FARGO, ND (January 13) – Five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion and two-time Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic champion Donny Schatz has announced his intentions to compete in the 42nd annual Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Premier Speedway on January 24, 25 & 26, 2014.
Schatz just returned to the United States after winning three consecutive ENZED World Series Sprintcars events at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane, Queensland, including Saturday’s 50-lap Australian Open. The decision to return and compete in ‘The Classic’ came to fruition in the last 48 hours.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to race in the Classic,” said Schatz, who will drive the Monte Motorsport Crimsafe/Gearwrench backed No. 15 J&J that he drove to five victories over the past three weeks in Brisbane. “John and Kathy Kelly and everyone in Brisbane treat me like family. I’ll be back there next year for sure. This deal came together quickly. We had the chance to work with the people from Crimsafe at the Australian Open and were able to come out on top both nights with them on our car. Hopefully, we can do the same in Warrnambool. I haven’t been to the Classic in quite a few years. Honestly with my schedule, I am not sure when I’ll get to run it again, so we’re heading there with one goal in mind and that’s to win it.”
Schatz will return to Premier Speedway for the first time since 2005 when he finished third in the Classic. He is one of only five drivers in the event’s 41-year history to win consecutive Classics. The Fargo, N.D., racer won the prestigious race in 2001 and 2002 and also won his qualifying night feature in 2003.
The seven-time Knoxville Nationals champion is one of more than 100 entrants in “The Classic”. The event follows a format similar to the Nationals. The field will be split in half and all drivers will compete in a preliminary program that includes qualifying, heats and a feature event on either Friday or Saturday night. Points will be accumulated from the results of each and Sunday’s lineups will be set by qualifying points.
“It’s going to be a big challenge,” continued Schatz. “Every time you hit the track you have to be on your game. I enjoy that part of it. The Monte Motorsport guys are pumped up, and all of us are really looking forward to this unique opportunity.”
Since last entering the Classic in 2005, Schatz has been on top of the Sprint car world winning five World of Outlaws championships and finishing second three times. Last season, he won a career-best 23 WoO A-Features. He also has finished first or second in the nine Knoxville Nationals contested since that podium finish in Warrnambool.
The Classic, which is supported by Oval Express Magazine, GJ Gardner Homes, KRE Race Engines and the Lady Bay Resort, Warrnambool also serves as a qualifier for the Speedsport World Challenge at the 2014 Knoxville Nationals. Schatz, a three-time World Challenge winner, has already qualified for the World Challenge after winning at WXC-Western Springs Speedway in New Zealand back in December.