GOLDEN NUGGET Tony Stewart Racing's Donny Schatz Looks To Add Another Gold Cup Crown to His Trophy Collection INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4, 2008) -- Winning races is all that matters to Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz. Each year there...
Tony Stewart Racing's Donny Schatz Looks To Add Another Gold Cup Crown to His Trophy Collection
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4, 2008) -- Winning races is all that matters to Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz. Each year there are only three races on the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series schedule that pay $50,000 to the winner, and Schatz wants to win them all. Last season, Schatz won two of the three, but the one he missed was the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif.
This weekend, he'll have a shot at redemption when he gets behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J to compete in the 55th annual Gold Cup, the crown jewel of winged Sprint car races in California.
Schatz struck gold in the event four years ago, leading every lap en route to his triumph in the 51st annual Gold Cup. Since that victory, he's been a man on a mission when the big money is on the line, winning 15 races that paid $20,000-to-win or more.
Thursday night, Schatz will start his 12th Gold Cup with a complete night of action including qualifying, heat races and a preliminary feature. The event continues Friday with another round of qualifying, heat races and a preliminary feature, then concludes on Saturday. Schatz' 2004 victory highlights his results, but consistency has been the norm for the Fargo, N.D., resident. The two-time defending WoO champion has finished inside the top-eight in six of the last seven Gold Cup finales. Last season, he charged from the 16th starting position to finish fifth.
On Tuesday night, Schatz picked up his 13th victory of the season at Cottage Grove (Ore.) Speedway. The track is where Schatz scored his first career WoO triumph on Aug. 24, 1998, and Tuesday's win was the 83rd WoO victory of his career. The win also gave TSR a two-race winning streak with Schatz' TSR teammate, Kraig Kinser, taking Monday's race at Gray Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, Wash. Schatz continues to lead the WoO season point standings with 7,024 points, 104 ahead of Jason Meyers. Schatz has 37 top-fives this season and has finished inside the top-10 in 48 of the 49 events this year.
For all three nights of the Gold Cup, pit gates will open at 2 p.m. PDT and the grandstands will open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More information is available by calling (530) 891-6535, or by visiting the track's official track Web site at www.johnpadjenmotorsports.com/silverDollar.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend's event can catch all of the action from Silver Dollar Speedway 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:
The Gold Cup Race of the Champions is one of the bigger races of the season. Do you change your approach for the bigger races?
"Every race is a big one to us, but when the dollar amount on the winner's check is bigger than normal, you realize that. This Tony Stewart Racing team has been doing a great job all season, and we've got a good plan for this weekend, as well. The Gold Cup is kind of like the Knoxville Nationals because they split the field in half and you get points for everything. The point breakdown is a little different, so there's more emphasis on the preliminary feature. It comes down to being good every time you hit the track. After two nights, you see where you stack up."
Last year, you won all the big races except the Gold Cup. Is there added pressure to win it this year?
"There's always pressure. But we've won the race before, so it's not hanging over our heads. It's a tough race because they always have a great field of cars and things have to go your way. By Saturday night, you need to be starting somewhere near the first three rows. Last year, we were trying some things and didn't get the number of points we needed to in our preliminary night. We ended up starting way too far back. We charged up there, but by the time we got to the leaders the track had taken rubber.
"This would be a great event to win right now. Our season is winding down, so you try to get greedy and win everything you can. We want to put the Armor All/Chevy car in victory lane as many times as we can the rest of the year."
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.