Donny Schatz and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) team delivered three impressive performances last week in World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series action. With victories Wednesday at Placerville (Calif.) Speedway and Sunday at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway, Schatz and his Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance-backed team have amassed four wins in the first nine races of this year’s Outlaw California Spring Break Tour.
Schatz, the six-time and reigning WoO champion, finished fourth in Saturday’s race at Calistoga and, through 15 races, he leads the series championship standings by 30 points over Shane Stewart. He also leads the series with five wins, nine top-fives and 13 top-10s.
“This team is remarkable,” Schatz said. “I’ve been battling something today and don’t feel great. Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman do a great job of giving me a car that I can go forward with. We’ve had a great week. Winning at Placerville was fun. We had a decent night Saturday at Calistoga and then everything came together tonight. This has been the best we’ve ran in California early in the season and it’s shown just how good this team is. We’re having a blast keeping this Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance car racing for wins just about every night. Tony (Stewart) has been really pumping up the guys about continuing to get better and that’s what we try to do every night. We’ve got one more weekend out here and we’re going to try and keep it going.”
The driver of the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J made his debut at Placerville Speedway last Wednesday and, after qualifying 14th in the field of 37 cars, he raced to victory in the second heat. He advanced from eighth to fifth in the dash and started the 35-lap A-Feature in the fifth position. In the A-Feature, Schatz found his groove early and patiently worked his way up to second by lap 20. He worked on race leader Kyle Hirst for a number of laps before ultimately taking the lead on lap 27 and pulling away during the final eight laps to capture his first win at the track. His fourth win of 2015 was 176th career WoO A-Feature triumph.
The action moved Saturday to Calistoga Speedway, where Schatz was fast early, turning the third-quickest lap in qualifying around the picturesque half-mile, dirt oval. He finished second in the third heat and third in the dash to earn his second-row starting position. Schatz, who scored previous Calistoga triumphs in 2004 and 2012, held third during the opening five laps. Restarts proved to be tough during the race. He lost a couple of positions on one restart and got shuffled back to eighth on another. He made a valiant late charge on the final two laps, advancing from seventh to fourth.
The team was extremely consistent in Sunday’s finale at Calistoga. Schatz was the 19th of 35 cars to make a qualifying lap and, despite a rapidly slowing surface, Schatz was able to put up the ninth-best lap. After qualifying, he won every race he started – winning the opening heat, the six-lap dash and the 25-lap A-Feature. In the A-Feature, Craig Dollansky shared the front row with Schatz and took the early lead. Schatz settled into second and searched the racing surface during the opening 10 laps before beginning to close in on Dollansky. Schatz raced past Dollansky coming out of turn two on lap 12 to grab the lead. He built a three-second lead before a yellow slowed the action on lap 18. After fending off a challenge from Dollansky on the restart, Schatz again drove away from the field and cruised to his third win at Calistoga.
This week, the TSR team concludes the 11-race California Outlaw Tour with races Friday at King’s Speedway in Hanford and Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway.