Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and his STP-backed team added another first to their historic 2014 World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series campaign Saturday night at Fremont (Ohio) Speedway. The driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J raced to his 26th WoO A-Feature triumph of the year after starting the 40-lap race in 11th position and became the first driver this season to win a WoO A-Feature after appearing in the Last Chance Showdown.
“It was a great race,” Schatz said following his second consecutive win at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval. “We qualified really well but had some issues in our heat and had to come through the B. You’re going to have nights like that. We came back and rallied. The racetrack was tricky. I just couldn’t quite figure out how to get my car to roll in the right spot until later in the race. Luckily, I was able to stay in a good spot and stay with them. It was just another phenomenal job by everyone on this team. We can’t wait to get to the next race.”
Schatz came to Fremont as the series’ most recent winner both in 2014 and at Fremont. The five-time WoO STP champion earned his 25th victory last Saturday at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, New York and was victorious at Fremont last September. The Fargo, North Dakota racer turned the second-fastest lap during qualifying in the field of 45 cars but finished fifth in heat two, one spot out of the transfer spot. He dominated the Last Chance Showdown, leading the 12-lap race from start to finish. In the 40-lap A-Feature, he started inside of row six and patiently worked his way toward the top-five during the first 10 laps. He reached third by lap 20 but had nearly a straightaway to make up on leaders Shane Stewart and Chris Andrews. While Stewart and Andrews tried to manipulate their way through backmarkers, Schatz seized the opportunity and closed the gap. He passed Andrews with a high move in turns one and two and, two laps later, made a brilliant move diving low into turn three to take the lead from Stewart. He pulled away during the next three laps and was just as strong following a caution with two laps remaining and upped his career high for wins in a season to 26.
With only three races remaining in the 2014 season, Schatz has all but clinched his sixth WoO championship. He has a 313-point lead over Daryn Pittman and continues to lead all competitors with his 26 wins, 61 top-fives, and 78 top-10s.
Schatz and Kinser will look to be the season’s final Outlaw winner in Pennsylvania Saturday when the series returns to Port Royal Speedway for the first time in nearly a decade.