Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz continued his remarkable run of top finishes competing this past weekend with the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman® Sprint Car Series at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin. After winning twice and finishing second in his previous three starts at the 3/8-mile dirt oval in northwestern Wisconsin, the driver of the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J made it five straight top-two finishes by coming home second Friday night and winning Saturday’s thrilling 35-lap WoO A-Feature to capture his fifth career WoO victory at the track and 13th of the 2016 campaign.
“These guys Tony Stewart has assembled (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti) are incredible,” Schatz said from victory lane after pushing his career WoO victory total to 217. “I have to thank them for what they do. We’ve been working all season on this car and they just keep trying things to make this Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance machine get better and better. We never really can seem to get a good feel here. I don’t know what it is. We just had to bide our time, we were awfully tight in the beginning. I guess when you know you can’t do better, you just try to save your tires. Last night, I just killed the tires. We had a way better racecar at the end and that’s what counts.”
Schatz led the Outlaws to Cedar Lake for their annual summer stop near the Twin Cities. The Fargo, North Dakota resident won five WISSOTA Sprint Car Series features during the 1995 and 1996 seasons at the track before joining the Outlaws in 1997 and still has a way of finding victory lane despite not always having the best feel in his car. He was coming off his 12th victory of the season the previous Sunday at Badlands Motor Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota. He qualified third in the field of 34 cars and raced to victory in the third heat from the pole to transfer into the dash. He started fourth and finished fourth in the six-lap dash to earn the fourth-starting position in the 35-lap A-Feature. In the main event, Schatz moved around during the opening 10 laps and then began stalking Joey Saldana for second. He caught and passed Saldana on lap 22 and began his surge toward leader Logan Schuchart. With Schuchart being slowed by lapped traffic on lap 25, Schatz chopped more than a second off the lead and looked poised to make a move for the lead as they worked lapped traffic. A caution for Kerry Madsen on lap 27 took them out of traffic and Schuchart pulled away following the restart to capture his first career WoO A-Feature triumph
The TSR team came back Saturday looking to improve its results by one position and build momentum heading into the upcoming “Month of Money.” Schatz qualified sixth in the field of 27 cars and finished second in heat three to qualify for the dash. A six was drawn for the dash inversion, putting Schatz on the pole for the six-lap race. He dominated the dash and earned his fourth pole position of the season in the A-Feature. The previous three times in 2016 that he earned the pole – Lincoln Speedway, Lincoln Park Speedway and Rockford Speedway – the seven-time and reigning WoO champion went on to win the A-Feature. At the drop of the green, Schatz seized control of the race but Brad Sweet was putting on the pressure. Sweet grabbed the lead on lap 15, but Schatz retook it on lap 16. Sweet again took the lead on lap 17 and held the top spot for the next seven laps before Schatz raced his way back into the top position. A caution on lap 27 slowed his pursuit of victory number 13 but, like the night before, the leader pulled away on the restart and Schatz drove off to take the win.
With 47 nights of action, Schatz has accumulated 6,546 points and has built a118-point over Brad Sweet in the championship standings. His 13 wins, 32 top-five finishes, 44 top-10s and nine KSE Hard Charger Awards are the most by any driver this season.