammates inside the top-four of the 2010 WoO championship standings. Jason Meyers remains on top with Joey Saldana in second. Kinser is in third, 30 points out of first, and Schatz holds the fourth slot, 67 points back.
For Saturday's event at Tri-State Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2:30 p.m. CDT and the grandstands open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information on the event, contact the track at (812) 768-6025, or visit www.tristatespeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend's race can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, "Voice of the Outlaws," calls the action as he does at all WoO Sprint Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim:
Tri-State Speedway has been a pretty good place for you over the years. Is there a secret to your success there?
"I wouldn't say there are any secrets, we've just gotten around there pretty well. The last few years, especially, and we're hoping that continues. It's one of those typical short tracks and a lot can happen there. We've got a good package for that track, but anything can happen.
"The competition this year has been really tight and, last weekend, we weren't quite where we wanted to be at the end of the race. The Bass Pro Shops crew (crew chief Scott Gerkin and crewmen Gary DuBois and Travis LoGrande) will spend the week getting us prepared for Saturday and, hopefully, we'll be battling it out of the win."
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
The recent Outlaws schedule has included a number of short-track races. This weekend is no different as you return to Tri-State Speedway. Do you feel like you and your team have been able to learn things the last few weeks that will help you on Saturday?
"I think we've gotten better, but just haven't put a complete night together. Two weeks ago in Oklahoma, I felt really good and we were right there battling it out for the win until everyone's tires went away. Last weekend at Paducah, we had some moments where we felt like we were heading in the right direction, but also had some spots where we were going backwards. We came out of the box fast at Pevely and raced our way forward to third in the feature before the yellow flag came out and slowed our progress.
"It's a learning process when you are adapting to changes. I've had some good runs through the years in Haubstadt but haven't been able to get a win there, yet. That's our goal for the night, for sure, and if we are going to do that, we'll need to be fast right away and be able to end the night just as strong. This Armor All team (crew chief Rick Warner and crewmen Steve Swenson and Shane Bowers) is as tough as they come, and we're hoping Saturday is the beginning of a really good stretch for us."