Tony Stewart Racing Duo Set To Kick Off Outlaws’ Month of Money in Royal Style
INDIANAPOLIS (July 10, 2012) – Performing in the clutch is a common characteristic of most champions. Despite the fact that this year’s World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series champion won’t be decided until the first week of November, the outcomes of the next 16 races may go a long way toward establishing a frontrunner. Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz are locked in a battle on top of the WoO standings, and both have had tremendous success in the past during Sprint car racing’s “Month of Money.” This year’s edition kicks off with the Brad Doty Classic Wednesday and ends with the 29th annual Kings Royal at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway Saturday night.
The 2012 WoO season has been more competitive than ever with numerous winners of multiple events and changes at the top of the standings being a regular occurrence. Kinser leads the tour back into action Wednesday at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio, at the 24th annual Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic presented by Racing Optics. Kinser is one of only three drivers to win the Brad Doty Classic more than once, and he hopes to pilot the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Maxim to his third Classic triumph and fifth career victory at Limaland.
Schatz is the reigning Brad Doty Classic winner after winning a thrilling battle last July on the quarter-mile dirt oval. The four-time WoO champion is looking to become the first driver in the race’s 23-year history to win consecutive races. He’ll look to make it two straight in the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J. Last year’s triumph also catapulted Schatz into the championship lead and, since he is only eight points behind Kinser, there is a chance he could leave Lima again on top of the standings.
The weekend includes two nights of action at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The annual Knight Before the Kings Royal program opens the festivities Friday, and Saturday’s 40-lap thriller will pay the winner $50,000. The winner’s share is five times the standard first prize money, but the title of being a Kings Royal champion is something every Sprint car racer covets.
Schatz, who made his Kings Royal debut in 1996, is one of six drivers to have won the event more than once. Schatz dominated the race in 2007 and outdueled Dale Blaney in a classic two years later. That July 2009 victory was his most recent Outlaw triumph at Eldora. The Fargo, N.D., racer has made 82 career WoO starts at the track and has five victories, 29 top-fives and 52 top-10s during his 16-year WoO career. In May, Schatz finished second in the Goodyear Outlaw Thunder weekend opener. In the finale, he charged from 24th to sixth in the 30-lap race.
Through 36 of 73 scheduled WoO races this season, Schatz has tallied 4,890 points, three victories, 13 top-fives, and a series-best 29 top-10s.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Last year you were able to add the Brad Doty Classic to your list of race wins. What do you remember from last year’s victory?
“I remember it being a really good race. Brad Sweet was out front and Sam Haferetpe was having a pretty good race. Lima is one of those places where you have to be able to run all over the track. I got the bottom groove going and worked my way up to Sweet. I knew if I kept making good laps on the bottom that I’d have a chance. I finally got him late in the race and he kept coming at me. It was a lot fun. I hadn’t been very good in Brad’s race through the years, but the STP guys gave me a really good car and we got the job done.”
The Kings Royal kicks off the “Month of Money” for Sprint car racers. How important is it for a team to have success in the big money races?
“You race to win every night. When the big races roll around, you want to have a chance to win. It’s a long season and these races only come up once a year. If you can win one, it really gives you a boost for the next one. It builds up from the Kings Royal through the (Knoxville) Nationals. When you are having a season like we are, it would be a major deal for us to win a couple of races during this next month. We’re going to see if we can get things started on the right foot this week.”