SCHATZ SECOND AGAIN AT LERNERVILLE
SARVER, PA – (Sept. 22) Mother Nature tried to wash out the World of Outlaws weekend, but thanks to a diligent group at Lernerville Speedway Saturday night, the Commonwealth Clash went on. Just as diligent was Donny Schatz and his Tony Stewart Racing team as they earned their seventh-straight podium finish when Schatz brought home the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J second in the 35-lap A-Feature.
“These STP guys are amazing,” Schatz said following his 11th consecutive top-10 finish. “No matter what gets thrown at them, they just keep giving me a great car. We were looking forward to racing both Eldora and Lernerville this weekend, but Mother Nature decided to make things difficult. We had to wait out the rain and we knew the track was going to be fast. We were able to qualify well, get through our heat, the dash and just kind of hang there for a while in the feature. The car came in about halfway through the race and a couple of the guys in front of us had some problems. Finishing second was a good result for us, and now we’ll just keep our focus toward the next race.”
Schatz qualified fourth in the field of 31 cars before finishing third in the opening heat and fifth in the dash. He dropped back as far as sixth in the opening stages of the A-Feature, but steadily worked his way back to fourth. From there it was about survival as both Paul McMahan, who was running second, and Dollansky, who led the first 32 laps, had mechanical failures. Dale Blaney led the final three laps and Schatz followed him across the line.
“That was a bit of struggle early on,” Schatz said after his second consecutive runner-up finish at Lernerville. “The starts weren’t the best, but that’s what happens, sometimes. We just hung in there. I knew the car was going to allow me to move around and fine the best line. We were good enough to be second tonight and we’ll keep working and see if we can be one spot better next week at Williams Grove.”
Schatz will carry a 114-point lead in the championship standings heading into this weekend double header at “The Grove”. The 50th annual Morgan Hughes National Open is on tap for Saturday with $50,000 up for grabs. Schatz and Steve Kinser are the only two drivers to have won the prestigious race four times. Schatz won the race in 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2007. His last Williams Grove victory came in July 2008 when he picked up $25,000 for winning the Summer Nationals.