BUCKEYE NIGHTS Donny Schatz Returns to Ohio for a Pair of World of Outlaws Events In Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Chevy Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (May 28, 2008) -- Momentum is a big factor in just about every sport, and it certainly plays a ...
Donny Schatz Returns to Ohio for a Pair of World of Outlaws Events In Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All Chevy Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (May 28, 2008) -- Momentum is a big factor in just about every sport, and it certainly plays a factor in the world of auto racing. Following the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series recent three-race weekend, it would seem the 2008 campaign is finally gaining steam after Mother Nature affected 15 of the first 22 races scheduled. This weekend, two-time defending WoO champion Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team welcome warmer weather and the challenge of consecutive races on contrasting high-banked dirt ovals in Ohio.
The upcoming events offer Schatz, who will pilot the No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J, the opportunity to race both on a small bullring and a high-speed momentum track. First, he'll take on some of Ohio's best racers Friday night in the Kistler Engines Classic at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park. The weekend will continue as the Outlaws stars make their second 2008 stop at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg on Saturday night.
Friday night's event at Attica will be Schatz' third career visit to the high-banked one-third-mile dirt oval. In July 2005, he bounced back from qualifying 20th to charge to an eighth-place finish in the 40-lap feature event. Last April, he qualified fourth and raced from his eighth starting position to a third-place feature finish.
Saturday's stop at Eldora will be his 63rd career WoO appearance at the "Big E." Schatz has three career wins at the high-banked half-mile oval, including the $100,000-to-win Historical Big One in 2002, and last year's 24th annual Kings Royal. In April, Schatz and the Armor All team made a pair of visits to the track, first on April 11 when they set quick time in qualifications and finished second in the WoO 30-lap feature, and then he came home third in the All-Star Circuit of Champions feature event on April 26.
The Fargo, N.D., resident recently completed the series' first Eastern Swing of the season posting top-seven finishes in all five events, including a third-place finish Monday night at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, N.Y. Schatz currently holds the second position in the WoO standings with 1,716 points, trailing leader Jason Meyers by 28 markers. Schatz has finished in the top-three at seven of the season's first 12 events and is the only driver to finish every race inside the top-10 this season.
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series doubleheader in Ohio begins Friday at Attica Raceway Park, located northeast of SR 4 & US 224 in Attica. The traveling Outlaws will journey approximately 140 miles southwest for Saturday's race at Eldora Speedway, which is located 2.5 miles north of Rossburg on SR 118.
Friday at Attica, pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. EDT and grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. At Eldora on Saturday, pit gates and grandstand gates open at 3 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.
Reserved seats and general admission tickets for the Kistler Engines Classic at Attica Raceway Park can be purchased by calling (419) 680-5606, or by visiting the track's Web site, www.atticaracewaypark.com. Tickets for Saturday's World of Outlaws Built by the Home Depot event can be purchased by calling (937) 338-3815 or by visiting the track's Web site, www.eldoraspeedway.com.
Race fans can also listen to all the action from the 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:
You've been racing mostly on bigger tracks this season. How do you prepare for the smaller tracks like Attica?
"One of the great things about racing with the World of Outlaws is that you have to be able to adapt to the track you're on. Sometimes it's day- to-day and sometimes it's throughout the night. We've spent most of the season racing on the bigger tracks, so we're looking forward to having the chance to get back on a smaller track. Recently, we've found ourselves racing on surfaces that remain fast and we just haven't been in the right position to take advantage of those nights. We've been qualifying well and end up starting somewhere between seventh and 10th each night. With this series, you've got to be able to drive forward and early on we haven't had a lot of success doing that.
"We did spend an evening testing at Kokomo Speedway (a high-banked quarter mile) and worked on our short-track stuff extensively. I know we left there feeling like we had a pretty good handle on what we need to do on the small tracks. Unfortunately, we lost some short-track races because of weather and this will be our first opportunity to use what we learned."
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
"Short track racing is about getting your car right and being able to maneuver through traffic. We've been to Attica twice and both times have moved forward. Our goal for Friday is to start within the first couple of rows and be in a position to contend for the victory."
This Saturday's race at Eldora Speedway will be your third visit to the track this year and final time there before the Kings Royal weekend. The goal every night is winning, but will you continue to collect information in anticipation of the Kings Royal?
"We've been testing stuff all season, it seems, but we feel like we have a pretty good formula for Eldora. It took me a long time to get comfortable at Eldora, but the past couple of years, we've done really well there. As far as trying stuff for the Kings Royal goes, we just have to concentrate on winning races every night. We were fast in April in the Outlaws race and just had a problem on one restart and ended up finishing second. We came back a couple weeks later and raced with the All-Stars and came home third.
"Both nights, the track stayed pretty fast with a cushion to lean on. With the temperatures warming up, the track may end up being a little wider and slicker, which is the way it was for last year's Kings Royal. We like it when the tracks slow down and become more about throttle and car control rather than just hammering the cushion and hanging on for 30 laps.
"We haven't had the start of the season that we had hoped for, but a win at Eldora would be nice for everyone involved with Tony Stewart Racing -- Armor All, Chevy, ParkerStore, and all the other corporate partners. We need to have a very good weekend to close out May and propel us forward into June."
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.