NDIANAPOLIS (May 11, 2016) – With a schedule that stretches across all four corners of the United States, it isn’t often the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) team gets a home weekend on the rugged World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman® Sprint Car Series campaign. That’s the case this weekend for the Brownsburg, Indiana based team as they’ll compete in the Outlaws’ “Hoosier Havoc Weekend” doubleheader in Indiana beginning with Friday’s Bob Newton Classic at Plymouth Speedway and Saturday’s annual stop at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt.
Seven-time WoO champion Donny Schatz will pilot the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J in search of season victory number six for the TSR team as the schedule begins to pick up momentum with eight races in a 14-day stretch. Schatz scored a pair of top-10 finishes last weekend at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and enters the weekend second in the championship standings.
The weekend opens with the Outlaws’ first appearance at Plymouth Speedway, a 3/8-mile, semi-banked dirt clay oval. Last season, Schatz earned three of his career-best 31 WoO A-Feature triumphs in Outlaw debuts. He was the first Outlaw winner at Weedsport (N.Y) Speedway, Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota and Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, S.D.
And seven of his career 209 WoO A-Feature triumphs have come in the state of Indiana. In 2014, he won four times en route to a 26-win campaign, taking checkered flags at Lawrenceburg Speedway, Kokomo Speedway, Terre Haute Action Track and Bloomington Speedway. Last season, he earned three top-four finishes in the state including his run from 20th to fourth last May at Tri-State Speedway.
Schatz is in the midst of his 20th season of competition with the Outlaws and Saturday’s race at Tri-State will mark the 13th consecutive seasons he’ll tackle the high-banked, quarter-mile dirt oval located in southwestern Indiana. He has made 17 career starts at the track with his best career finish being third, which he has accomplished twice (2004 and 2008). One factor that may aid in his bid to score his first triumph at Tri-State would be a strong qualifying run. In each of the last three trips there, he has timed 27th, 26th and 21st. In typical Schatz fashion, he marched forward each time finishing 11th, 6th and fourth from deep in the starting field.
For Friday’s race at Plymouth, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. ET while the grandstands open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit plymouthspeedway.net or call 574-936-0900.
Saturday at Tri-State, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. CT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are slated to begin at 6 p.m. Visitwww.tristatespeedway.com or call 812-768-5995 to get more information.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
This week’s schedule takes you to Indiana where sprint cars have been competing on small dirt ovals for a long time. You’ve raced in the state throughout your career. What is it like to compete in a state with such rich racing tradition?
“It’s always been pretty exciting to race in Indiana. It seems like we almost always race there in May when a lot of the Indianapolis 500 activities are going on. You can feel the excitement. They are great fans. We’ve been going to Tri-State for as along as I can remember and have been to places like Terre Haute, Bloomington, Kokomo and Lawrenceburg a lot over the years. They have a lot of good non wing racing going on there too. It’s the home state of Steve Kinser and he meant everything to the World of Outlaws, so it always feels like there is some extra energy in the crowd when we race in Indiana. I’m looking forward to racing at Plymouth Friday. It’s a new place for us to race. It’s the Bob Newton Classic and Hoosier Racing Tires have been involved with us for a long time. It’s pretty cool we race in Indiana this weekend and then Monday things get going at the speedway for the 500. Hopefully, we can have a really good weekend.”
With a race at Plymouth and then one at Tri-State, you go from a track where you’ve never competed to one where you’ve got a thick set of notes on. How do you go about competing at a track for the first time versus one you’ve been to several times?
“In both cases, you have to rely on good communication with your team. This Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance team has been extremely successful over the years and a lot of that has to do with experience. There isn’t much they haven’t been through so when you go somewhere for the first time, you simply make some educated guesses on what it compares to and start your evening from there. We’ll go out and hot lap and pay attention to how the track is changing and adjust as we go. When you go to someplace like Tri-State, we might compare years of notes just to see if we can find a good place to start. We haven’t had the best results there, but we’ve had the ability to move forward. The key is being better earlier in the night so that we don’t have to come from so far back. If we can qualify in a spot to be on the front row of a heat great. If we can’t, then we’ll just try to get our car as good as we can so that we can advance in heat race and in the feature.”
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