INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 24, 2017) – The journey continues. This week’s challenge for the drivers and teams competing with World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series is balancing travel with competition at venues most haven’t seen. The good news for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and his three-man Arctic Cat/Ford Performance crew is not only that they’ve seen both Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, South Dakota and Billings (Mont.) Motorsports Park, but Schatz has experienced success at each.
The current leader in the 2017 WoO championship standings will headline the touring Sprint car stars into South Dakota and Montana as the tour continues its westward trek following August stops in St. Louis, Knoxville, Iowa and three nights of racing in North Dakota in advance of early September races in the Seattle area, Oregon and consecutive weekends in California.
Schatz will be looking to secure his 18th WoO A-Feature triumph of the season behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J Friday night in the Rushmore Outlaw Showdown at Black Hills Speedway. The eight-time WoO champion returns to the 5/8-mile, dirt oval as the winner of three consecutive WoO A-Features at the facility. Schatz raced to victory in 2006, 2007 and 2011 to join Steve Kinser as a three-time Rapid City WoO winner. Sammy Swindell is the only other driver to score multiple wins at the track in the series’ 13 previous races at the track.
Following Friday night’s race at Black Hills, the TSR team will travel northwest more than 300 miles for Saturday night’s Big Sky Brawl at Billings. It’s been more than nine years since the Outlaws last competed at the 3/8-mile dirt oval. Schatz led the first nine laps back in August 2008 but came home second in his first career WoO race at the track.
Last week, Schatz and the TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb team of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti completed a North Dakota tripleheader. They opened the weekend with a victory at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks before finishing fifth Saturday night at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo and concluding the weekend with a runner-up finish Sunday at Nodak Speedway in Minot.
Through 62 of 92 scheduled races, Schatz holds the top position in the championship standings with 8,126 points and has a 94-point lead over Brad Sweet. Schatz leads the series with 17 WoO A-Feature victories and 46 top-five finishes, and his 52 top-10s are second only to Sweet’s 53.
ENTER TO WIN A DONNY SCHATZ-THEMED HDX
Following this weekend’s pair of WoO races, the season will be down to dozen races to decide the 2017 WoO championship battle, which is only one of the goals for TSR, Arctic Cat and Donny Schatz this season. Another is to promote the shared passion to reach greatness without limits. And fans have just over five weeks to win a chance to join the ultimate limitless ride. TSR, Arctic Cat and Schatz are encouraging everyone to visit www.arcticcat.com/donnyschatzhdx today through Oct. 1 for a chance to win by random draw a customized, one-of-a-kind, Donny Schatz-themed Arctic Cat HDX 700 all-terrain vehicle.
The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two to the Outlaws’ season-ending World Finals in Charlotte, North Carolina, including VIP ticket package and participation in a prerace ceremony, during which he or she will receive the keys to the Donny Schatz-themed HDX from the 10-time Knoxville Nationals champion.
SCHATZ FAST FACTS: BLACK HILLS SPEEDWAY/BILLINGS MOTORSPORTS PARK
- In his first Outlaws’ event at Black Hills in August 2006, Schatz started second and took the lead from Jac Haudenschild midway through the A-Feature.
- He returned in June 2007 and scored a thrilling victory with a late pass of leader Kerry Madsen to make it consecutive wins at the track.
- In 2011, Schatz led all 25 laps of the A-Feature to give him three wins in three career WoO starts at Black Hills Speedway.
- Schatz made a pair of appearances at Billings Motorsports Park in consecutive seasons back in 2004 and 2005. He finished seventh in the preliminary main in 2004 before landing on the podium the next night in the 30-lap finale. In August 2005, Schatz finished second in the opener and after starting third in Saturday’s A-Feature, he came home 18th.
- In 2008, Schatz was in his first season driving for TSR when the series traveled from Minot north to Billings en route to Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta. Schatz qualified 11th, won the dash and led the first nine laps before finishing second to Joey Saldana in the 25-lap race.
• Billings Motorsports Park is one of only three venues in the final 26 races of 2017 where Schatz has yet to find victory lane. He will be looking to make it the 82nd different track where he’s scored a WoO A-Feature triumph during his illustrious, 21-year WoO career. Ransomville (N.Y.) Speedway and Salina (Okla.) Highbanks are the other two tracks.
For Friday’s Rushmore Outlaw Showdown, the pit gates open at 1 p.m. MDT. The grandstands will open at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit blackhillsspeedway.myracepass.com or call 605-209-2088.
On Saturday at Billings Motorsports Park, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. MDT. 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.wilmotraceway.com or call 405-839-1931.
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:
After a couple of busy weeks of action, first at the Knoxville Nationals followed by three races in your home state, you have to be looking forward to getting back to somewhat of a regular schedule this week?
“It’s definitely been a whirlwind couple of weeks, for sure. Knoxville is our sport’s premiere event and there is so much emphasis put on it. To come out with the victory and then head home to not only race in front of so many family members, friends and people who have been around for most of my career, but also being able to celebrate the win was pretty remarkable. I know it was pretty hectic for me, but the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance guys Tony (Stewart) has assembled around me are the ones who had to put in a ton of work, travel, and then give me a good car every night. They are the ones who deserve a lot of the recognition. I know we are all excited about making our way back to South Dakota and Montana this weekend. We’ve still got some things to accomplish and hopefully we can put ourselves in a good position for the championship battle.”
This week, it’s back to Black Hills Speedway and Billings Motorsports Park for the first time in quite a few years. What will your approach be heading to tracks where you haven’t completed recently?
“That’s one of the challenges of dirt racing. No two nights are ever the same. So many changes from night to night, let alone year to year. We will rely on our experience. This team (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti) has been together for a long time. We all have a lot of years of racing. We’re excited to go back to Rapid City. I went there early in my career and then made a few trips there with the Outlaws. I always enjoy this time of the year. Knoxville is behind you and you make your way to some places that you only see once a year. And, in this weekend’s case, we get to go back to Rapid City and Billings, places we haven’t been for a long time. It’s a great opportunity for us to continue our pursuit of race wins in places where fans don’t get to see us often. We’re all looking forward to getting back to the track Friday and seeing if we find a way to be in the hunt at the end of the night.”