Tony Stewart Racing Teams Ready To Take On ‘Pennsylvania Posse’
INDIANAPOLIS (July 19, 2012) – The road doesn’t get any easier for Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz this weekend. After last weekend’s 29th annual Kings Royal and Tuesday’s Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, each of which attracts more than 40 World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series competitors to slug it out on its famed dirt ovals, Kinser and Schatz now return to hostile territory for three nights of racing. It’s back to legendary Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the two-night Summer Nationals Friday and Saturday, and then a Sunday stop at Lebanon (N.Y.) Valley Speedway.
Schatz will be looking to end a pair of streaks this weekend at Williams Grove behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J. He is trying to snap a 29-race winless streak in WoO competition and a 17-race winless streak at Williams Grove. On April 25 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, he won his third A-Feature of 2012 and the 116th of his career, but he hasn’t been able to return to victory lane since. The Fargo, N.D., racer has 15 career wins at the track during his 16-year WoO career, and seven of those have come during the Summer Nationals. Earlier this season, qualifying problems hurt him both nights when he timed in 29th and 27th and ultimately finished 17th and 24th.
Sunday will mark the 32nd consecutive season the WoO competes at Lebanon Valley Speedway in northeast New York. Schatz will be make his 16th start at the track and is seeking his third victory there. He was victorious in May 2001 and most recently in July 2006. Last July, Kinser finished third and Schatz came home ninth.
Kinser and Schatz have been part of a terrific battle at the top of the WoO standings. They entered last weekend’s action at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, tied for the lead. Each driver charged through the field, running from the back to finish inside the top-10 in Saturday’s Kings Royal. Kinser finished fourth Tuesday at Lernerville in the opening feature and Schatz, who battled mechanical problems, finished 18th. The difference in their finishes allowed Kinser to open a 25-point lead over Craig Dollansky while Schatz dropped to fourth and trails Kinser by 33 points.
The second feature event of the Silver Cup didn’t count in the point standings but did provide some highlights for TSR. Team owner Tony Stewart came out on top of a spirited battle with Schatz late in the 30-lap A-Feature to earn his second career WoO win. All three TSR cars are expected to be in competition at Williams Grove this weekend.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Tuesday night, you raced with your boss Tony Stewart for the victory at Lernerville. Did you ever think you would be racing him for an Outlaw victory?
“I’ve said it many times that he is the most talent racer I’ve ever been around. I know he came up through the ranks in USAC and had dirt experience, but he never did much Winged Sprint car racing. A couple of years ago, he came to Australia with me and I could tell he was going to be a quick learner. He has really become a good Winged Sprint car driver and that was proven last year when he won at Ohsweken (Ontario) Speedway. Tuesday was fun. He got past (Greg) Hodnett and took the lead. I was behind both of them and was able to pass Greg and started closing in on Tony. I showed him the bottom and he went down there, which I thought was going to set me up for a run at the lead, but the yellow came out with five to go. I wish we could’ve raced the last five laps together through traffic. That would have been a lot of fun. I’m proud of him.”
The weekend offers another chance to change your recent luck at Williams Grove Speedway. What’s going to be the key to changing the outcome for you there?
“The biggest thing is qualifying. With how our races are going now, you just can’t pass cars like you used to. Look at Tuesday night – we qualified well (third overall), raced forward in our heat and dash and were right up there until we had our problem. You just have to start close to the front. With as many good cars that will be at Williams Grove, you can’t come from seventh or eighth in the heat and transfer through. That’s where we’ve been starting the past few times we’ve been there. If we can put a good lap on the board in qualifying, we’ll have a shot.”