Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and his STP backed team are one weekend away from receiving the 2014 World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series championship hardware. Schatz continued his remarkable season Saturday at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway by finishing second in the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J. The finish was his 35th consecutive top-10 finish and pushed him closer to his sixth WoO title.
“It was another great race for the STP team,” said Schatz, who has pushed his lead in the championship standings to 316 points. “I want to congratulate Ryan Smith for winning his first Outlaws race. I did everything I could. I thought maybe we were going to have a shot at him, but I got caught up behind a lapped car and never got another chance. I know that we’ve clinched the championship, or all we have to do is get to Charlotte to win it. Hats off to my guys for working so hard all season. This is a team sport and certainly all of our success is a testament to the efforts of everyone involved with this team.”
For the third consecutive week, Schatz showed up as the series’ most recent winner. He came into Saturday’s race at Port Royal on a two-event winning streak and won the Outlaws’ previous race there in 2004. The five-time WoO STP champion posted the fourth-fastest lap during qualifying and finished third in both heat two and the dash. In the 30-lap A-Feature, he started inside of row two and ran fourth in the early going of the race, fending off challenges from Paul McMahan. As the race reached its midpoint, Schatz was closing in on the lead trio and passed Kerry Madsen and Lucas Wolfe to grab second. The final seven laps provided Schatz the chance to close the gap on leader Smith. He closed the gap at one point but a lapped car slowed his momentum and allowed Smith to pull away for the win. Schatz would follow Smith across the finish line and earned his 14th second-place finish of the season.
Only the World Finals in Charlotte remain on the 2014 schedule. And as long as Schatz makes it there, he can’t be surpassed in the standings by second-place Daryn Pittman. He has a 316-point lead over Pittman and his result at Port Royal added to his series-leading numbers of 62 top-fives and 79 top-10s.
Schatz will take a weekend off for the first time since February before returning to action the following week at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway. The World Finals include a night of qualifying Thursday and two complete race programs Friday and Saturday. The WoO awards banquet is scheduled for Sunday.