INDIANAPOLIS (May 13, 2015) – The history behind the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series has deep roots and, after nearly 40 years of making stops at dirt tracks across the country, “The Greatest Show on Dirt” still has rivalries just as hostile. The leader of today’s modern era Outlaws is Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s Donny Schatz and, this week, he leads the Outlaws into Central Pennsylvania where the local contingent of racers, recognized as the Pennsylvania Posse, are hoping to slow down his incredible start to the 2015 WoO campaign.
Schatz, the six-time and reigning WoO champion, parked the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J in victory lane twice last weekend at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and will look to continue his winning streak Wednesday evening at Lincoln Speedway near Hanover, Pennsylvania in the Gettysburg Clash. The first of three swings through the rugged Posse territory continues with a pair of races Friday and Saturday at historic Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg. The week of action concludes Sunday with a night of racing at Weedsport (N.Y.) Speedway.
The return to Central Pennsylvania offers Schatz and his Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team – Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman – an opportunity to continue a remarkable start to the season. Last weekend, Schatz swept the “Mother of All Sprint Car Weekends” at Eldora Speedway, ending a 23-race winless streak at the high-banked, half-mile dirt oval and increasing his victory total on the season to eight with 23 races in the books. This season’s wins have come at places where the Fargo, North Dakota driver has been victorious in the past – Volusia Speedway Park, Silver Dollar Speedway, Calistoga Speedway, Devil’s Bowl Speedway and Eldora. They’ve also come at new tracks – Stockton Dirt Track and Placerville Speedway. This week, he’ll look to make Lincoln Speedway the 72nd different track where he’s scored an Outlaw triumph and he’ll also be after his 19th career win at Williams Grove. Schatz has 14 WoO A-Feature wins at Williams Grove, more than at any other track.
Schatz has made six starts at Lincoln during his 19-year WoO career. His best finish came in May 2013 when he finished second in the 30-lap A-Feature. Last season, he finished sixth in the Outlaws’ May visit to the semibanked, 3/8-mile dirt oval.
For the second consecutive weekend, Schatz will return to a track where his most recent finishes were a pair of second-place finishes. Last weekend, he ventured to Eldora after finishing second in both the 2014 Kings Royal and Four Crown main events. Last season at Williams Grove, he finished second in July at the Summer Nationals and was the runner-up in the Morgan Hughes National Open last October. His 18 all-time wins at the half-mile, dirt oval ties him with Mark Kinser and Ray Tilley. If he can win this weekend, he could move into a tie with Jan Opperman, Tommy Hinnershitz and Kramer Williamson. Schatz’s childhood hero Doug Wolfgang has won there 20 times.
Sunday’s trip to Central New York will be the Outlaws’ first visit to Weedsport Speedway since August 1993, and Schatz will make his debut at the 3/8-mile, clay oval. Success in New York has been something Schatz has experienced a great deal of the past couple seasons. He won at Lebanon Valley Speedway in July 2013, and Rolling Wheels Raceway in October 2013 and again in October 2014.
Following his weekend sweep at Eldora, Schatz pushed his lead in the championship standings to 55 points over Shane Stewart. Schatz leads the series with eight wins, 15 top-fives, 21 top-10s and also has led the most laps with 160 at the point so far this season.
For Wednesday’s race at Lincoln Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 3 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.linconlspeedway.com or call 972-222-2421.
Friday and Saturday at Williams Grove Speedway, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. EDT and the grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.williamsgrove.com or call 717-697-5000.
Sunday at Weedsport Speedway, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. EDT and the grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.weedsportspeedway.com or call 315-834-3067.
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 towww.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:
You’ve talked all season about getting better as a team at tracks where you haven’t been as successful as you wanted to be. How big was winning at Eldora last week to break a long dry spell there?
“It was a really big accomplishment for us. Anytime you put a goal out there and are able to accomplish it, there is some satisfaction. We’ve been really close to winning at Eldora for quite a few races and just came up short. My guys just kept working harder and harder to come up with a winning combination. It was all hard work. We learned something each time we went there and even had to work hard through the night Friday to get us where we wanted to be. It felt great to finally get back to victory lane at Eldora, and then to come back make it two in a row was really good for everyone on this Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team. They went back to the shop this week to prepare for what we know is going to be tremendous challenge out East. We love the challenge and are really looking forward to it.”
One challenge when you race at Lincoln and Williams Grove is that the core group of local drivers and teams is so strong. Does that change your approach or provide any additional motivation to win when you get to Pennsylvania?
“We want to win every place we go. If we are at dirt track, our goal is to leave with the trophy. Things get hyped up a bit more when we go to Pennsylvania, but that’s good for our sport. We are privileged to be out here, and thanks to Tony Stewart and partners like Bad Boy Buggies, Chevrolet Performance and Curb Records to be able to do what we do for a living and race against the best in the business every night. We know that, when we come to Pennsylvania, the field of cars is going to be a lot deeper but it doesn’t change our approach. I’ve got an incredibly talented group of people around me and we’re having a great time right now. We’re really excited about every opportunity that comes our way.”