INDIANAPOLIS (June 29 2017) – The marathon that is the chase for the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship continues this week as Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz leads the Outlaws to Minnesota and South Dakota to close out the month of June and open July.
Schatz will look to add to his series-leading win total of 12 starting with Thursday night’s Clash at the Creek at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota before he returns to South Dakota Saturday with an eye on making it two for two in WoO action at the Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron.
The eight-time and reigning WoO champion picked up that 12th victory Tuesday night with a thrilling drive in the FVP Outlaw Clay Classic at The Dirt Oval at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Schatz raced the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J from the eighth starting position and overtook Kraig Kinser on lap 26 of the 30-lap A-Feature to secure his second career triumph at Route 66. It was the Outlaws first appearance at the track since July 2005 when Schatz was also the feature winner. Tuesday’s triumph was his 241st career WoO A-Feature victory.
Schatz has won those 241 races at 81 different tracks and the Fargo, North Dakota resident is hoping to add to both categories Thursday at Deer Creek. He has competed in all seven WoO races at the 3/8-mile, high-banked dirt oval, but is still seeking his first win there. He has finished second on four occasions, including a memorable run from 17th in the 2012 event and again in the series’ most recent stop at the track in September 2015.
The Dakota State Fair Speedway is already part of the list of tracks where Schatz has come out during his illustrious 21-year WoO career. In June 2015, the Outlaws held their first event at the half-mile, dirt oval and Schatz came in with a four-race winning streak. He took the lead 10 laps into the 30-lap contest and led the final 20 circuits to become the first Outlaw winner at the facility.
Schatz and the TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb team of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti are looking to close a busy month of June and start July on a roll. The team will reach the halfway point of the Outlaw schedule Saturday and the annual “Month of Money” is quickly approaching.
SCHATZ FAST FACTS: DEER CREEK/DAKOTA STATE FAIR SPEEDWAY
- Schatz will be looking to make his eighth career WoO start at Deer Creek.
• In the Outlaws debut at Deer Creek in September 2009, Schatz led the first 28 laps before finishing second to Joey Saldana. In 2013, he charged from 17th and passed Craig Dollansky for the lead on lap 29, but Dollansky got back around him on the final lap. Two years ago, he passed Brad Sweet for the lead late in the race, but a caution flag nullified the move.
- Schatz has seven career WoO A-Feature wins in the state of Minnesota. His most recent victory came last Tuesday at Granite City Speedway. He has also won at Jackson Speedway and Princeton Speedway.
- In June 2015, Schatz won consecutive WoO A-Feature events at Knoxville, Huset’s Speedway, Granite City Speedway and River Cities Speedway prior to making his WoO debut at Dakota State Fair Speedway. He qualified third and overtook early leader Daryn Pittman en route to his fifth consecutive win and 16th of the year.
- Schatz has earned six career WoO A-Features in the state of South Dakota. His first came at Huset’s Speedway in April 2001 and his 2015 triumph in Huron was his most recent.
SCHATZ FAST FACTS: 2017
- Through 40 of 92 scheduled races in the 2017 WoO campaign, Schatz leads the championship standings with 5,648 markers and holds a 54-point advantage over Brad Sweet.
- Schatz leads the series with 12 wins and 31 top-five finishes.
- He enters Thursday night’s race with three wins in the month of June. Earlier this year, he scored a pair of wins in February, four during the month of March and three in May.
• He has finished inside the top-five in 12 of the last 13 races and his coming off his 12th victory of the season.
For Thursday night’s race at Deer Creek, the pit gates at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.deercreekspeedway.com or call (507) 346-2342.
Saturday at Dakota State Fair, the pit gates at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.dakotapromotions.com or call (605) 352-4848.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live audio is available for 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. Visit to DIRTVision.com for more information.
Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.com, www.arcticcat.com, and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com.
Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing or on Twitter and Instagram @TonyStewart_Rcg.
Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.
Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArcticCat or on Twitter and Instagram @ArcticCat_atv @ArcticCat_Snow
Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.
Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/FordPerformance or on Twitter and Instagram @FordPerformance.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J:
With two races this week, you will officially reach the halfway point of the 2017 WoO campaign. How tough is to be the hunted and yet continue to reach the goals you and the team have set for the season?
“With the expectations we set, our bar is pretty high and sometimes it’s hard to meet that bar, but I’m with a team that gives us a chance to win every night. The big thing is winning championships. To win a championship, you have to finish races. Sometimes that means you have to (accept) not winning (a race). It also means that sometimes things aren’t going to go your way. The great thing about being out here with the Outlaws is that your next race happens pretty quickly. We had a crash Saturday and got to come back out Tuesday and get right back to racing. Winning races and being in position to win is what we expect. The other night at Route 66 the guys gave me a great car and we just had to keep fighting everything we could get. Kraig (Kinser) was really fast and I had to battle Brad (Sweet) quite a bit just to have a chance. We stayed in it, never backed down and came out with the win. That was possible because of the team Tony (Stewart) has built and people he’s surrounded me with. Their drive to win is unmatched. We’ve got a long way to go, and I know this group is really focused on continuing to improve.”
There are challenges every night racing with the World of Outlaws. You and the TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team continue to face those challenges head on. Thursday’s challenge is to breakthrough and win at Deer Creek. How tough is that going to be?
“Winning anywhere is tough right now is tough, but that’s our job. At this point in time, the series is as competitive as I can remember it in 10-plus years. A lot of teams are capable of winning every night. A lot of guys have found that consistency. Every track is unique. Every driver, we have things we like or don’t like. We love racing there. We’ve run well at Deer Creek in the past, but just haven’t got a win. That’s what we are shooting for and hopefully we can fix that this week.”