PERRIS, CA – The nine-race World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series tour was certainly a roller-coaster for reigning WoO champion Donny Schatz. The driver of the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J closed the spring tour of the Golden state with a victory Friday night at Kings Speedway in Hanford and a third-place finish at Perris Auto Speedway Saturday.
“Things didn’t go how we had hoped they would in California, but it’s behind us now and we’ll see if we can build on Friday’s win and Saturday’s decent finish Tuesday in El Paso,” said Schatz. “The STP car was really good Friday and Saturday night we just kind of missed it in the feature. That’s part of it. I know everyone has been working really hard, and we’ll just keep plugging away.”
Schatz became the seventh different winner in seven California races Friday night. It was his first career triumph at the 3/8-mile dirt oval and 126th career WoO A-Feature victory. He started third and worked his way past Tim Kaeding early in the race before swapping the lead with “TK” during several early restarts. Later in the race, he battled Chad Kemenah for the top spot. In the end, Schatz was too strong and raced way to his second triumph of the season.
The STP crew traveled from central California to southern California after the victory, and Schatz was the seventh fastest qualifier Saturday at Perris. He led every lap of the first heat and all six laps of the dash to earn the pole position. The Fargo, N.D., racer got the jump on Kaeding at the start of the 30-lap A-Feature, but he couldn’t hold the spot coming out of turn two. Eight laps later, Daryn Pittman was able to get underneath Schatz for second. Schatz followed the leaders the rest of the way, but never got a chance to make a move for the top spots. Pittman would hold off Kaeding for the victory.
The series will head east today for Tuesday night’s first-ever stop at El Paso Speedway in west Texas. Next weekend, the Outlaws will make their Midwest debut with races Friday at Paducah (Kent.) International Raceway and Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. Saturday.