INDIANAPOLIS (May 23, 2013) – With a schedule that includes races from February to November and at tracks in all corners of the United States, it seems only appropriate that the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series stars compete in both Charlotte and Indiana over Memorial Day Weekend. Two places where racing is king and fans flock to see the biggest stars in the sport showcase their talents.
Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz, the WoO STP Sprint Car Series reigning and five-time champion, along with the rest of the Outlaw series contingent will headline the action Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., and conclude the holiday weekend Monday by trading slide jobs at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway.
Schatz leads all Sprint car competitors with six career WoO wins at the state-of-the-art, 4/10-mile, semi-banked dirt oval on the outskirts of Charlotte. The driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J enters the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown with recent WoO wins at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway and Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Friday will mark the seventh consecutive season the Outlaw event will be held in conjunction with the Speedway’s Coca-Cola 600 festivities. In each of those, Schatz has been a central figure. The Fargo, N.D., driver has won twice and finished on the podium five times. Schatz has qualified for 32 of the 33 WoO races staged at The Dirt Track, and built a streak of 17 consecutive top-eight finishes before not qualifying for the opening feature of last fall’s World Finals. Last May, he charged from ninth to finish second to Joey Saldana in the 30-lap A-Feature.
Following Friday’s event in Charlotte, the TSR teams will return to Indiana and prepare for the Outlaws’ second race of 2013 in the Hoosier state. Monday’s event will be the 10th appearance at Lawrenceburg for “The Greatest Show on Dirt.” In each of the first nine events, a different driver has come out victorious.
Schatz is part of the Lawrenceburg winner’s club, as well. The STP driver out-dueled Jason Meyers and Saldana for the win in May 2009. Last season, he qualified 19th and charged forward to finish 11th in the 35-lap A-Feature.
With 25 races completed in the 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series season, Schatz continues to rank third in the championship standings. He trails leader Daryn Pittman by 160 points, but is tied for second in both wins (four) and top-fives (12).
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
The STP team has seemed to hit its stride during a busy month of May. How important is it to continue at this pace?
“We’ve gotten a little better, but we still aren’t where we need to be. Winning at Knoxville two weeks ago was important. And last week, winning at Williams Grove Speedway with a last-corner pass really gave both me and my crew a lot of confidence in our program. Winning races and putting ourselves in position to win is our goal every night. These STP guys have been through just about everything imaginable. We still have some races to win before the end of May, but we need to maintain this consistency and possibly improve as the season goes on.”
The next opportunity to win comes Friday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s a track where you’ve been very strong in the past, similar to Knoxville and Williams Grove, where you’ve won in the last two weeks. Can the recent wins at Knoxville and Williams Grove lead to success Friday?
“Our consistency is what will give us a chance. We have been able to qualify better the last six races and that’s helped. Knowing how to win at particular tracks is something that I think has helped us in May, as well. Even though we didn’t win either race at Eldora, I really feel like that was the best I’ve felt there in a long time. I know we could have had our car a little better at Knoxville, yet we were still able to win. That tells me our program is heading in the right direction. I’ve always enjoyed racing in Charlotte. Unfortunately, I still kind of have a bad taste in my mouth from the World Finals last fall. We were doing some testing and weren’t able to race for wins like we have there so many other times. Without a doubt, we want to get win number seven there Friday, and I’m really pumped up about our chances to get it.”