INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2012) – Now, this is more like it. One week after the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series raced on three consecutive nights, Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz, along with the rest of the traveling Winged Sprint car stars, will hit the track three more times this week. A slate that includes a pair of stops in New York, beginning with Wednesday’s race at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, N.Y., and concludes with their only 2012 appearance in Maryland. Saturday the Outlaws return to Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., for the first time since the fall of 2008 and, the following night, the series makes its first stop at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway since the summer of 2005.
Another shot at Rolling Wheels Raceway may be just the medicine Schatz needs following a disappointing weekend at Williams Grove. He is a two-time winner at the 5/8-mile dirt track, with wins in 2004 and 2006, and has earned top-five finishes in five of his last six starts there. Schatz is seeking his fourth victory of the season behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J. The four-time WoO champion will look to breakthrough for his first win at both Orange County Fair Speedway and Hagerstown Speedway. The four-time WoO champion has been close to victory at each track. In June 1999, and again in September 2007, he finished second at Orange County. Schatz last competed at the 5/8-mile dirt oval in September 2008 and finished fifth. His best finish at Hagerstown was also a runner-up finish, which he earned in July 2001, and his most recent race at the half-mile clay oval was during the 2005 season.
Kinser’s victory Saturday at Williams Grove was the 571st WoO A-Feature win of his illustrious career. It allowed him to close the gap on points leaders Sammy Swindell and Schatz, who had swapped the top spot in the standings following six consecutive races before struggling Saturday. “The King of the Outlaws” made up valuable points, erasing a 54-point advantage Swindell had over him entering the race. Kinser now ranks second, trailing Swindell by eight markers, and he leads Schatz by four.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Last weekend, you found yourself deep in the field and not really able to drive forward like you have been able to in the past. How tough is that as a competitor?
“It’s really tough. This sport isn’t about follow-the-leader racing. A couple of the guys were able to get their cars working well enough to drive forward last weekend, so it can be done. We did it the weekend before at Eldora, but we can’t consistently do it, nor do we want to be doing it all the time. We seem to be at the mercy of how we qualify, and that hasn’t been good for most of the year. That’s probably the most frustrating part. We’ve tried just about everything to get our package working the way it needs to. Until we figure that out, we’re simply going to be spinning our wheels. This team won’t quit and we’ll figure it out.”
Does having three races this week give you and your team more opportunities to find the right combination?
“You have to race to get better. Sometimes you can overthink things when you have five days between races. We tried to learn some things this weekend and the STP guys have spent the past couple of days preparing for Rolling Wheels. The positive thing is that we have had success there in the past. At least, we have an idea of what to expect there. We have to take it one step at time. Make a good qualifying lap on Wednesday and start making progress. And then try to build on it at Orange County and Hagerstown.”