Donny Schatz closed a successful Memorial Day weekend of World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series action for Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) by earning his fifth WoO triumph of the season Monday night at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway. The victory for Schatz aboard the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J followed Friday’s results from The Dirt Track at Charlotte, which included top-five finishes by both Tony Stewart, who finished fourth in the No. 14 Chevrolet Performance/Mobil 1 J&J, and TSR’s Steve Kinser, who raced to fifth behind the wheel of the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim.
Both Kinser and Stewart were strong every time they hit the famous red Carolina clay Friday night. Stewart qualified second around the 4/10-mile, semi-banked clay oval in the field of 29 cars and Kinser ended up fourth overall. Both drivers transferred into the dash and were joined by Schatz, who qualified eighth and finished second in heat two. Stewart led the TSR trio to the finish in the dash as the three finished sixth (Stewart), seventh (Kinser) and eighth (Schatz) in the six-lap race.
In the 30-lap A-Feature, the TSR cars battled one another for position early in the race. A restart following an opening-lap mishap saw Kinser jump to third and Schatz to fifth, but their advancement was nullified when a pair of competitors collided in turns three and four. The ensuing restart was better for Stewart, who moved inside the top-five and began advancing his way to third, where he spent a majority of the race. Kinser maintained his spot near the top-five while Schatz tried every possible line searching for a way to find forward drive. Schatz would end up 12th after struggling to make consistent laps during the latter stages of the A-Feature.
The results from Friday’s WoO race in Charlotte didn’t sit well with Schatz nor his STP crew. It was clear they were ready to rebound Monday in southeastern Indiana. The five-time and reigning WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion bounced back in a big way, leading all 10 laps of his heat, all eight laps of the dash, and 13 laps of the 35-lap A-Feature en route to his second career triumph at the 3/8-mile, high-banked dirt oval in Lawrenceburg. After starting on the pole, the Fargo, N.D., racer stalked early leader Chad Kemenah and passed the former All-Star champion on the seventh circuit and began pulling away. A restart following lap 11 opened the door for Kemenah, who reclaimed the lead heading into turn one, and Schatz was forced to be in attack mode for the ensuing 12 laps. A couple more restarts kept the leaders from reaching traffic, so the only thing Schatz could do was pressure Kemenah into opening the door. The opportunity came on lap 27 and Schatz made no mistakes entering turn one, drove underneath Kemenah, and left turn two with the lead. He would pull away and become the only repeat winner in 10 previous WoO events at Lawrenceburg. It was also his 129th career WoO A-Feature triumph.
Monday’s victory allowed Schatz to move into second in the 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series championship standings with 3,672 points. He trails leader Pittman by 178 markers, but he and Pittman are the only drivers with five wins in WoO action this season.
The WoO STP Sprint Car Series will conclude a busy month of May Friday at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park, and open June Saturday with its annual stop at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich.