Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz scored a pair of top-six finishes in the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman® Sprint Car Series’ “Hoosier Havoc Weekend” doubleheader. The seven-time and reigning WoO champion raced the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J from 13th to sixth Friday in the Bob Newton Classic at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway, and came home fourth in Saturday’s race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana.
The weekend results continued a string of 16 consecutive top-10 finishes for Schatz and 23 top-10 finishes in the first 25 WoO races this season. The Fargo, North Dakota driver ranks second in the championship standings, trailing leader Brad Sweet by 102 markers, and has the second-most wins with five.
Schatz and the Outlaws made their debut at Plymouth Speedway Friday with 30 competitors taking on the 3/8-mile, dirt clay oval. Schatz turned the 10th-fastest lap in qualifications and started heat one on the outside of row two. Disaster struck early in the heat when Cale Thomas drove into Schatz on the opening lap, and his No. 15 sustained heavy damage. The TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti made repairs and Schatz was able to drive from ninth to fifth and secure a spot in the 30-lap A-Feature. Schatz started 13th and it took a while for him to begin his charge forward. He was 16th early and, on lap nine, he took 13th place. Three laps later, he was up to 12th and advanced to 10th on lap 15. On lap 20, he took ninth and kept his momentum going during the final laps working his way into sixth on the final lap.
Sweet led all 30 laps to capture the first-ever WoO A-Feature at Plymouth.
The TSR team traveled 250 miles southwest for Saturday’s annual stop at Tri-State Speedway in southwest Indiana. Schatz was strong early in the night, qualifying fifth in the field of 30 entries. He dominated the second heat and transferred into the eight-lap dash, which set the top six positions in the 40-lap A-Feature. Schatz finished third and started the A-Feature inside of row two. In the 40-lap contest, Schatz was inside the top-five throughout. Early leaders David Gravel and Kerry Madsen set the pace while Schatz was involved in a three-car battle with Brady Bacon and Parker Price-Miller through the middle stages of the race. He took fourth on lap 24 and patiently tried to reel in PriceMiller for third during the final laps. His bid to grab the final spot on the podium came up just short and he finished fourth for the second consecutive year.
Gravel would lead all 40 laps and held off a spirited battle from Bacon to score his second victory of the season.
The World of Outlaws will embark on their first of three trips into hostile territory and face the “Pennsylvania Posse” beginning with Wednesday’s Gettysburg Clash at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. Two nights of action at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg conclude with Saturday’s Morgan Cup before the Outlaws’ trek to Weedsport (N.Y.) Speedway Sunday. Last May, Schatz won the feature event at Williams Grove and also the Outlaws’ debut at Weedsport.