SURGING HOME Two-Time WoO Champion Donny Schatz Returns Home Looking to Continue His Winning Ways in Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All J&J INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 14, 2008) -- Putting the thrill of winning a third consecutive Knoxville Nationals...
Two-Time WoO Champion Donny Schatz Returns Home Looking to Continue His Winning Ways in Tony Stewart Racing's Armor All J&J
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 14, 2008) -- Putting the thrill of winning a third consecutive Knoxville Nationals behind him is the immediate goal for Sprint car standout Donny Schatz. With the biggest Sprint car race now in the books, the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team can refocus on chasing a third Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series crown.
Schatz returned to action behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J on Tuesday night at Red River Valley Speedway (RRVS) in Fargo, N.D. After a 10th-place finish at the track where he started his racing career, the Fargo resident will continue the rigorous WoO schedule with three single-night WoO events beginning Thursday at Gillette (Wyo.) Thunder Speedway, followed by Saturday night's race at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D., and Sunday's event at Nodak Speedway in Minot, N.D.
Last week's Knoxville Nationals tested the strength of the Armor All team as it fought through the pressure of performing on the highest stage. Schatz' run to victory was his 16th triumph overall this season and continued his dominance at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. The win provides the TSR crew added confidence heading into a stretch of nine races in two weeks, which will see the team compete in four states and Canada.
Schatz will be making his debut at Gillette Thunder Speedway, a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval. The event will be the 12th this season on a 3/8-mile track. Schatz has won four of the first 11, including his most recent WoO triumph on July 26 at K-C Raceway.
Saturday night's event will mark another first-time stop for WoO as the series christens Dacotah Speedway. The event will be the third leg of the four-race 2008 Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour. The series concludes with Sunday night's return to Nodak Speedway, marking the third consecutive August the Outlaws stars have competed at the 3/8-mile track. Minot is always a homecoming for Schatz, but in each race the 31 year-old has come up short in his bid to win a WoO race in the town he grew up in. In 2006, he charged from his 14th starting position into the lead before a right rear tire exploded. Last season, he was battling for the lead when contact knocked the front end out of his No. 15 J&J.
Tuesday's finish at RRVS continued Schatz' 2008 streak of finishing inside the top-10 in every event. It was his 40th top-10 finish in 2008 and 63rd consecutive top-10 WoO run, a streak that started after his DNF in Minot a year ago this weekend. The current WoO point leader continues to lead the standings with 5,761 points, 118 ahead of Jason Meyers. Schatz has won 12 times, and finished in the top-five 31 nights.
Race fans unable to attend this week's events can catch all of the action from Gillette Thunder Speedway, Dacotah Speedway and Nodak 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.
Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. MDT on Thursday at Gillette Thunder Speedway. Grandstands will open at 4 p.m., and racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The official track Web site is www.gillettespeedway.com. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
For Saturday's program at Dacotah Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The official track Web site is www.dacotahspeedway.net. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT at on Sunday at Nodak Speedway. Grandstands will open at 4 p.m., and hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The official track Web site is www.RaceNoDak.com. For ticket information, call (815) 344-2023, or visit www.slspromotions.com.
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 TSR/Armor All/Chevy/ParkerStore J&J:
After another Knoxville Nationals victory, the schedule picks up. Is this the time where having an experienced team pays off?
"This year is going to be a little different than years past. It used to be the schedule lightened up after Knoxville and it was more about just a couple of shows a week. With all the weather problems we had early in the year, the western swing is a little more compact. We're racing every couple of nights kind of like we did in July. I'd say it's going to test some teams out here, but this Tony Stewart Racing team has been through the wars many times, and I know we're all looking forward to it. We want to go out and win as many races as we can. (Crew chief) Ricky (Warner), and (crewmen) Shane (Bowers) and Kyle (Sundby) have done a great job all year, and they're prepared to keep us going strong the rest of the season."
This week allows you the chance on multiple occasions to race in your home state of North Dakota. Is there any added pressure?
"When you want to win as bad as I do, there is pressure every night. It's a great honor to be able to race in front of North Dakotans and visit new tracks. For years, the Outlaws had one event each year in North Dakota and that was in Fargo. I tried everything I could to win that race and finally was able to do so in 2002. Now, we've got three other tracks to race at. We've been close in Minot the past couple of years, but just haven't quite made it work. Fortunately, I was able to win in Grand Forks this year, so maybe we'll get the first one at Dacotah Speedway right away 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.