DEFENDING THE HOME TURF World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Returns Home to Race Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter in North Dakota and Wisconsin INDIANAPOLIS (June 24, 2008) -- The ability to handle pressure can sometimes be the...
DEFENDING THE HOME TURF
World of Outlaws Point Leader Donny Schatz Returns Home to Race Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Sprinter in North Dakota and Wisconsin
INDIANAPOLIS (June 24, 2008) -- The ability to handle pressure can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing. Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Donny Schatz thrives under pressure and his consecutive Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series championships are proof.
Returning home to compete for most athletes typically escalates the pressure. And for Schatz, this week's WoO Series slate is a homecoming, of sorts, with three events in familiar territory beginning Friday night at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., followed by Saturday's race at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., and concluding Sunday at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis.
The two-time defending WoO champion continues to set a blistering pace in the 2008 campaign. Last Saturday night, he won his 10th feature event of the season at Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway Park (DCRP) behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J. The pressure to win comes from within the North Dakota resident, who grew up in Minot and now resides in Fargo. And the 30-year-old racer admits that once you win something, the drive to do it again is even greater.
Saturday's triumph at DCRP was Schatz' first career WoO triumph at the track. This weekend, he'll be looking for his first WoO victory at River Cities Speedway (RCS) and Cedar Lake Speedway. He won feature events at both tracks early in his career, picking up his first win at RCS on July 14, 1995, and at Cedar Lake Speedway on September 9, 1995. Schatz scored four wins at Cedar Lake in 1996, including two on May 25 that year.
Last year's thriller at RCS was the first time the WoO held an event at the one-third-mile high-banked dirt oval, and Schatz raced from his sixth starting position and made several attempts at the lead before ultimately finishing third.
Schatz started his racing career competing regularly at the Red River Valley Speedway (RRVS), and the highlight each summer was competing with the Outlaws on the half-mile track. In 2002, he finally conquered the traveling Sprint car stars at his home track, picking up the $20,000 prize. He swept the two-day Duel in the Dakotas in 2006 and has 35 career WoO starts at RRVS, finishing in the top-five on 11 occasions and scoring 23 top-10 finishes.
The 2008 WoO campaign is now in full swing after early season struggles with Mother Nature. Through 22 nights of action, Schatz continues to lead the way posting seven victories, 16 top-fives, and 22 consecutive top-10 finishes. He remains on top of the WoO standings with 3,205 points, 55 ahead of Jason Meyers entering this week's action.
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Duel in the Dakotas will be the first of four WoO stops in North Dakota this season. RCS is located on U.S. 2 at the Greater Grand Forks Fairgrounds. RRVS is located just off I-94 at exit 343. Sunday's event at Cedar Lake, located northeast of New Richmond on CR CC, is the first of three series events in Wisconsin in 2008.
Friday night at RCS, pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT Saturday at RRVS with grandstand gates opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For Sunday's program at Cedar Lake, pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Two-day tickets for the Duel in the Dakotas at River Cities Speedway and Red River Valley Speedway can be purchased by calling (815) 344-2023, or by visiting the track's Web site, www.slspromotions.com. Tickets for Sunday's event at Cedar Lake Speedway can be purchased by calling (866) 425-7386 or visiting the track's Web site, www.cedarlakespeedway.com.
Race fans can also listen to all the action this weekend on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Visit www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other fans listening to the action.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
Racing at home can mean a lot of different things. What does it mean to you?
"On the track, it's no different. We go out every night with the same goal and that is putting the Armor All, Chevy, ParkerStore car in victory lane. Maybe we'll have a better plan of attack because these are all race tracks that I've spent a great deal of time at. There are a lot of guys out here who have just as much experience at them, so you're still starting at the same place as they are. Each track does have different tendencies and we'll keep an eye on things as the nights go on.
"Away from the track, it certainly is different. When you've got friends and family around, you're at the shop all week and then to see all those familiar faces at the track, it really makes you appreciate where you are at. We've been doing this a long time and have a pretty good plan of attack on trying to make sure we take care of everything we need to before it's time to start racing."
You've won multiple races three out of the last four weeks. Do you feel like you and your team are starting to click?
"I never had any doubt that I have the best group of guys out on the road. Ricky Warner, Shane Bowers, Kyle Sundby and Evan Funk have busted their tails all season to give me a great race car. Early on, we were trying quite a few things that would help us now, but at the time it was hard not winning regularly. You can see the proof of their labor as this Armor All car we've been racing has been pretty awesome to drive. Then throw in the information we get from Jimmy (Carr) and the Bass Pro Shops team and you can really see the difference.
"I know Kraig (Kinser) and the (TSR No.) 20 are getting better every race, and it won't be long until we're battling them for wins."
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.