Tony Stewart Racing Teams Return to the Midwest
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept.12, 2012) – Just because the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series doesn’t end the year with a playoff format like NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup or the NHRA’s Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, don’t think the final dozen races will be without drama. The 2012 WoO season has been one of the most competitive in years with four different drivers leading the standings at one point or another and each also having gone through his share of bad luck. This weekend, the battle continues with Friday’s sixth annual Arnold Motor Supply Shootout at Clay County Fairgrounds in Spencer, Iowa, and Saturday’s FVP Clash at the Creek at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.
Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz made a case for his championship aspirations last week in California by racing the No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J to a pair of victories, two second-place finishes and a fourth in five races, which helped him erase Craig Dollansky’s 35-point lead and vaulted the four-time WoO champion into first place by a 72-point margin heading to Clay County.
Both TSR drivers have been successful in the past at Clay County and Deer Creek. For each of the previous three years, the Outlaws have visited the tracks following their annual swing through western Canada, Washington, Oregon and California. The race at Clay County became a regular stop during the annual fair in northwest Iowa in 2007, when Schatz came away victorious. He followed that win with another one in September 2008. Both seasons, he would go on and win the WoO championship. Kinser’s best finish at Clay County was a second-place run in 2010. Earlier this season, the Outlaws competed in Spencer and both TSR drivers had to charge from the back of the pack. Kinser raced from 21st to seventh while Schatz drove from 22nd to finish eighth.
The TSR teammates finished first and second last September at Deer Creek. Schatz won the pole position, but it was Kinser who led all 35 laps en route to his 570th career WoO A-Feature triumph. In three WoO races at the 3/8-mile dirt oval, Kinser has finished inside the top-five all three times. Schatz has been just as consistent. In 2009, he led the first 28 laps before finishing second to Joey Saldana and, in 2010, he finished fourth in the A-Feature.
The weekend doubleheader begins the final stretch for the 2012 campaign. With only 12 races remaining, every night will be important in deciding the champion. On the strength of finishing inside the top-five 18 times in the last 20 races, Schatz has taken control of the points lead. With 63 of the 75 points races completed, Schatz has earned nine victories, 31 top-fives and a series-best 51 top-10s.
For Friday’s race at Clay County Fair Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT, with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.CDR-Promotions.com.
Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT, with the grandstands opening at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.DeerCreekSpeedway.com.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Things have really turned around since the first of August. What’s been the biggest difference that’s allowed you to be so consistent?
“Everybody worked hard, but we struggled through most of the year trying to find out where our problems were. In the beginning of August, we tried a few things with our motors and they’ve been running well since. You have to have motors that will run if you are going to be competitive. We’ve proven that, when we have something that will run, we can win races and be competitive every night. Our qualifying has improved and that’s what helps you win races. Earlier in the year, I was always starting in the middle or back of the field and having to work my way forward. Now, we’re starting closer to the front and racing for wins. These STP guys never gave up and kept plugging away. Right now, they are in attack mode and just trying to keep giving me the best car I can have every night.”
It’s back to the Midwest and to places where you’ve been good in the past. What are your expectations for the weekend?
“We’re expecting to continue doing what we’ve been doing and that’s competing for wins. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Spencer. It’s not too far from home and we’ve won a couple races there in the past. The fair provides a really cool atmosphere, but the biggest thing is it’s another opportunity for us to keep winning. Deer Creek is another tremendous place. I have been pretty good there, but not good enough to win. It’s another place not far from home and we’d sure like to get another Minnesota win. We have a lot of fans from Minnesota and it would be nice to give them a chance to see the STP car up front.”