TUCSON, AZ – Six-time World of Outlaws Sprint car series champion Donny Schatz is already off to a tremendous start in 2015 with four victories in Australia. Tonight, the Fargo, North Dakota racer will return to action stateside behind the wheel of his Dirt Late Model in the 9th annual Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout.Schatz, who will open his 19th season with the WoO Sprint Car Series next month in Florida, returns to USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona, for the second consecutive January to continue his development as a Dirt Late Model competitor. He’ll once again wheel his family-owned No. 15 Fargo Petro Stopping Center/Schatz Crossroads/Fastlane Car wash backed Rocket in action against a host of the top late model racers from across the United States.
“I ready to get back out there tonight,” said Schatz, after arriving in Arizona following a six-race tour in Australia. “We had a lot of fun in this Shootout last year and are ready to get things started.”
Schatz, who was a perfect six for six behind the wheel of the Crimsafe backed No. 15 J&J at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway in Australia, last raced his Dirt Late Model in the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After qualifying for the opening night 50-lap World of Outlaws (WoO) Late Model A-Main, Schatz was even more impressive in the season finale 50 lapper racing from 14th to ninth.
“We really enjoyed competing in the World Finals,” continued Schatz. “There were a lot of very good teams there, and we were just hoping to make the show both nights. The guys worked really hard to get the car better every time we hit the track. After getting in the show Friday, we wanted to improve Saturday. I was really comfortable and tried to make as many good laps as possible. Getting up to ninth was a good finish for us and really a lot of fun.”
The finish was his second top-10 with the World of Outlaws Late Model series, an impressive stat for driver who made his Dirt Late Model debut in the 2012 Prelude to the Dream event at historic Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. After a fourth-place finish in that All-Star race, Schatz began competing regularly in Dirt Late Models the following season in a number of events in the Upper Midwest. He won a pair of races in late May and before completing a WoO Sprint/NLRA Late Model sweep in August at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Competing in the Wild West Shootout last January was the first of many big events for the third winningest driver in World of Outlaws Sprint Car series history. He made his WoO Late Model debut in July between the Brad Doty Classic and Kings Royal event, charging from 17th to eighth at Hibbing (Minnesota) Raceway. A second triumph at River Cities Speedway in mid-August was his most recent victory in his No. 15 machine. The eight-time Knoxville Nationals champion followed that by competing in the Knoxville Dirt Late Model Nationals in late September.
“We were able to get out and race more with the Late Model last year,” said Schatz. “I have a great time doing it. There are a lot of people that help keep me pointed in the right direction. I’ve got some good friends from home that get the car to the races and keep me on the track. It’s about having fun and we’re definitely having a lot. We’re excited to get things started in 2015 here in Tucson.”
Schatz will race in the final four events of the Wild West Shootout. He’ll compete Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.