CHANGE OF LUCK Tony Stewart Racing's Donny Schatz Returns To Indiana Eyeing Better Results Aboard the Armor All J&J INDIANAPOLIS (June 2, 2009) -- Opinions vary on how good or bad luck is actually encountered. Some agree that you make your...
CHANGE OF LUCK
Tony Stewart Racing's Donny Schatz Returns To Indiana Eyeing Better Results Aboard the Armor All J&J
INDIANAPOLIS (June 2, 2009) -- Opinions vary on how good or bad luck is actually encountered. Some agree that you make your own luck by working hard, but others will argue that luck has a mind of its own. Three-time and defending World of Outlaws (WoO) champion Donny Schatz has seen both good and bad luck find its way to the No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J during the 2009 WoO campaign. This weekend, the Fargo, N.D., racer looks for more good than bad luck when he competes at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on Friday and Saturday night.
Schatz is ready to return to action following a weekend filled with luck -- the kind that twice caused him to bring feature races to a halt. Last Friday night at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park, good luck seemed to be on Schatz's side as he drew the Crane Cams Dash pole position for the third time in four races. He led the first 30 laps of the 40-lap feature before contact with a lapped car sent him spinning in the wrong direction in turn one. After being contacted by another car, his night ended with only his second DNF of the season.
The following night, at Lake Odessa, Mich., Schatz worked his way into a three-way battle for the lead with his TSR teammate, Kraig Kinser, and Jason Meyers. But just past the race's halfway point, the Armor All sprinter came to a stop in turn two. Schatz was able to return to action this time, charging back from the 16th position to finish eighth.
The two-night event at Lawrenceburg will be only the fifth and sixth time Schatz circles the southeastern Indiana dirt oval. His best finish at the facility came in May 2004, when battled cagey veteran Danny Smith for the win for nearly 30 laps before finishing third. In his last appearance at the track, in July 2006, he stormed from the 14th starting spot to finish fourth. His first four finishes came when the racing surface was a quarter-mile in size before it was reshaped into a 3/8-mile oval in 2008.
The Hoosier State is one where Schatz has yet to find victory lane. He has been victorious in 27 states during his 13-year WoO career. His most recent WoO victory, at Canadaigua (N.Y.) Speedway on May 25, moved his WoO track win list to 48. He'll be looking to make Lawrenceburg number 49, and Indiana state number 28, this weekend.
With 23 of the scheduled 84 nights of WoO racing completed, the Armor All team has six victories, 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. Schatz continues to lead the WoO Sprint Series championship standings with 3,159 points.
On Friday and Saturday at Lawrenceburg Speedway, the pit gates and grandstand will open at 3 p.m. EDT. Hot Laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details, contact Lawrenceburg Speedway at (812) 539-4700, or visit the track's official Web site, www.lawrenceburgspeedway.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:
After a weekend where it seemed like things started great and ended with a thud, what are your expectations for the two nights in Lawrenceburg?
"The biggest thing is that what happened last weekend won't affect this weekend. I learned that a long time ago -- that you have to be mentally strong to be successful over the long haul. Everyone is going to have weekends like we did last weekend. You've got to come back out with the same mindset that you're not going to settle for anything but a win and you'll put in all the work it takes to get you there. I know the Armor All team (Rick Warner, Shane Bowers and Eric Prutzman) is going to put a fast racecar under me when I hit the track Friday, and then we'll work together to see if we can bring home a victory.
"Experience is a big part of this sport, and we've been through a lot over the years. I know we are all up to the challenge and can't wait to get back out on the track this weekend."
This weekend, you'll be racing at facility where you've raced before, but now its shape and size have changed. How will you approach that challenge?
"Again, it comes back to experience. I've raced Sprint cars for 15 years at tracks all across the country and in Australia, too. You have to get your car working better than anyone else to have a chance at being successful. We had a couple of good runs at the track before, and I expect to again this weekend. You look at a place like Houston Raceway Park, where they did the opposite of what they did at Lawrenceburg. It was a 3/8-mile and they changed it to a quarter-mile. We had good results at the track both ways.
"We'll take a look at it when we get there and talk about some options. We race at new tracks pretty regularly, so adjusting to new surfaces is something we're accustomed to. It's part of the fun -- seeing who can be the first guy to figure out the best way around a new track. We want to be that guy and be fast in hot laps, qualifying, and have the best car at the end of the night. If all of those things can happen, we'll be right where we want to be when the race is over."
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.