FARGO, ND – It’s been a little more than six weeks since Donny Schatz concluded his 20th year of competition with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series by scoring his 25th WoO A-Feature victory of the season and claiming his eighth WoO championship. And for the 20th straight season, his off-season will include competing in Australia, but before that he’ll make his debut in a midget when he climbs into Clauson-Marshall Racing’s No. 15 Saturday in the Junior Knepper 55 USAC Midget Special Event indoors at the Southern Illinois Center at the DuQuoin (Illinois) State Fairgrounds.
“Everywhere you go you hear ’tis the season’ and for me that means it’s time to get back to work,” said Schatz, who will leave for his annual six-race Australian tour at Audesck Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane, Queensland, December 22. “This year we get an early start and it’s something I’m really excited about. When we talked with Clauson-Marshall Racing about running the Chili Bowl, we discussed making some laps prior to getting to Tulsa. This weekend’s race is a great opportunity. I know I’ve got a lot to learn. We made some laps a few weeks back, but that was just me getting my bearings on the track by myself. This weekend is the real deal. I can’t thank Tim (Clauson) and the Marshall’s enough for giving me this opportunity.”
Schatz continues to set the standard of excellence in Sprint cars and his Tony Stewart Racing team members are in the midst of preparations for the 2017 World of Outlaws campaign. Last season, they became the only team to win more the 20 WoO A-Features in four consecutive seasons, adding to their legacy in motorsports.
The Fargo, North Dakota driver is no stranger to jumping into machines other than his traditional No. 15 winged sprinter. In 2003, he competed in several USAC Silvercrown races both on dirt and pavement. Ironically, his most recent USAC start was in Tulsa at the Fairgrounds piloting a USAC Silvercrown car. In recent years, he’s raced his family-owned Dirt Late Model. Competing both regionally near his home in North Dakota and nationally with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series both to start the season in Florida and at the season-ending World Finals in Charlotte.
Saturday’s Junior Knepper 55 is set to begin at 4 p.m. with hot laps and racing will follow at 5 p.m. For those unable to attend, live video of the event will be streamed at http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com.
Schatz can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @DonnySchatz and liked on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz.