TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Sept. 17, 2014 – Donny Schatz’s dominant performance Wednesday night at the Terre Haute Action Track gave him his 22nd World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season and added to an impressive resume that has only been bolstered this season.
His first ever win at Terre Haute was the second first win in as many nights for the five-time champion after he parked it in victory lane at Kokomo Speedway on Tuesday night.
“It’s been a great week for me,” Schatz said. “For two tracks to get off the bucket list that I’ve never won at feels really good.”
Schatz led Joey Saldana to the green flag in the feature, but it was Saldana who jumped to the lead as the field dove into the first turn. A caution flag flew before one lap could be completed and the field reset. Saldana again got the lead into turn one on the restart, but as the two cars battled onto the backstretch, it was Schatz who took over the lead.
“On the first start I got the lead but I saw Donny down there on the bottom and he got a good run,” Saldana said. “I was like, maybe I need to get to the bottom. Obviously he snookered me there.”
As the 25-lap feature wore on, two more cautions came out. Each time, Schatz easily retained the lead in his STP / Armor All car, then went on to build sizable leads.
Schatz, who struggled in the week before as the Outlaws concluded its West Coast swing and returned to the Midwest, congratulated his Tony Stewart Racing team in victory lane.
“It’s an honor to drive this racecar,” Schatz said. “It’s an unbelievable machine. Last week I thought it was wore out, I thought it was time for a new one but they went hard to work at the shop and found a few things that maybe we were missing and got it back where it was. Hats off to them – they do a great job. When they’re on their game there’s nothing better. The way this car drove last night and the way it drove tonight – it’s pretty unbelievable to have something that drives that good. It’s just awesome.”
As the Outlaws move into the final stretch of the season, Schatz’s lead in the championship standings continues to grow over second place Daryn Pittman to 236 points. Paul McMahan is third in the standings, 347 points out of the lead.