MAINTAINING FOCUS Two-Time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz Keeps Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All J&J on Torrid Pace INDIANAPOLIS (July 30, 2008) -- Keeping his attention on the next race has proven to be a successful strategy for ...
Two-Time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz Keeps Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All J&J on Torrid Pace
INDIANAPOLIS (July 30, 2008) -- Keeping his attention on the next race has proven to be a successful strategy for Sprint car standout Donny Schatz the past three seasons. The two-time defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series champion continues to set a blistering pace in his quest for a third consecutive WoO crown. This week, Schatz will focus on three single-night WoO events beginning tonight at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, Friday at Wilmot (Wis.) Speedway and Saturday at Charter Raceway Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., before he turns his attention toward next week's Knoxville Nationals.
Since May 30, Schatz has turned the heat up on the competition behind the wheel of the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J. In the 24 WoO outings since his victory at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park, Schatz has won 10 of the 23 races and finished second on six occasions. Last weekend, he finished second on Friday night at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., and won his 12th WoO feature event of the season on Saturday at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio. This week's challenge includes christening a new venue (34 Raceway), a second-ever visit to another (Wilmot Speedway) and an annual stop in Beaver Dam.
Schatz will start the week by making his debut at 34 Raceway, a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval located just west of the Mississippi River Valley. The event will be the ninth this season on a 3/8-mile track. Schatz has won four of the first eight, including Saturday's triumph at K-C.
Friday night's event will begin two nights of racing in Wisconsin. In October 2006, Schatz was closing in on his first WoO championship when the Outlaws made their debut at Wilmot Speedway. Schatz finished sixth after qualifying second-fastest in the field of 43 entrants.
Last August at Charter Raceway Park, Schatz had a memorable night charging from his 17th starting position to finish fourth. Twice he was involved in crashes, but his crew continued to make repairs enabling him to capture the top-five finish. The Fargo, N.D., resident returned to the track in September to score a second-place finish. On July 10, 2002, Schatz led all 40 laps of the feature to score his only victory at the track. Saturday's race will be his 14th WoO event at the facility.
Following Monday night's event at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway, Schatz remains on top of the season standings with 5,207 points, 143 ahead of Jason Meyers. He also leads the series in total victories (12), top-fives (29), and he's the only driver to finish inside the top-10 in all 36 events.
Race fans unable to attend this week's events can catch all of the action from 34 Raceway, Wilmot Speedway and Charter Raceway Park 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.
The pit gates at 34 Raceway will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The official track Web site is www.34raceway.com. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
For Friday's program at Wilmot Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The official track Web site is www.wilmotspeedway.com. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT at Charter Raceway Park on Saturday. Grandstands will open at 4 p.m., and hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. The official track Web site is www.wismotorsports.net. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
Wednesday night will be your first time at 34 Raceway. What challenges are there when you go to a new track?
"It's always kind of fun to go to a new place. There's the challenge of trying to figure out what the track will do throughout the night. We usually just try to compare it to some place where we've been before and start fresh in hot laps.
"The good thing about going to a new track also means that hopefully we'll have some new fans. We have to keep building our fan base and going to new tracks is important. Putting on a good show is essential. If everything goes well, we can keep coming back to these places again in the future."
Two races in Wisconsin over the weekend will lead up the to Knoxville Nationals. Will it be hard to focus on those nights and not be thinking about next week's Nationals?
"You can only worry about the night in front of you and nothing more. Knoxville is on your mind from the time the checkered flag falls the previous year. The key is to keep it in mind in your preparation, but once you get to a track, you have to concentrate on getting your car better and better on that night. Wisconsin has a lot of good Sprint car racers, so we'll have strong fields both nights. Those tracks have had some really good races in the past, so we'll need everyone on the Tony Stewart Racing team focused on the task at hand and that's getting another win in the Armor All, Chevy, ParkerStore No. 15."
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.