INDIANAPOLIS (June 22, 2017) – The calendar officially says it’s summer now, but for the drivers chasing the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship the heat has been on for quite some time. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz continues to carry the torch for the traveling Sprint car stars as they trek their way through the Midwest with stops this weekend in Iowa and Wisconsin.
After winning his 11th WoO A-Feature of the 2017 season Tuesday night at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, Schatz leads the Outlaws back into action Friday behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J when the series makes their debut at West Liberty Raceway, a half-mile, dirt oval in eastern Iowa and Saturday night, it’s back to central Wisconsin for the eighth annual Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial at Beaver Dam Raceway.
The eight-time and reigning WoO champion has experienced a great deal of success in the state of Iowa during his 21-year WoO career. He is the most recent winner in the state with his victory at the famed Knoxville Raceway on June 10. The flag-to-flag victory was the 25th of his career at the track and 15th career WoO A-Feature win at the track. Schatz has scored 21 of his 240 career WoO A-Feature wins in the state of Iowa. In addition to adding to that win total, the Fargo, North Dakota native will also be looking to make West Liberty Raceway the 82nd different track where he’s raced to a WoO A-Feature triumph. Last season, Schatz was victorious in a pair of WoO debuts, scoring wins at Rockford Speedway and Angel Park Speedway.
Schatz has two career Beaver Dam WoO wins, and Saturday night, he’ll be looking to join Joey Saldana as a two-time winner of the “JB”. The event is being managed by SLS Promotions, which includes Scott Boyd, who is the son of the late Jim Boyd. In the 2010, the family began staging the race in honor of their father at the 1/3-mile, semi-banked, dirt oval. Saldana won the first two races, but a new driver has claimed the 40-lap A-Feature each year since. Schatz, who has finished inside the top-10 in all seven previous events, surged from 10th to win the race in 2015 and last year charged from 14th to finish third.
Tuesday’s victory for Schatz extended his lead in the WoO championship standings to 84 points over Brad Sweet through 37 of the 92 scheduled races in 2017. He is the only driver with double digit wins and his 29 top-five finishes also is most by any driver.
SCHATZ FAST FACTS: IOWA/WISCONSIN
- Donny Schatz scored his 50th career WoO A-Feature win on Oct 7, 2006 at Knoxville Raceway. The victory was his first WoO A-Feature triumph in the state of Iowa.
- Schatz has won 21 WoO A-Feature main events in Iowa and they have come at three dirt ovals. He has won 15 at Knoxville, five at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer and one at 34 Raceway in W. Burlington.
- The win at 34 Raceway was an historic victory. The victory was his 154th career WoO A-Feature win and broke a tie with Mark Kinser to move Schatz into third all-time in WoO wins.
- Schatz earned his first Beaver Dam victory in July 2002 when he led all 40 laps of the main event. After an opening lap red flag, Schatz reported to his crew that his brakes weren’t working properly. He would lead all 40 laps en route to his second win of the week. Four days prior, Schatz won the $20,000 Duel in the Dakotas finale at his home track of Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo.
- Schatz has won seven career WoO A-Features in the state of Wisconsin. He is a five-time winner at Cedar Lake Speedway in Somerset, has two wins at Beaver Dam and a victory at Angell Park Speedway.
For Friday’s race at West Liberty, 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.farleyspeedwaypromotions.com or call (563) 744-3620.
Saturday at Beaver Dam Raceway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstands at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit wismotorsports.com or call 920-887-1600.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live audio coverage is available 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:
After winning your 11th WoO A-Feature race of the season, you talked about how tough the competition is this year on tour. Where would you rate the level of competition in 2017 as compared to other seasons in your career?
“It’s really tough to compare things like that from year to year. I just know that right winning Outlaw races is as tough as it’s ever been. There are a lot of cars out here with us every night capable of winning. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible group of people that put me in position to win and we do the best we can. Tuesday’s race was awfully close. I was able to get past Jason (Johnson) on that restart about halfway through the race, but I don’t think I really ever got to far away from him. Brad Sweet was right there and he’s been running extremely good all season. There are a lot of drivers and teams that have been out here a while and you can see that they’ve worked hard to improve. We got off to a great start, but the last couple of months it’s been tough getting wins. I know Rick (Warner), Scuba (Steve Swenson) and Brad (Mariscotti) are extremely competitive and work endless hours trying to keep us ahead of the competition. We’re excited about the week ahead and heading into July with all of the big races that are coming up.”
What are the challenges of racing a new track like West Liberty?
“For the most part, it’s like any other night minus a little bit of track history. I’ve been out here more than 20 years and Rick has been out here just as long so we have a pretty big database built. The main thing is that in dirt track racing you are never going to get two tracks the same. There are too many variables, so we are actually racing on a new surface every night. We may have a better idea of how things are going to go at places we’ve been to a lot, but it’s still the same recipe. You hope to have the best handling car at the end of the night so that you can compete for wins. Experience is a big factor and I’m surrounded by a really good group of guys. We’ll unload the car with a starting point we think gives us the best chance and make changes as the night goes on. It’s a big deal for us to race at new tracks and bring our sport to new fans. Hopefully, it’s a great show and we can be part of it.”