SCHATZ FINISHES SECOND IN ANTIOCH THRILLER
ANTIOCH, Calif. (Sept. 11) – For a moment it looked Donny Schatz was going to steal one Monday night at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway. The driver of Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) STP machine had taken the lead on a late restart and dove under the white flag looking for his third win in the World of Outlaws (WoO) five-race Speedweek.
Problem was the cushion was just a little higher than he thought and one of California’s finest, Tim Kaeding, was ready to make a second attempt at sliding the four-time champion for the lead. When Schatz pushed a little through turns one and two, Kaeding was able to pull even heading down the backstretch, giving him just enough room to execute a winning slide job in the final corner.
Schatz turned back under Kaeding, but didn’t have enough time to get the lead back in the 30-lap thriller. It was his second runner-up finish of the Speedweek and concluded a statement-making tour through California.
“We took advantage of the late restart and got the lead,” said Schatz. “I just made a mistake getting into to turn one and it opened the door for Tim. We were really just chasing (Jonathan) Allard for most of the race and actually thought we were going to get him in traffic. He was setting a pretty good pace, but the STP guys gave me another really great car. They are doing an incredible job right now.”
The night was nearly perfect as Schatz won the opening heat and dash to earn the pole position. Allard started outside the front row and led the first 28 laps while Schatz did everything he could to track him down. The final restart provided him the opportunity and both he and Kaeding got past Allard on the final restart.
The second-place finish wrapped up an impressive California Outlaw Speedweek for Schatz. He opened five-race tour with a victory at Silver Dollar Speedway and then came home second in the Gold Cup finale. Sunday, he dominated the event at Calistoga. The results allowed him to turn a 35-point deficit in the championship standings heading into the Speedweek to a 72-point advantage as the Outlaws makes their way east toward Spencer, Iowa, for the next race on the WoO schedule. He’ll return to action on Friday at Clay County Fair Speedway and then race again Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.