MAXIMUM SPEED AHEAD Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz Keeps Winning Pace In Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 25, 2009) -- Three-time and defending World of Outlaws (WoO) champion Donny Schatz isn't planning on slowing...
MAXIMUM SPEED AHEAD
Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz Keeps Winning Pace In Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 25, 2009) -- Three-time and defending World of Outlaws (WoO) champion Donny Schatz isn't planning on slowing down anytime soon. The Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver continues to pile on wins and reach milestones that few have attained behind the wheel of a Sprint car. In the past two weeks, the North Dakota resident captured his fourth consecutive Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals championship and won his 100th career WoO "A" feature. Yet, the 32-year-old insists winning that next race is what drives him most.
For Schatz and the rest of the traveling Sprint car stars, the next chance for a win is during this weekend's third annual Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta. Even though he currently leads the championship standings by 92 points, has led the most feature event laps (323), has earned 10 fast qualifier awards, he doesn't have the most "A" feature wins this year. His 12 wins rank second to Joey Saldana's 13, and the immediate goal for Schatz is to take over the lead in that category as soon as possible.
This weekend's venture north to Castrol is the second trip of 2009 into Canada for the Outlaws. In July, Schatz raced to a pair of second-place finishes at Ohsweken (Ontario) Speedway. Last August, he finished second at Castrol to continue his impressive record at the 3/8-mile dirt oval. Schatz set the track record of 12.693 seconds (106.358 mph) during qualifying in August 2007 and, later that night, scored the "A" feature win. In four starts, he has a first-, second-, third- and ninth-place finish. The ninth-place finish came in last year's Oil City Cup opener, when he was battling for the third position and was collected in an accident. The Armor All crew made repairs and Schatz surged from the back of the field back into the top-10.
Schatz enters the weekend as the most recent feature winner on the Outlaw tour. He reached a milestone that only four other drivers in the series' rich 31-year history have accomplished. By winning last Saturday night's "A" feature at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D., Schatz joined the century club picking up his 100th "A" feature victory, joining Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Mark Kinser and Doug Wolfgang in the prestigious club.
Schatz and the TSR Armor All team have completed 50 nights of racing with the Outlaws in 2009, and their results include 12 victories, 32 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s. Schatz leads the WoO Sprint Series championship standings with 6,787 points.
Friday at Castrol, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. MDT and grandstands open at 4 p.m. Saturday, the pit gates and grandstands open at 2 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. both nights. Tickets for each race can be purchased by calling Castrol Raceway at (780) 461-5801. For more information on the event, visit www.castrolraceway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend's races 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:
Winning races has been the driving factor in your enormous success in Sprint car racing during the past few years. Reaching 100 wins is a huge accomplishment. Have you had the chance to consider how big of a deal that is?
"I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was thinking about getting to 100. I know when I started my career that I wasn't sure if I'd ever win one. It seems like I always get close to some kind of record or milestone and then start thinking about it too much. It's like starting each season. You want to get that first win out of the way as soon as possible.
"For this deal, I really didn't start thinking about it too much until we won the Kings Royal, and that became win number 98. When you are that close, it just becomes something you want to reach as fast as you can. That way, you can concentrate only on getting a win, instead of trying to get win number 100. We were close a few times during the past few weeks. We ran second at Ohsweken twice. I won at K-C Raceway, so that pushed us to within one and then we almost got it at Pevely.
"To be able to win it in my home state in front of a lot of people who were out supporting me when I first started was truly special. To hear my name with those other guys is incredible. I'm not sure I belong with them, because those guys were my heroes -- the guys who made me want to race for a living. It's quite an honor, that's for sure."
The Knoxville Nationals and winning your 100th feature have been the focus, recently. With those out of the way, it's time to concentrate on chasing that fourth championship. Is there anything that you will change in your approach during the next few weeks?
"I think the past couple of years we have left Knoxville riding high and haven't been able to really stack a lot of wins together. We've had some bad luck and had things not go our way and it ended up really tightening the points race. We've said all year that winning was the most important thing. Right now, we're not leading the series in wins and that's what our first goal is. We have a number of races coming up in the next couple of weeks, so there are plenty of chances.
"The thing we do know going into this final stretch of 20 races is that we are a complete team and, if we work together, anything is possible. This Armor All crew (Rick Warner, Shane Bowers and Eric Prutzman) continues to step up every night and they want to win just as bad as I do. It's a huge asset for us to have this caliber of team, and we're all committed to winning as many as we can from here on out."
For complete WoO Sprint Car Series results, go to www.worldofoutlaws.com. For information regarding TSR, Schatz, Armor All, Chevy, or ParkerStore, visit www.tonystewartracing.com, www.donnyschatz.com, www.aa-ownercenter.com, www.chevrolet.com, or www.parkerstore.com.