INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 11, 2014) – When Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz left the state of Iowa 31 days ago, he was riding high after winning his eighth Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals and determined to maintain his torrid pace in the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series. After competing in 13 races at 10 tracks in five different states and a Canadian province over the past month, the driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J returns to the Midwest this weekend on an incredible roll. Schatz resumes the grueling 92-race Outlaw campaign with their annual stops Friday at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, and Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota. The 2014 season has been filled with many highlights for Schatz, who is chasing his sixth WoO championship. The Fargo, North Dakota racer leads the series in just about every statistical category. He has a 196-point lead in the championship standings with 15 races remaining and, with his Sept. 1 victory at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, Washington, he became the first driver since Kinser in 2003 and 2004 to win 20 races in consecutive seasons. Earlier in the summer, Schatz surpassed Mark Kinser for third all-time in WoO career wins, and his run of eight Knoxville Nationals wins in nine seasons is unmatched. Consistency has been key in building his lead in the championship standings and Schatz is the midst of a 23-race streak of consecutive top-10 finishes. During that span, he’s won 11 times, including a recent six-race winning streak, and he’s only finished outside of the podium in five of the those 23 races.
Friday’s stop in Spencer has traditionally been highly anticipated by Schatz. The race is traditionally the first following the annual Western Swing. For the eighth consecutive September, the Outlaws will take to 3/8-mile, clay oval during the Clay County Fair. Schatz returns not only as the winningest driver in the eight previous races, but also on a two-race winning streak. He won the first two races at the facility in 2007 and 2008 en route to championships, and won again in 2012 before claiming a title. Last September, he led all 30 laps to score his 20th victory of the 2013 season.
Schatz has been extremely good at Deer Creek, as well. In five races, he has finished second three times and, in the other two races, he finished fourth in 2010 and sixth in 2013. When the Outlaws made their debut at the track, he led the first 28 laps before finishing second to Joey Saldana. In 2011, he started on the front row with Kinser and the two staged a dramatic battle, but Schatz couldn’t get the top spot. The 2012 race may have been his best race at the track. He had the capacity crowd on its feet as he charged from 17th into the lead on lap 34, but couldn’t fight off a final-corner slider by Craig Dollansky.
With 74 WoO A-Features in the books for 2014, Schatz leads the series with his 20 A-Feature wins, 53 top-five finishes and 67 top-10s, 12 KSE Hard Charger Awards and 19 heat-race wins.
For Friday’s race at Clay County Fair Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.slspromotions.com.
Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT, with the grandstands opening at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.DeerCreekSpeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s events can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO STP Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including live results from the track.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
It’s been an incredible 2014 campaign. You’ve won 20 races for the second consecutive year and positioned yourself well in the championship chase. What are your goals for the next 15 races?
“We’d like to win them all but we know that’s probably not possible. The only one we can win is the next one. We’re excited about heading back to Clay County. We’ve had some really good races there the last few years. The fans come out and really support that event and the STP team (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson, Eric Prutzman) gives me a great car there. It’s been a place where we’ve had a lot of success and hope that we can continue that Friday. The goal then turns to getting a win at Deer Creek. It’s one of the best places we race at and another place where we have great fan support. I know I have a lot of fun there but still haven’t been able to win one there, yet. We’re determined to try and do that. Wins are all that matter to us right now. We’re not counting down races. We’re counting opportunities. There are a lot of races left on the schedule and we still have quite a bit to accomplish.”