The talents of five-time and reigning World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz and his Tony Stewart Racing crew continued to be showcased along the challenging 2013 Outlaws campaign. The team entered the seventh annual Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway near Edmonton, Alberta, on a two-race winning streak after Schatz swept a pair of A-Features in North Dakota behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J and was looking to continue its quest for the 2013 WoO title. The weekend started with Schatz charging from 11th to second in Friday night’s A-Feature, but Schatz and the STP crew had to overcome an accident during hot laps Saturday, which destroyed their primary car, before winning their 17th WoO A-Feature of the season in thrilling fashion. “We had something break in hot laps and killed a car, and it was kind of our baby car,” said Schatz, who had raced that car 11 times between July 20 and Friday night’s feature, winning six races, finishing second four times and third once. “Thankfully, we were able to continue racing with the backup car. The guys went right to work after the accident and what a race it turned out being. There were three grooves to race in and I had to use all three to win the race. I want to give big thanks to all the fans in Edmonton who always make it a fun event. We’re glad to get the win, but we have work to do.”
The pair of top-two finishes for Schatz continued a string of podium results in WoO A-Features, which started July13 with the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. His run Friday from 11th to second earned his series-leading seventh KSE Hard Charger Award. Schatz was running sixth Friday on the restart, which resulted in the nine-car accident, and was able to maneuver through the carnage and restarted fifth. During the final seven laps, Schatz worked his way up to second and was closing on winner Kerry Madsen during the final lap. Madsen and Schatz shared the front row to start Saturday’s 30-lap event, and the two waged a terrific battle racing side-by-side, lap after lap during the first 20 circuits. Schatz took advantage of a restart with seven laps to go to overtake Madsen and led laps 24 to 27. Brad Sweet got around Schatz for the lead on lap 28, but Schatz wasn’t going to be denied and regained the lead on lap 29. He led the final circuit to win for the second time at Castrol Raceway. The victory was the 141st A-Feature triumph of his career.
By earning his 14 consecutive podium finish Saturday, Schatz was able to close the gap in the 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series championship standings. He trails leader Daryn Pittman by 24 points with 19 races remaining. Schatz leads the series with 17 wins and 49 top-10 finishes.
The STP team will resume their western tour this weekend at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. Friday’s race at Skagit begins the busiest stretch of action this season with nine races in 10 days. They’ll compete at seven tracks in three states and conclude with a race at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway Sept. 9.