CHASING NUMBER THREE World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Eyes Third Consecutive Victory in Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 15, 2008) -- Right now, all Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car ...
CHASING NUMBER THREE
World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Eyes Third Consecutive Victory in Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 15, 2008) -- Right now, all Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series star Donny Schatz wants to do is get to a track and race. The Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver has been nearly unbeatable as the 2008 campaign nears conclusion. He's won his last two WoO starts driving the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J, leading every lap of both for his fourth set of back-to-back wins this season as the series heads to California for a pair of races this weekend.
Winning the next race has always been Schatz' mantra, and he'll look to continue his winning ways when he returns to action in the WoO's final two West Coast appearances of the 2008 campaign. Schatz's weekend begins with Friday night's program at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., and concludes Saturday night at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
The primary goal in 2008 was to win as many races as he could for TSR, the thought being if he could win the most WoO races, then claiming his third consecutive WoO championship would be a distinct possibility. In August, Schatz won Sprint car racing's most prestigious event -- the Knoxville Nationals -- for the third consecutive time. And if he can add to his series-leading 16 "A" feature wins this year, a third consecutive WoO championship just may be within reach.
The Fargo, N.D., resident is coming off his first career clean sweep at Hollywood Hills Speedway on Sunday. He was the fastest of 40 cars in qualifying, won the first heat race, won the Crane Cams Dash and won the 30-lap "A" feature. Schatz had to pass Jason Meyers on the final lap in the first heat race to put himself in position for a chance at the sweep. After that pass, he led every lap of the dash and feature event, and pushed his streak of feature laps led to 70 (30 at Princeton and 40 at Hollywood Hills). In June, he was able to string together two separate three-race winning streaks, and on Friday, he'll be looking to add another one.
Friday's race at Ocean Speedway will be Schatz' first race at the track since Sept. 3, 2002. He has three previous starts at the quarter-mile dirt oval with his best career finish of third coming in 2000.
On Saturday, Schatz will also be looking to make it two consecutive victories at the high-banked 1/3-mile Thunderbowl Raceway. Last October, he led all 35 laps to collect his 17th "A" feature triumph of 2007. He was also victorious at the track in October 2005. Saturday's race will be his 10th career start at the track, and he has recorded seven top-six finishes in his previous starts.
Schatz continues to lead in the season-long WoO championship point standings with 8,332 points. He is 138 ahead of second-place Meyers with five nights of racing remaining. His 2008 statistics include 16 WoO wins, 43 top-five finishes and 54 top-10s in 58 WoO races this season.
On Friday at Ocean Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at noon PDT. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details, contact Ocean Speedway at (831) 476-9466. The official Web site of Ocean Speedway is www.oceanspeedway.com.
The pit gates will be open all day Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. For more details, contact Thunderbowl Raceway at (559) 688-0909. The official Web site of Thunderbowl Raceway is www.tularethunderbowl.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend's doubleheader in California 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.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
You've won the last two races and have already had two three-race winning streaks this season. This weekend, you're going back to California, where you've won feature events in October of 2005 and 2007. Do you worry about streaks, numbers or places where you've won before?
"Winning is what drives all of us to do this. Tony Stewart Racing hired me to win races, so that's what we try to do. There have been times this year when I didn't think we were even close to winning, and others when I didn't think there was any way we could be beat. We've put some winning streaks together this year and got some wins in bunches. That's kind of how this sport goes. You keep working hard to find the right combination, and when you find it, you try to hold onto it as long as you can and keep getting better.
"These Armor All guys (Rick Warner, Shane Bowers, and Kyle Sundby) are really motivated to win races. We don't get too excited about things or worry about too many numbers. Once we leave a race, our focus turns toward winning the next one. Right now, we're focused on going to Watsonville and racing at Ocean Speedway. I haven't won there before, so priority one is getting ourselves in a position to have a chance late in the feature race. When the race is over, then we can worry about Tulare and trying to win there for the third time."
Late in the season is typically when teams will do research and development on some things for the following year. With only five races remaining and you being in contention for the championship, can you test things during these final races?
"Absolutely. That's the bonus of winning races throughout the season. You have the ability to spend the time late in the year trying different combinations that may help you in the future. The really encouraging thing for us is that we've been in test mode for the last few weeks. We've been testing things for next year. and when you can win races while you are testing things, it really gives you a lot to look forward to. We're still out here to win races for Armor All, Chevy, ParkerStore and all the TSR partners, so we don't get too far away from the baseline. But we have learned some things that we feel will help keep us on top."
For complete Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series results, log on to www.worldofoutlaws.com. For information regarding TSR, Schatz, Armor All, Chevy, or ParkerStore, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.donnyschatz.com, www.aa-ownercenter.com, www.chevrolet.com, or www.parkerstore.com.