Schatz Beats Dollansky, Rain at Heartland Park TOPEKA, KS (June 16) -- Not only did Donny Schatz out-race the best sprint car drivers in the world Saturday at O'Reilly Auto Parts Motor Speedway at Heartland Park Topeka, he also beat Mother ...
Schatz Beats Dollansky, Rain at Heartland Park
TOPEKA, KS (June 16) -- Not only did Donny Schatz out-race the best sprint car drivers in the world Saturday at O'Reilly Auto Parts Motor Speedway at Heartland Park Topeka, he also beat Mother Nature.
Schatz raced past Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, Danny Wood and early leader Craig Dollansky for his third "A" Feature victory of the season. Thunderstorms drenched the Kansas countryside less than a mile from Heartland Park Topeka's new, permanent dirt racing facility as Schatz took the checkered flag.
"The way the track was tonight, you just had to be patient and not make any mistakes," Schatz said as lightning lit up the sky. "My car was perfect. Kenny Woodruff and the whole crew did a great job for me, and these guys did an awesome job building this track in such a short amount of time. I'm glad they decided to build this place, because I really struggled over there (on the drag strip). I want to thank O'Reilly Auto parts for sponsoring the races this weekend. I can't wait to come back here next year."
Schatz, who finished third in Friday's Preliminary Feature, started the main event outside the second row after running fourth in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. Dollansky won the eight-lap race for the right to start the 35-lap main event on the pole.
Wood, who earned the outside pole position by racing into second place from inside the fourth row in the CHANNELLOCK Dash, raced wheel- to-wheel with Dollansky as the green flag fell in the series' 24th event of the season. The defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion drove Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim into the lead high in turn two.
Paul McMahan and Lasoski passed Steve Kinser during the second and third laps, respectively, only to have "The King of the Outlaws" pass them both with an inside move in the second corner to regain fourth place early in lap four. McMahan drove Warren Johnson's #U2 United Expressline Eagle into the low groove between turns three and four to pass "The Dude" for fifth place the next time around.
Dollansky was 1.4 seconds ahead of Wood when he entered lapped traffic seven laps into the race. Wood drove the #21W Pepsi Avenger to within .8 seconds of Dollansky within four laps, however.
Schatz started making his way toward the front in lapped traffic, driving his family's #15 Parker Stores J&J past Wood deep in turn two early in the 14th lap. The 1997 Rookie of the Year stayed in the low groove to pass Dollansky for the lead between the third and fourth corners three laps later.
Kinser steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim deep in turn two to pass McMahan for fourth place early in the 20th lap.
Schatz built a comfortable, 1.4-second advantage by lap 21, but Dollansky caught him in dense lapped traffic four laps later. Schatz was .7 seconds ahead of Dollansky when First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Randy Hannagan brought out the caution flag with a third- corner spin late in lap 32.
"The King of the Outlaws" took the inside line through turns one and two to pass Wood for third place as the green flag replaced the yellow. McMahan passed Wood with a similar move the next time around, only to have the 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year regain the position with a low move in the fourth corner with the checkered flag in sight. Wood's fourth-place run is his best finish in a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature this season.
Schatz visited victory lane for the eighth time in his career after beating Dollansky across the finish line by 1.8 seconds.
McMahan finished fifth, ahead of Lasoski, Joey Saldana, 12th- starting Mark Kinser, Jeff Shepard and Dale Blaney.
Jason Meyers paced the qualifying session with a 111.598-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval.
Magneto problems in the #11H Vivarin Maxim kept Tim Shaffer from taking his turn in the qualifying session. He was scored 17th-quick and raced into 13th place from outside the ninth row in the main event.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the Bud Carson Memorial at State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City Tuesday, then run the 18th Annual Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. TNN: The National Network will televise Friday's race live.