AUCKLAND, NZ – Five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz arrived in New Zealand ten days ago with two goals in mind. He wanted to have a great time and put on a show for the fans at WXC – Western Springs Speedway.
He had that mission accomplished just four days into his trip to, and even though Mother Nature extended his stay by 24 hours, Schatz made the most of it Sunday night.
After racing from 14th to fourth last Saturday in the opening round, Schatz was shooting for a victory in his final race to put an exclamation point on this year’s venture to Springs Speedway. He didn’t disappoint a packed grandstand, driving his familiar No. 15 STP to victory in both his heat and the feature event.
“Once we got in the clear out front [in the feature] I just tried to drive smart and keep my tires beneath me,” said Schatz following his third victory at the unique track. “The car just kept getting better as the race went on. It’s great to get a win here in New Zealand. It was a fun race.”
The surface provided some great racing throughout the night including a side by side battle between Schatz and fellow American Jonathan Allard during the pole shuffle. Allard nipped Schatz at the line in pole shuffle, but in the feature it was all Schatz.
“My car could have gone anywhere,” admitted Schatz. “It probably could have been great on the bottom of the racetrack too, but you’ve got to do what you feel most comfortable with and I felt great up there. It was actually a really fun racetrack for me.”
With his two races completed, the North Dakota native will return home for a few weeks before continuing his international tour in Brisbane, Queensland, starting December 26, but the champion driver vowed to return to New Zealand.
“I love coming here,” concluded Schatz. “I’ve met so many great people around the world through Sprintcar racing. I’ve only been coming to New Zealand for a couple of years, but it’s been such a privilege to race at this great facility and hopefully this won’t be the last time for me.”