Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz made another spirited run to the front in Saturday night’s World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series 30-lap A-Feature at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway aboard the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J. With threatening weather all around the half-mile, dirt oval, Schatz raced from his seventh starting position and tracked down leaders Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet during the final 10 laps. Unfortunately, a caution with six laps remaining took the leaders out of traffic and Schatz could only follow Sweet and Pittman to the finish line.
“This Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team is incredible,” Schatz said following his 60th top-five finish in 73 starts this season. “Tony Stewart has surrounded me with a great team and they work extremely hard. Sometimes, you have to take a step backward to take a couple of steps forward. At one point, I think we were back running in eighth before we got ourselves rallied up through there. We were rolling really nicely and drove up to the leaders and actually passed Brad and were right there with Daryn in traffic. I was just able to move around the racetrack a little bit. Once that caution came out, it was every man for himself and we kind of got spread out. It wasn’t the win we wanted but I’m extremely happy for my guys – Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman. They do a phenomenal job and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Mother Nature washed out Sunday’s scheduled race at Weedsport (N.Y.) Speedway, where Schatz dominated the Outlaws’ May 16 appearance at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval.
Saturday’s race at Port Royal was the seventh night of action in the Keystone State in 2015 and Schatz quickly emerged as a favorite when he topped the field of 47 cars in qualifying. With a lap of 16.199 seconds, Schatz earned his fifth fast qualifier award of the season. He raced from fourth to second in the third heat before finishing seventh in the six-lap dash after the team experimented with the car’s setup.
Schatz was chasing his second career A-Feature triumph at Port Royal and 32nd of the season when the green flag dropped on the field of 28 cars. The early battle for Schatz was between positions seven and eight before he began his charge forward on lap 10. He advanced to sixth when he passed Danny Dietrich and then set his sights on Brent Marks for fifth. He made the move around Marks on lap 15 and then passed Shane Stewart and Lucas Wolfe on lap 16 to grab third. During the next five laps, Schatz closed in on the Kasey Kahne Racing duo. On lap 21, Pittman took the lead from Sweet and, the following lap, Schatz passed Sweet for second coming out of turn two. Sweet was able to get back under Schatz coming out of turn four to hold second at the line. The battle continued into the next corner before the caution slowed the action with 24 laps complete. On the restart, Sweet worked his way back around Pittman and the three leaders pulled away during the final five laps. The finish pushed his lead over Shane Stewart to 520 markers in the championship standings and extended the team’s streak of consecutive finishes without a DNF (Did Not Finish) to 176.
The 2015 WoO season will conclude Nov. 5 to 7 with the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Schatz and the Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team will look to add to their incredible stats for the season with two complete nights of racing before receiving their championship hardware at the season-ending Night of Champions banquet Nov. 8.