INDIANAPOLIS (May 4, 2016) – New Look. New Color. Same Winning Attitude. That’s the mantra the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) will proclaim this weekend at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Seven-time World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman® Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz will debut the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J, featuring the new Bad Boy® Off Road brand marks, with the goal of repeating his Eldora WoO sweep last May.
TSR and Bad Boy, a division of Textron Specialized Vehicles, are in their fourth season together and both continue to be driven to dominate any challenge they are faced with. Earlier this week, Bad Boy unveiled the game-changing Stampede™ 900 4×4, an 80-horsepower beast of a side-by-side vehicle that Schatz and Stewart spent hours tackling trails with last Monday in Texas. Their reaction after driving the Stampede confirmed the company’s mission to build an off-road vehicle with big-time power and performance that makes anything possible. Bad Boy vehicles are driven by bold people and the brand is driven by their passion.
During his first 19 years of WoO competition, Schatz has had his moments of being bold at one of the most intimidating tracks on the circuit. Last May, he ended a five-year winless streak at the high-banked, half-mile dirt oval when he raced past Kerry Madsen on lap 14 of the 30-lap A-Feature to capture his first Eldora win since he was crowned King in the 2009 Kings Royal. Schatz completed the weekend sweep the following night by leading all 30 laps of the WoO A-Feature to score his seventh career Eldora win and eighth of 2015. When the Outlaws returned in July, Schatz was looking to become a three-time Kings Royal winner and had a stranglehold on the field before a fuel issue with less than five laps remaining took him out of the lead. He ultimately finished sixth in the 40-lap race and came back in September and earned a fourth-place finish in the 4-Crown Nationals. His Eldora wins in May were part a career-best 31 triumphs in 2015 for Schatz, a seventh WoO championship and 20th championship for TSR.
Schatz has finished inside the top-10 14 consecutive races at Eldora and in 25 of his last 27 starts. History has also been on his side at the famous track built by the late Earl Baltes. His first victory at the track came in August 2002, when he scored the non-sanctioned $100,000-to-win Historical Big One. He followed May victories at the track in 2008, 2009 and again last year with WoO championships.
The Fargo, North Dakota racer and his TSR team of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti are tied for most wins so far in 2016 with five WoO A-Feature triumphs, and also lead the series in KSE Hard Charger Awards with five. Schatz has finished inside the top-five 13 times in 20 races this season and finished inside the top-10 18 times. The team ranks third in the WoO championship standings with 2,172 points, 105 out of first. Schatz finished fourth in the most recent WoO A-Feature April 26 at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas. Last weekend’s events in Salina, Oklahoma and Pevely, Missouri were lost to rain.
For both events at Eldora Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 2 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.eldoraspeedway.com or call 937-338-3815.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen free as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
Throughout your career with the World of Outlaws, Eldora Speedway has been one of the premiere tracks. What does winning at Eldora mean to you?
“It’s an incredible honor to win races at Eldora. There’s so much tradition and mystique about that place. Earl (Baltes) built an incredible dirt track and put on some really big races. When you think of dirt-track racing, Eldora is always in the conversation. As a driver, you want to win everywhere you go and winning at places like Eldora takes a lot of work. It took me a long time to get that first win and there’s a lot of pride and appreciation in all the wins we’ve got there. Tony (Stewart) has carried on Earl’s tradition and his staff continues to make renovations. It’s a speed palace and we’re extremely excited about getting to race there this weekend. My guys worked really hard the last few years to get us a combination to have the speed you need to win there. We had a good car for a lot of years, but it felt like we would just come up short. Last year, we broke through with a pair of wins in May. That’s was big for us. We’re looking to continue building on what we learned last year and be in a good position at the end of night Friday and Saturday again.”
This week, Bad Boy unveiled a new vehicle and the Bad Boy Off Road rebrand that will be on your car. Is there any added motivation going into the weekend racing a new scheme at Eldora?
“We are all really excited about the new Bad Boy Off Road brand and having the ability to represent them. They had us in San Antonio last week to unveil the Stampede to dealers from all over the country and world. Tony and I drove them and had a lot of fun. It’s an incredible sport-utility vehicle. For us at TSR, it was important to bring out the new car just after the launch. It’s like a new season, where you come out with a new look, new colors. We know we only get one shot at a first weekend in the car, so we’re hoping to make the most of it and have a chance to win a couple of races with the new car. It’s a really sharp-looking car and we’re hoping to have a great deal of success with it the rest of the year.”
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