Williams Grove II: Finale race report

Schatz beats Lasoski to win Summer Nationals. MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 26) -- Donny Schatz won a tough, 30-lap battle with O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski Saturday to claim the Second Annual Cleveland Brothers Summer...

Schatz beats Lasoski to win Summer Nationals.

MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 26) -- Donny Schatz won a tough, 30-lap battle with O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski Saturday to claim the Second Annual Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals championship at Williams Grove Speedway.

Schatz, who started on the pole, exchanged the lead with "The Dude" four times on his way to winning his fourth main event in the series' 25th Anniversary Season. The $20,000 victory was the third at Williams Grove Speedway for the 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year.

"This is a great win for the Parker Stores team," Schatz said. "We have always liked Williams Grove and have done well here in the past. The track was very well prepared tonight and there was racing room all through the corners.

"My car was perfect -- (crew chief) Tyler (Swank) made all the right choices -- but Danny was tough. He wasn't going to give me the win by any means. Dave Yingst has been working with us the past couple of weeks, and he and Tyler and Chad (Lambert) worked hard to give me a great car. This is the toughest competition we face all year long. We'll come back in October and try to put what we learned this week to use. I just want to thank all the fans for coming out this weekend. I hope they saw a good race. This is a good start for us to have momentum heading back to Eldora for The Historical Big One then on to Knoxville (for the Nationals, August 13-16)."

Ironically, Schatz finished just inches behind "The Dude" in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' first triple-program event this season -- the Duel in the Dakotas in Schatz' hometown of Fargo, ND.

Schatz and Lasoski passed preliminary points leader Keith Kauffman during the Dash Race to claim the front-row starting positions. Donny drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J into the lead as the green flag fell in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 42nd main event of the season.

Lasoski raced wheel-to-wheel with Schatz through the second corner early in the seventh lap, but was unable to surge ahead. Schatz was six car-lengths ahead of "The Dude" when he entered lapped traffic three laps later.

"The Dude" drove NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle past Schatz deep in turn four to take the lead late in the 14th lap. Donny kept pace with Lasoski and almost passed him in the second corner the next time around.

Schatz rode the rim around "The Dude" in turn four to regain first place late in lap 16, only to have Lasoski pass him back deep in the fourth corner one lap later.

Schatz ducked under "The Dude" in turn two early in the 18th lap, but "B" Feature winner Tyler Walker's second-corner flip nullified the move. Lasoski restarted ahead of the 24-car field, and held the lead until Donny raced around him high in turn four with 4¼ laps remaining. Schatz took the checkered flag with four car-lengths to spare.

"I knew I didn't have a chance to get by Danny on the bottom, so I had to put the car up on the cushion," Schatz said. "I made a few mistakes up there, but it worked out for us. When I first came here, it seemed like all I could do was hit the fence here, but I guess I had to be a little out of control then to learn where the fast way around here is. The cushion here is so tough to run. It's a long way around up there and it piles up pretty high, especially getting off turn two and turn four. If you hit it wrong, it just wants to suck the car into the wall. I didn't think Danny would want to run up there on the wall. I guess I just wanted it a little more, and I had to be more aggressive, even though I was a little squirrelly up there as well.

"I was able to run anywhere on the track I needed to through the lapped traffic. There were times when I came up on guys running three wide. Those guys are racing for position so I had to pick my way through carefully without opening the door for Danny. When he got by me the first time, fortunately I had clear track on top and I could get back by him, but then the lower lane opened up again and he got underneath us before the red flew.

"On the restart -- without lapped traffic and just 10 laps to go -- it was pretty much just the two of us. He likes the bottom and that is where is car always works the best, but there was enough of a cushion for me to get a good bite and get back by him and then get away a little until the finish."

Kauffman finished in third place, ahead of Fred Rahmer, Lance Dewease and Heat Race winners Greg Hodnett, Steve Kinser, Todd Hestor and Paul McMahan.

The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series will run $51,600 events at New Egypt Speedway Monday, Sharon Speedway Wednesday, K-C Raceway Thursday and The Raceway @ Powercom Park Sunday. The series will complete the May 30th "A" Feature at Sharon Speedway in addition to running a complete program.


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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Tyler Walker , Paul McMahan
Teams Williams