TSR’S COUNTDOWN TO THE KNOXVILLE NATIONALS
Schatz Goes Under the Radar And Picks Up Number Three
Editor’s Note: During each of the five days leading up to this year’s 52nd Goodyear Knoxville Nationals, Tony Stewart Racing will revisit each of Donny Schatz’s five Knoxville Nationals triumphs in advance of Sprint Car Racing’s biggest event, which kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 8.
Donny Schatz entered the 48th annual Knoxville Nationals as a clear favorite, but things didn’t go as smoothly during his qualifying night as they had the previous two years. It was his first Nationals driving for Tony Stewart Racing and he opened with a bang by turning the fastest lap in qualifying behind the wheel of the No. 15 Armor All machine. He could only move from 10th to sixth in the opening and was forced transfer through the B. He won the B and charged from 21st to eighth before a water line nearly cost him his Nationals. He raced from fifth to second in Friday’s A-Scramble to lock him into the fourth-starting spot behind Jason Meyers, Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser. Those in front of him seemed to be top picks to win Saturday night’s finale. Schatz was fine with being “under the radar” and within the first five laps was solidly in second as Meyers set a torrid pace. Schatz used his Nationals experience perfectly as he took advantage of a lap 23 restart to overtake Meyers and run away with his third consecutive Knoxville Nationals victory.
Schatz will compete in his 19th Nationals and wearing a special blue Simpson racesuit. Through a joint promotion between Tony Stewart Racing and STP one lucky fan will win the racesuit. Entrants will only be accepted on-site beginning, Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 12 noon, through Saturday, Aug. 11 at 3 p.m. Schatz will make his first laps in the suit during the opening night of the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 8.