SARVER, PA – (July 17) The Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway isn’t the same race it used to be. Instead of a 40-lap main event that payed more than $30,000 to the winner, the format now calls for Twin 30 lap feature events offering $10,000 to each winner. Donny Schatz won a pair of Silver Cups when it was a single race and also was named Silver Cup winner in 2010 after finishing 2nd and 5th in the Twin events. Tuesday night was a frustrating one for the four-time World of Outlaws champion. He closed the night by finishing second, but it was the result from the first main that mattered most.

“We had a pretty good night going until halfway through the feature,” said Schatz. “For the first time in a while we actually qualified good, ran well in the heat and dash and were up front to start the race. We had a mechanical issue that took us out of the top five and then later we got involved in some contact. So we went from a likely top-five to a top-12 to finishing 18th. Not the kind of result we needed.”

Schatz qualified third in the field of 40 cars. He raced to second in the third heat and finished second in the dash to start the 30-lap A-Feature on the front row. He settled in third early in the race and had to restart fourth 11 laps into the race. seven laps later, the motor shut off on the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J. A fuel pump issue was discovered and he returned to the track and charged from 21st to 13th before contact with Brad Sweet broke a right-rear shock. He would finish the race in 18th.

The second A-Feature was lined up by the finish of the first one with the field inverted. Schatz started third behind Greg Hodnett and Tony Stewart. Hodnett led early before Stewart took the lead. Schatz followed Stewart around Hodnett and then began reeling in Stewart. When the two got to lapped traffic, Schatz looked poised to make a run at the lead on the high side of turns three and four when the caution flew. The caution took them out of traffic with only five laps remaining and Schatz never got a chance to make a bid for the lead and he finished second.

The 19th-place finish in the opener dropped him from eight points back of Steve Kinser for the lead in the 2012 WoO championship standings to 33 points back. He’ll look to make up points when the Outlaws resume action at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday and Saturday.