THAT WASN’T THE PLAN
MECHANICSBURG, PA – (May 12, 2012) Donny Schatz headed to Williams Grove Speedway looking to snap a 15-race win draught at the famed half-mile dirt oval. Schatz, entered the doubleheader at Williams Grove as the point leader following a seventh-place finish Thursday night at Lincoln Speedway. When the dust settled, Schatz left Williams Grove still looking to break the streak.
“We had high hopes heading into the Grove,” said Schatz. “We are still struggling to get our STP car driving forward. The crew has done everything they can to find the answer. We’ll get there, it’s just a matter of time.”
Friday and Saturday started with late qualifying draws and Schatz put the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 STP/Armor All backed J&J on the track as the 34th to take time both nights. Despite making what looked to be smooth laps, Schatz timed in 29th on Friday. He raced to fifth in the opening heat to qualify for the main event. In the 25-lap feature, he climbed from 24th to 17th.
Saturday night, he timed 27th and wasn’t able to gain a transfer spot in the third heat, forcing him into the B-Main. The struggle continued in the B where he finished sixth and had to take a provisional starting position for the 30-lap finale. For most of the race, he battled between 18th and 22nd position and following a lap 22 restart, he tried to make the cushion work. It did in turns one and two, but not in three and four. Schatz hooked the cushion and the STP 15 flipped several times. Schatz got banged up from the accident, but was fine.
There was still the 12-lap Morgan Cup, which featured five Outlaws and five Posse members. The STP crew thrashed to repair the damaged machine in time for the event. Schatz raced up to fourth early, but ended up finishing seventh.
“We’re frustrated,” continued Schatz, who dropped to third in the WoO standings — just 14 points behind leader Sammy Swindell. “Everyone is working hard and things haven’t gotten better. There is no quit in this team. I got a good run on the restart and thought maybe I could do it in both corners, but that didn’t work out. These guys didn’t give up and worked hard so that I could get back out there. That’s the kind of fight that’s going to get us back to where we need to be.”
Schatz returns to action on Wednesday at Rolling Wheels Raceway in New York. As a former winner at Rolling Wheels, the four-time WoO champion will be ready to get back to his winning ways.