The incredibly hot start to begin the 2017 World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series campaign continued this past weekend for Tony Stewart-Curb Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz and the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance-backed team with a clean sweep Friday night in the East Texas Lone Star Shootout at LoneStar Speedway in Kilgore, Texas. Schatz set the night’s quick time in qualifying, led every lap of his heat, scored a flag-to-flag win the Craftsman Club Dash and paced all 35 laps of the A-Feature to score his third consecutive victory aboard the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J. The eight-time and reigning WoO champion was looking to add to his winning streak Saturday night at the Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas, but rain forced WoO officials to reschedule the event for April 13.
“I say it all the time, but these guys who make up this Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team are simply incredible,” Schatz said following his team’s sixth victory in nine starts this season. “Tony (Stewart) has surrounded me with great people and I just go out every night and try to do my job the best I can. We haven’t been to this track in a while but, man, this place was fast tonight. I know in qualifying that we had a car that was really good and Rick (Warner), Scuba (Steve Swenson) and Brad (Mariscotti) just kept dialing it in. Starting up front helped and I just kept searching the track as the night went along. We knew as long as we got a good start in the feature and stayed patient everything would work out. I’m so happy to get another win for Arctic Cat. We spent some time at their National Sales Meeting in Minnesota earlier this week and everyone is so excited about the partnership we have. I couldn’t be prouder to be carrying the Arctic Cat brand and taking it to victory lane. The same goes for Ford Performance. They had a huge weekend winning the Daytona 500 last weekend and we’re excited about our future with them, as well. We can’t wait for the next race. This is a lot of fun.”
• The win for Schatz was his third consecutive victory of the 2017 season and third in the first four races.
- It was his 232nd career WoO A-Feature and he ranks third all-time behind Steve Kinser (577) and Sammy Swindell (294).
- Schatz earned his first fast time award of the season, led every lap of heat one, all six laps of the Craftsman Club Dash and the 35-lap A-Feature to become the first Outlaw driver to score a clean sweep this season and first in the series since Schatz pulled off the same feat at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota on August 26, 2016.
- Friday’s victory was the first for Schatz at LoneStar Speedway, making it the 81st different track where he’s won a WoO A-Feature during his 21-year WoO career, and was his sixth career WoO A-Feature triumph in the state of Texas. His previous wins came at Battleground Speedway (March 1999), Houston Raceway Park (March 2005 and 2007) and Devil’s Bowl Speedway (April 2014 and 2015).
- Schatz continues to lead the WoO championship standings by 20 points over Jason Johnson through four of the 92 scheduled races.
Following Saturday’s postponement, the focus for Schatz and the TSR team becomes Las Vegas. They’ll return to Nevada as the most recent Outlaw winner in the Silver State after Schatz won last year’s FVP Outlaw Showdown finale. The victory was his ninth career triumph at the track, most by any Outlaw driver. Schatz first won at the half-mile, dirt oval in the 1999 season finale. He’s also closed the 2004 and 2006 WoO campaigns with wins at The Dirt Track at LVMS. The Fargo, North Dakota resident has won an early season race at LVMS in three of the previous four seasons.