INDIANAPOLIS (May 27, 2015) – With the way Donny Schatz and his Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team is producing results at dirt tracks across the country, most observers of the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series would think it’s the middle of July. The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team picked up its 11th triumph of the season last Friday night in Charlotte and heads into this weekend’s doubleheader in Ohio and Michigan having won of five of the previous seven Outlaw A-Features.
For years, Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J, was known for turning up the heat in the summer months and reeling off wins by the bunches. This season, he and his crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman have been hitting on all cylinders early in the campaign scoring victories regularly in the first 28 nights of action. And they are working to continue that trend by closing out a busy month of May first in Friday’s Kistler Engines Classic at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park and Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts Rumble at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan.
The return to Ohio is a welcome one for the team as it looks to make it four consecutive WoO triumphs in the Buckeye State. The run began last fall at Fremont Speedway, where Schatz transferred through the Last Chance Showdown and charged from 11th to win his 26th WoO A-Feature of the season. Earlier in May, he won both A-Features at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg to build the streak to three. The six-time and reigning WoO champion is a two-time winner at Attica, a track where the locals traditionally give the Outlaws all they can handle. Schatz was victorious at the 1/3-mile, dirt oval in 2008 and again in 2011. Last season, he bounced back from qualifying 25th by charging to fifth in the 40-lap A-Feature.
Ohio isn’t the only state where Schatz has a current winning streak. He’s also got one going in Michigan after winning a pair of his personal-best 26 WoO A-Features in the state last season. The first came May 31 at I-96 Speedway and Schatz made it two consecutive Michigan triumphs last fall when he scored the win at Berlin Raceway. A victory at I-96 was something Schatz had been chasing since his rookie season in 1997. In his 12th career start at the half-mile, dirt oval, Schatz took the lead on lap 20 and led the final 15 laps to score his first win at the track.
The Fargo, North Dakota resident is tops in a number of the Outlaws statistical categories. His 3,599 points are 79 more than Shane Stewart in the championship standings. He has 11 wins, 19 top-five finishes, 25 top-10s, eight dash wins and has led 221 laps.
For Friday’s race at Attica Raceway Park, the pit gates open at 3 p.m. EDT and grandstands open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit atticaracewaypark.com or call 419-680-5606.
Saturday at I-96 Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. EDT and the grandstands at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit i96speedway.com or call 616-642-0555.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Sprint Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
With the success you and your team are enjoying, you’re probably like you can’t race enough right now. How do you maintain that level of motivation?
“Winning is what motivates us. Tony Stewart gives us the tools to do what we love. Partners like Bad Boy Buggies and Chevrolet Performance team up with us so we can race all across the country. Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman are the best in the business. They spend all the hours putting a car under me that gives us a chance every night. We’re having fun and can’t wait to get to each race. We just finished a couple-week stretch there, where we had several races, and we were ready for another one Monday, but Mother Nature won. Our goal is to continue to get better in everything we are doing. We’ve been able to improve some things and there are still a lot of things we’re working on to keep getting better each night. We are all very competitive people and look forward to each and every challenge we come across.”
The schedule takes you back to the Midwest this weekend with stops at Attica and I-96. What challenges are you preparing for at those stops?
“We know Friday night is going to be a big challenge. Attica is a very unique track and they have a really strong group of cars there every week. The track usually slows down, so putting up a good qualifying lap is one of the most important things you have to accomplish. Last year, we qualified 25th and had to come from the back in the feature. When you couple a good group of cars and tough track conditions, you can’t be off much if you are going to get the results you want. We’ve been working on our short-track program and it’s getting better. Friday will be another big test for us. As far as I-96 goes, we’re excited to get back there. Last year, we kind of shook the monkey off our backs there. The year before, we led a lot of the race and came up one spot short. A few years before that, we had a tire go down while we were battling up front. The track has a good shape and we’ve been pretty good on the half-mile tracks this year. The Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team will be on its game for sure. We’re really looking forward to both nights of racing this weekend.”