Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania – Five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz was looking to add another memorable victory to his incredible 2014 campaign Saturday night at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Schatz was looking to put the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J in victory lane for the 25th time in 2014.
“We really wanted this one and it’s frustrating to come up just one spot short,” said Schatz. “I don’t think we need the red flag, because we were in thick traffic and I felt like the leaders were coming to me. We made some changes on the red and didn’t quite change enough. I was pretty much sitting there in third when the leaders got together and just had to get all I could. I did all I could and we need up second.”
Schatz, who is the only five-time National Open winner, began the night by qualifying 13th for 52nd annual Morgan Hughes National Open. The field of 55 cars were split into five heats and Schatz dominated the third heat to gain a spot in the dash. After finishing seventh in the dash, Schatz started the 40-lap race inside of row and quickly began chasing Stevie Smith for sixth. With each lap the battle intensified and the two kept moving forward. Schatz jumped up into the top-five by lap 20 and following a lap 27 restart, he moved into third. He was close to joining the lead duo of David Gravel and Smith on several occasions, but couldn’t make a move on either driver. When Gravel and Smith made contact with six laps remaining, it opened the door for Schatz to seize second. He continued to close the gap on Gravel during the final laps, but wasn’t able to make a bid for the lead on the final lap.
It was his 31st consecutive top-10 finish and second consecutive runner-up at Williams Grove. He leaves central Pennsylvania with a 285-point lead in the championship standings with five races remaining. The next stop is at Rolling Wheels Raceway in central New York. Last year, Schatz led all 25 laps to secure his 22nd victory of the season.