READY FOR A SHOOTOUT World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Aims to Keep Tony Stewart Racing Team on Top INDIANAPOLIS (June 17, 2008) -- Being the top gun for the past two years has made Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz a ...
READY FOR A SHOOTOUT
World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Aims to Keep Tony Stewart Racing Team on Top
INDIANAPOLIS (June 17, 2008) -- Being the top gun for the past two years has made Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz a wanted man on most nights the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint series is in action. That scenario will persist this weekend as the Outlaws stage the Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway Park on Friday and Saturday nights.
The two-time defending WoO champion hasn't let up in his pursuit of a third consecutive championship in winged Sprint car racing's premiere series. The Fargo, N.D., resident has relished the role of favorite and is happy to see the competition come after the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J night after night.
During the past two weeks, Schatz has turned up the pressure on the competition, racing to victory five times in the past eight events. During that span, Schatz has also finished second twice and came home fourth in his last race Saturday night at the Eagle (Neb.) Nationals.
Schatz will be making his seventh career start at the 3/8-mile dirt oval situated in the heart of the Old West of Kansas. In a town that once served as a pathway to the Santa Fe Trail and later made Wyatt Erp famous, Schatz has yet to strike gold and come home victorious, but he has scored four top-five finishes in six previous races.
Last season's Boot Hill Showdown was a frustrating one for Schatz, who opened the festivities by earning the fast-qualifier award on Friday night. He finished second in his heat race and won the Crane Cams dash to earn the pole position for the evening's feature. In the 30-lap finale, he chased down Jason Meyers and took the lead midway through the race, only to lose the lead later in traffic and having to settle for second. The following night, Schatz started in the second row of the feature but guessed wrong on the set-up and ended with a 10th-place finish.
This weekend also offers Schatz the opportunity to begin another winning streak. He's had a two-race winning streak and last week put together a three-race streak, winning at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., and at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Mo.
With 20 nights of action completed in the 2008 WoO campaign, Schatz continues to lead the way by posting six victories, 15 top-fives, and 20 consecutive top-10 finishes. He remains on top of the WoO standings with 2,914 points, 43 ahead of Jason Meyers entering this week.
Both nights of the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event at Dodge City Raceway Park, which is located south of Dodge City just off of US 56, will be taped by SPEED. Friday's race will air on June 28 and Saturday's will be shown July 6. Check local listings for air times.
On Friday night, pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstand gates will open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The pit gates will open at noon CDT Saturday with grandstand gates opening at 5 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Tickets for the Boot Hill Showdown can be purchased by calling (620) 225-3277, or by visiting the track's Web site, www.dodgecityraceway.com.
Race fans can also listen to all the action this weekend on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Visit www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other fans listening to the action.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
Dodge City is a place where you haven't been able to break through and get a win. Is there anything that makes the track more difficult to win at than others?
"We've proven that we can be fast there early in the night by being fast qualifier there a couple of times, but we just haven't been our best at the end of the night. That's the biggest thing. The place is fast and pretty round, so that makes passing really tough. You have to be in the right spot at the right time. Last year, on the first night, it stayed so heavy and fast that I think only one car got passed in the feature. The second night, it slicked off to a cushion but everyone ended running the top and you couldn't make the bottom work, so it became a bit of a freight-train. I know they'll do everything they can to give us a good race track, but I think we've learned some things early this year that should help us, as well.
"One thing that really helps me is knowing that I've got an unbelievable team that will do whatever it takes every night. My TSR guys (Ricky Warner, Shane Bowers, Kyle Sundby and Evan Funk) always seem to find another level to go to. Winning breeds success and motivation and my guys are really motivated right now."
The people of Dodge City roll out the red carpet for the Outlaws visit each year. How does that make you feel?
"It's great to see a community support an event like they do. Dodge City is a big tourist area, and when we come in, you can really feel that everyone in the area is excited to have us in town. Any time you go somewhere and you see that kind of support for an event, you feel pretty proud. They have a superb racing facility and do a great job of making the weekend a lot of fun. Now, if we can give the people a great show and put the Armor All, Chevy, ParkerStore car in victory lane, we'd really have a blast."
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.