Tony Stewart Racing Teammates Lead Outlaws to the Short Tracks
INDIANAPOLIS (July 3, 2012) – On the eve of our nation’s birthday, the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series is poised to kick off a busy month of July that includes 15 races. The slate will either see the championship fight become tighter or add separation within the top-five competitors. Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz continue to headline the tour as they battle for the top spot each night of racing. Kinser is chasing his 21st WoO title while Schatz is aiming for championship number five. The 2012 season has been a war from the start and the fight continues this week with three short-track races in South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The action begins Tuesday with the Outlaws’ annual Independence Day week stop at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. The tradition began in 1983, when Kinser won the Outlaws’ debut at the 3/8-mile high-banked dirt oval. Eighteen times since that debut, the traveling Outlaws have made a stop in southeastern South Dakota on or within days of the Fourth of July.
Huset’s will always be special for Schatz after the Fargo, N.D., resident spent many Sunday nights racing weekly at the track before hitting the road with the Outlaws. He made is debut at the track in May 1994 and came back the following year and won both on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. He had the fans rise to their feet in April 2001 when he charged from 10th to first, and again in July 2007 when he scored his most recent Huset’s WoO triumph. He’ll be looking to score another victory in the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J and end a 21-race winless draught he is currently in the midst of.
This weekend, the Outlaws return to Wisconsin for a pair of races. Friday night, they’ll hit the dirt at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond. The track is another Upper Midwest facility where Schatz learned his craft before joining the Outlaws. He made several WISSOTA 360 Sprint car starts there prior to becoming a full-time Outlaw in 1997. After numerous close calls at Cedar Lake, Schatz finally scored his first WoO A-Feature there in July 2008, and came back the next year and did it again. Last year’s race was his 15th WoO start at Cedar Lake, and he raced from 19th to sixth.
Saturday night’s stop at Beaver Dam Raceway will be the Outlaws’ 19th visit to the one-third-mile dirt oval located in central Wisconsin. Both Kinser and Schatz have competed in 18 of those events. Schatz first raced at the track with the WoO in May 1997 and found victory lane in his fourth start at the facility in July 2002. Second place in June 2006 and September 2007 has been the high-water mark since that victory. Last season, he finished eighth in the 35-lap A-Feature.
With 33 races in the books for 2012, Schatz now sits third in the standings but is only 13 points behind Swindell. Kinser has led the standings on two occasions in 2012 while Schatz has held the top spot six different times. Kinser has three A-Feature victories, 16 top-fives and 23 top-10s, and Schatz has posted three wins, 12 top-fives and 27 top-10s this season.
Tuesday at Huset’s Speedway, the grandstands open at 5 p.m. CDT. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at (605) 582-3536, or visit www.husets-speedway.com.
Friday at Cedar Lake Speedway, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at (866) 425-7386, or visit www.cedarlakespeedway.com.
For Saturday’s Jim Boyd Memorial at Beaver Dam Raceway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more details, call Beaver Dam Raceway at (920) 887-1600, or visit www.wismotorsports.net.
Race fans unable to attend this week’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
This is kind of like your second homecoming week since you raced at both Huset’s and Cedar Lake early in your career. Do you look forward to racing at both tracks this week?
“I really do look forward to going back to those places. Maybe earlier in my career, I’d put added pressure on myself knowing some fans who were in the stands were the same ones who saw me race there when I couldn’t keep it inside the fences. We want to do well every night and it’d be just icing on the cake to win a race at either of those tracks. It’s fun after the races, seeing familiar faces that have grown up quite a bit over the years. We had a decent weekend up in North Dakota a few weeks back. Maybe we can better that this week and end up with a couple of top finishes.”
For most of the season, you’ve started the A-Feature deeper in the field than you’d like. If that trend continues this week, does it help that you’re racing on smaller tracks. where traffic plays a larger role?
“You always like it when a race gets decided because of how the leader handles lapped traffic. We haven’t had the best results in qualifying this year and it has started us in the middle of the field on most nights. I’m hoping we can find a way to qualify a little better this week so we give ourselves a chance to make the dash and start within the first few rows. If we don’t and do have to start where we have been, then, yes, having the traffic and competing on a smaller track would help us. The STP guys have been giving me really good cars for the feature and we’ve been able to drive forward.”