BORDER WARS Tony Stewart Racing's Donny Schatz Continues Nomad-Like July With Races in Michigan and Ohio INDIANAPOLIS (July 24, 2008) -- The grueling month of July goes on for the road warriors better known as the Advance Auto Parts World...
Tony Stewart Racing's Donny Schatz Continues Nomad-Like July With Races in Michigan and Ohio
INDIANAPOLIS (July 24, 2008) -- The grueling month of July goes on for the road warriors better known as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series. Two-time defending WoO champion Donny Schatz continues to lead the way behind the wheel of the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J. Before Wednesday's cancellation of the two-night event at Ohsweken (Ontario, Canada) Speedway, Schatz had raced in 11 of the scheduled 17 races during July. Mother Nature may have slowed things down the past three races, but the TSR team looks to continue its recent surge with a pair of single-night events this weekend in Michigan and Ohio.
Schatz returns to action Friday night following a thrilling victory last Saturday night at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Schatz claimed the $25,000 first prize and heads into Friday's event at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., with a streak of 12 consecutive top-five finishes. Schatz has raced at the track on five previous occasions. His best career finish at the half-mile dirt oval came on September 27, 2004, when he came home fifth. Last season, Schatz was running in the top-five when he blew a right-rear tire with three laps remaining and was credited with a 22nd-place finish.
A return trip to Jim Nier's K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio, concludes the week's action on Saturday for Schatz and the Armor All team. Schatz has competed at the 3/8-mile track four times in his career, coming up victorious in 2005 and 2006. Last season, he finished second to go with his fourth-place finish in 2004.
The Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals finale at Williams Grove Speedway last Saturday night was the 33rd race in 2008 for the WoO competitors. Schatz remains on top of the season standings with 4,764 points, 141 ahead of Jason Meyers. He also leads the series in total victories (11) and top-fives (27), and he's the only driver to finish inside the top-10 in all 33 events.
Race fans unable to attend this week's events can catch all of the action from I-96 and K-C Raceway 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.
Friday, the pit gates at I-96 Speedway will open at 2 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The official track Web site is i96speedway.com. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
Saturday at K-C Raceway, the pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with the grandstands opening at 4:30 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets or more information regarding the race, fans can visit www.kc-raceway.com, or call (740) 289-4114.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
The races continue to come at you, and recently you've had to deal with more rain, as well. How do you stay sharp for each night?
"Our job as a racer is to be mentally tough every time we get into the race car. I'd race every day if I could. I've been on the road for 12 years with the Outlaws, so all the travel and then racing every other day isn't something new. When you are first out here, it can be overwhelming, but we've got a veteran team here at TSR and we've been ready for every challenge we've had.
"The rain just makes it tougher on everyone. We went up to Canada for a couple of nights of racing at a really cool venue. The guys at Ohsweken did everything they could to make it work, but the rain prevailed. I know SPEED was up there to tape it, as well, so hopefully we'll be able to get them to another track and give us a couple more nights on TV."
Will your return to I-96 and K-C offer a chance at redemption from last year's results?
"We try not to worry too much about what happened last year. Blowing a tire when you're running in the top-five is never a good deal. We were surely going to end up there, but those are the breaks. We'll come back this year and just go through our regular routine.
"As far as K-C goes, we've been really good there every time we've been there. Last year's hype was more about Terry's (McCarl) wave than us finishing second. They kind of blew that up, which is fine, but we're looking forward to going back there because we've got a great Chevy package for that track and I know my guys will give me a good car. I'm just looking forward to getting there and going after 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.