Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz put an exclamation point on the month of June with a dominant weekend in World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series action. The driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J won Friday night at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa, finished third Saturday at Beaver Dam (Wis.) Speedway and won Sunday’s A-Feature at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin. The weekend tripleheader concluded the month of June where the five-time WoO champion finished on the podium six times in eight starts.
Friday was the Outlaws fourth appearance at 34 Raceway opened the weekend Friday and after a thrilling battle with Steve Kinser in his heat, Schatz started 10th in the A-Feature. The Fargo, North Dakota native patiently worked his way to the cusp of the top-five moving by Kinser on the way. Schatz continued his climb and restarted the race with 10 laps to go in the second position. He dove inside Madsen heading into turn three and came out leading lap 21. Schatz would lead the final 10 laps and score the seventh win of 2014 and his 154th of his career to move into third position all-time in WoO A-Feature wins. He trails only Kinser (577) and Sammy Swindell (293).
“The two guys in front of me, I don’t know that I’m ever going to catch either one of them,” Schatz said. “But realistically I didn’t try to get to this point on the list. I’m just going out and having a good time and racing and enjoying myself. When you’re enjoying yourself, things just happen. We’re kind of over that milestone and now we can just enjoy the rest of it.”
A trip from eastern Iowa to central Wisconsin was next for the traveling Outlaws. Schatz opened the evening by timing fifth and then finished third in heat two and fifth in the dash. The 40-lap A-Feature played out with several slide jobs for the lead between local favorite Billy Bialog, Cody Darrah and Brad Sweet. Sweet ultimately came out the victor followed by Darrah and Schatz.
Sunday’s finale was at a familiar 3/8-mile, dirt oval where Schatz has made many laps when he raced at the track regularly as a teenager early in his career. Qualifying once again played a big role in the evening’s outcome. Schatz was third in time trials and finished second in heat three. He finished second in the dash and started the A-Feature on the outside of the front row. He took the lead at the start and led 34 of the 35 laps en route to his eighth career win at the track and eighth WoO A-Feature win of the season.
“This STP team did a great job all weekend,” said Schatz. “They just kept adjusting on the car. We finally got a balance on this racecar where we can fine tune little things and do a lot of learning and that’s how you get ahead. So, I feel good right now. I can’t wait until Wednesday to get back in it again.”
Through 42 of the scheduled 92 races in the 2014 WoO STP Sprint Car Series campaign complete, Schatz leads the championship standings. The Fargo, North Dakota racer has 5,979 points and has built a 93-point advantage over Daryn Pittman. Schatz also leads the series in wins (8), top-fives (28) and top-10s (37).
Schatz and his STP team will remain busy with a heavy schedule during the month of July. The first stop comes Wednesday at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota before the two-night Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway Park Friday and Saturday.