Schatz wins Second Preliminary Feature at Summer Nationals. MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 25) -- Donny Schatz has passed more cars than anybody during the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season. The leader of the Motorsport Video...
Schatz wins Second Preliminary Feature at Summer Nationals.
MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 25) -- Donny Schatz has passed more cars than anybody during the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season. The leader of the Motorsport Video Hard Charger Award standings passed seven more Friday at Williams Grove Speedway on his way to winning the second Preliminary Feature of the Second Annual Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals.
Schatz, the 2000 Williams Grove National Open champion, drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J around Rookie of the Year candidate Jason Sides with 3¾ laps remaining to win his third Preliminary Feature of the season.
"My guys just did a great job tonight," the 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year said. "Dave Yingst, from right here in the Harrisburg area, has been helping us again the past couple of weeks, and he and the guys made all the right calls tonight. I just had to bide my time -- and I actually got messed up a little bit at the start of the race -- but we got going again and found something on the top, and there weren't a whole lot of guys running up there so it kind of gave me a lane of my own.
"This is the toughest place in the country to run as far as the weekly guys go. This is a tough format -- and we generally don't like the three-day shows -- but with the kind of money they're paying out tomorrow, you just go and do the best you can. I'm pretty sure this will lock us into the top four in points, but tomorrow's a different day and the Posse guys are so tough here. I'm glad we were able to break their streak here tonight, and hopefully we can keep our own streak going tomorrow."
Schatz, who scored the second-most points during the preliminary programs, wasn't the only driver streaking past other cars. Fast qualifier Keith Kauffman, Mark Kinser, O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, Mark Smith and provisional starter Joey Saldana also passed six or more sprinters during the 25-lap race.
Schatz, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 42-car field, earned the right to start the evening's main event outside the fourth row by following Mike Erdley, Adrian Shaffer and Todd Hestor across the finish line in the Second Dash Race.
Sides, who won the First Dash Race, drove the #7S Aramark Uniform Service Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the feature. Defending Summer Nationals champion Greg Hodnett exchanged fourth place with Hestor during the third and fourth laps.
Tim Shaffer, from Aliquippa, PA, collided with Tyler Walker and hit the outside retaining wall in turn three one lap later. Shaffer was uninjured, but the broken front axle on the #83 Beef Packers Eagle kept him from returning to the race.
Schatz started making his way toward the front when the green flag replaced the yellow, passing Fred Rahmer and Hestor deep in the second corner for fifth place.
Sides survived a close call early in the ninth lap when Thursday's Preliminary Feature winner Don Kreitz, Jr., slowed in front of him in turn two. Sides threaded his car between Kreitz and the wall to maintain the lead. Steve Kinser raced wheel-to-wheel with Sides through the first and second corners two laps later, but was unable to surge ahead.
Schatz, who won three feature races at Williams Grove Speedway in 2001, passed Hodnett and Erdley during the 14th and 16th laps to move into third place.
Sides, who was two car-lengths ahead of Kinser when he entered lapped traffic two laps later, had a clear track ahead of him after Niki Young stopped between turns three and four with a blown engine late in lap 18.
Schatz passed Kinser deep in turn two as the race resumed, then took the lead with a high move around Sides between the first and second corners two laps later. Erdley passed Kinser for third place spot as "The King of the Outlaws" slowed with a flat right rear tire several seconds later.
Erdley, Hodnett and Hestor passed Sides during the final four laps as Schatz built a comfortable advantage. Schatz was 10 car-lengths ahead of Erdley when he took the checkered flag.
"I don't know how is can feel any better than this," Erdley said. "I can't imagine what it feels like to win one of these races. When I passed Steve Kinser, I tried to tell myself that it was just another car. I'm really glad to be the first Pennsylvania Posse finisher tonight."
Kauffman raced into sixth place from inside the ninth row. Lance Dewease finished seventh, ahead of 14th-starting Mark Kinser, Rahmer and Lasoski, who started outside the ninth row. "The Dude" crossed the finish line second in the Third Heat Race, but was scored last when the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle violated the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series weight rule.