SCHATZ SECOND TWICE AT I-55
PEVELY, MO – Donny Schatz continued his charge toward a fifth World of Outlaws championship Saturday with a pair of second-place finishes at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. Schatz raced the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J from seventh to second in the 55-lap Ironman 55 and made a late charge in the 40-lap A-Feature to pick up his 15th runner-up finish of 2012.
“I guess we call it a good day,” admitted Schatz after the second main event. “We came to win a couple of races, but were just one spot short. In the Ironman race, we had a chance and had a problem with the restart. That’s racing I guess. Tonight, Jason (Sides) wasn’t going to be denied. It’s a long race here and we just tried to be around at the end. The STP continue to give me a great car and we’re done to one more event. It’s been a great run these past two months.”
The return to St. Louis turned out to be business as usual for Schatz driving the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J. He started seventh in the 55-lap Ironman 55 A-Feature moved forward during the first 10 laps reaching fourth. A red-flag stopped the action and when the race resumed, Schatz continued to pressure Sammy Swindell for third. The race was slowed once again when leader Kerry Madsen crashed, and a few laps later when Swindell’s left-rear tire blew. On the ensuing restart, race officials deemed that Schatz started early from his position inside leader Craig Dollansky and was moved back to fourth. Dollansky pulled away during the final four laps to claim the win while Schatz sliced his way back to second.
The complete program, which was originally scheduled for April, followed and Schatz ended up ninth in qualifying. He finished second in the opening heat and raced from fifth to second to earn a front-row starting spot next to Jason Sides.
In the 40-lap A-Feature, Sides set the early pace while Schatz tried to remain in the top-three. He would drop back as far as sixth during the middle stages before working his way back up to fourth with five laps to go. Schatz made the most of the opportunity as well, climbing to second on the final lap to earn his 10th podium finish in his last 11 races.
The events at I-55 were the final two on the 2012 WoO schedule prior to the season-ending Peak Motor Oil World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Nov. 2-3. Schatz and the STP team will travel to Charlotte with a 176-point advantage in the 2012 WoO championship standings with those two races remaining. Schatz simply needs to make a qualifying lap for one of the programs to clinch his fifth WoO championship.