ROYAL REWARDS WoO Point Leader Donny Schatz Looks to Maintain Momentum In Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (July 8, 2008) -- Racers love to race, and the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series has...
WoO Point Leader Donny Schatz Looks to Maintain Momentum In Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (July 8, 2008) -- Racers love to race, and the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series has taken its drivers all across the country so far in 2008. This week, the travel gets a little easier, but the stakes get higher as Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz and his Armor All team will be situated in the Buckeye State for three nights of WoO action. Up first is the 20th Annual Brad Doty Classic on Wednesday night at Limaland Motorsport Park (LMP) in Lima, Ohio. Then it will be two nights of racing at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, for the silver anniversary Kings Royal weekend.
After a torrid June, during which Schatz won six of nine WoO "A" feature events, the two-time defending WoO series champion maintained his sizzling pace behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/J&J, picking up his 10th WoO feature win last Saturday night in dominant form by leading all 40 laps at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. Saturday's victory on the quarter-mile dirt oval continued a recent trend of short-track success for the Fargo, N.D., resident. He's won four of his last six starts, all on tracks that were 3/8-mile ovals or smaller.
Schatz will look to keep that trend going Wednesday at LMP, which is a semi-banked quarter-mile oval, and where he will be looking to improve on his third-place finish at the track in 2006 and his sixth-place run last year.
Following Wednesday's race, Schatz will return to Eldora Speedway for two nights of action as the defending event champion following his dominant run in last year's Kings Royal. Schatz blistered the field, winning by 7.8 seconds en route to his first victory in one of Sprint car racing's crown jewels. Friday's "Knight Before the Kings Royal" will mark his 65th career WoO start at the high-speed half-mile dirt oval. In his last 14 starts at the track, Schatz has 11 top-three finishes, including his thrilling victory on May 31.
The Kings Royal traditionally kicks off the "Month of Money." Last season, it could have been called the "Month of Donny" as Schatz became the first driver to win the Kings Royal ($50,000), Don Martin Silver Cup ($30,000), Williams Grove Summer Nationals ($20,000) and the Knoxville Nationals ($150,000) all in the same season. Schatz will start his week by competing in the Ollie's Outlet 360 Challenge at Eldora behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J on Tuesday night. The race is the second leg of a three-race challenge and Schatz, who won the first race at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio, on June 17, is eligible for a $50,000 bonus if he can win the 30-lap feature event.
Sunday night's race at Tri-State Speedway was the 27th points race in 2008 for the WoO competitors, and Schatz remains in control of the standings with 3,961 points, 122 ahead of Craig Dollansky. He also leads the series in total victories (10), top-fives (25), and he's the only driver to finish inside the top-10 in all 27 events.
For a complete listing of Kings Royal week activities, including a shuttle bus schedule for Wednesday's 20th Annual Brad Doty Classic at LMP, visit www.eldoraspeedway.com/07kingsroyalsched.html.
This week's action from Eldora Speedway will be broadcast on SPEED on a tape-delayed basis. Saturday's event will be telecast on July 19 at 1 p.m. EDT. Friday's race will air on SPEED at 1 p.m. on September 7. For a complete WoO Sprint Series television schedule, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Race fans unable to attend this week's events can catch all of the action from LMP and Eldora 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.
On Wednesday at LMP, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. EDT, with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Qualifying is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets or more information regarding the 20th Annual Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic, fans can call the track at 419-339-6249 or visit www.limaland.com.
The grandstand and pit gates at Eldora Speedway will open both Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. each day. The official track Web site is www.eldoraspeedway.com. Tickets can be purchased by calling the track at 937-338-3815. They will also be available for purchase at the gate both days.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
The past two years, you've raced the Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park with mixed results. Do you expect any of your recent short-track success to carry over and help there this year?
"Every track is different and each night is unlike the other. Two years ago, we didn't qualify bad (10th), but had some problems getting through our heat race. I think we ended up starting 13th and getting to third at the end. Last year, we tried a few things for the feature and they didn't work. We'll certainly use some of the things that we learned so far this year and see if we can be better than a third-place finisher there."
The Kings Royal starts the "big money" races. What's the most important aspect in having success in big races?
"As hard as it is to you, you've got to treat it like another night. Focus on qualifying first and then worry about the heat race. You can't win the Kings Royal in qualifying, but you can certainly hurt your chances. Like every race, it's about having the best car for the last 10 or so laps in the feature. We've been pretty good at Eldora the past two years, but that doesn't mean anything when we get there this weekend."
Last year, you added the Kings Royal crown to your list of accomplishments. Do you feel like your mantle is complete?
"It might be complete as in having won all the major races, but we've got a long way to go. We tried for years to come out on top in the Kings Royal and just couldn't quite do it until last year, when we put it all together. I've said this about many things, and with the Kings Royal it's true, also. Once you win something, the desire to do it again is even greater. Knowing that you have done it and can do it really go a long way. I hope we can add more Kings Royal trophies so that I'll have to build another mantle."
July is slated to have 16 World of Outlaws races. Does it hurt to have a couple of prestigious events right in the middle of all of those races?
"You have to be ready for every race and, ultimately, you'd like to have your best stuff ready for the biggest races. I don't think it hurts anything and, actually, it may help keep everyone going when you've got a couple of big races. The problem is, the crew guys are still human beings and the travel, late nights and hard work add up. At some point, they've got to be able to recharge and be ready for the rest of the summer, too.
"I believe that's one of the keys to this Tony Stewart Racing team. We've got guys who have been up and down the road and have experienced things a few times. You have to live through it to understand what it takes to be at your best night in and night out. As a driver, I've got total confidence in my guys, and if you are fortunate to win one of the big races, it's gratifying to everyone involved."
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.