ROSSBURG, OHIO – Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz kicked off Sprint car racing’s “Month of Money” with a victory in the 25th annual Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio, and a third-place finish in the 30th annual Kings Royal at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Schatz was solid behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J for three consecutive nights of World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series action in the state of Ohio.
After rain pushed the Brad Doty Classic from Wednesday to Thursday, the difference in 24 hours didn’t seem to slow Schatz, who won the event in 2011. The five-time and reigning WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion qualified eighth in the field of 49 cars and advanced to the dash by winning heat three. He finished third in the dash and started the 40-lap A-Feature in the third position but dropped back to sixth by lap five. A long run of green-flag laps was all the Fargo, N.D., racer needed as he methodically drove his way from sixth into the lead on lap 24. By lap 27, he had built a lead of more than three seconds, but that was erased when a caution slowed the action. During the final 13 laps, he fended off several challenges from Paul McMahan to capture his second Brad Doty Classic in three years and his ninth win of the season.
Friday’s annual Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora traditionally allows teams one last chance to gather data prior to Saturday’s Kings Royal. Schatz qualified sixth and narrowly missed a coveted spot in the dash by finishing third in heat two. He charged from 12th to sixth in the 30-lap A-Feature.
The stage was set for Saturday’s 30th annual Kings Royal. Schatz was the 41st of 42 cars to qualify and he ended up 15th. Schatz dominated the third heat and earned an outside-second-row starting spot in the 40-lap A-Feature. With the track surface still producing extremely fast lap times, passing was at a premium during the race. Schatz jumped into third at the start and pressured leaders Brad Sweet and Brandon Wimmer during the first 20 laps. The trio twice went three wide while battling for the lead. Schatz would eventually grab second and turn up the heat on Sweet, who led from the outset. He pulled beside him a couple of times before the race was slowed for a pair of cautions. Schatz had a good run on a lap-25 restart, but the start was nullified when Rico Abreu crashed on the frontstretch. During the final nine laps, Schatz remained in Sweet’s tracks. On the final lap, he moved to the bottom hoping Sweet would have trouble with the lapped cars on the high side. Unfortunately, Sweet beat Schatz to the finish to earn his first Kings Royal victory, and Tim Kaeding snuck by Schatz at the stripe.
With three more top-six finishes, Schatz continues to keep pace with Daryn Pittman, who leads the WoO STP Sprint Car Series championship standings. Through 44 races, Schatz leads the series with nine wins and has accumulated 5,982 points. He trails leader Pittman by 174 markers and is 36 behind McMahan.
The WoO STP Sprint Car Series heads back to Pennsylvania and New York this week with four nights of racing scheduled. Tuesday’s annual Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., begins the slate. Friday and Saturday, the Outlaws return to Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the Summer Nationals and close the week Sunday at Lebanon (N.Y.) Valley Speedway.