Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team posted three top-seven finishes in World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series action over the Labor Day weekend in the state of Washington. Schatz drove the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J to fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the Outlaw Energy Showdown doubleheader at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Friday and Saturday, and concluded the weekend by finishing seventh Monday night at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.
The weekend opened with Friday night’s return to Skagit with Schatz making his 22nd career start at the 3/10-mile, high-banked dirt oval. Schatz was the third driver to make a qualifying lap and ended up seventh overall in the field of 25 cars. The eight-time and reigning champion started and finished third in the opening heat to earn a transfer position in the 25-lap A-Feature. He started seventh and held that position until a lap-nine caution for leaders Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman. Schatz grabbed fourth on the restart and continued in that position for the final 16 laps, following Shane Stewart, Jason Johnson and Jac Haudenschild to the finish line.
Schatz returned for the Outlaw Energy Showdown finale Saturday and again went out early for qualifications. He was the first to make a qualifying lap and ended up second overall. A flag-to-flag victory in heat two transferred Schatz into the Craftsman Club Dash, where he started and finished second. In the 40-lap A-Feature, Schatz and Jason Johnson battled for the lead early before Johnson was able to pull away. The top-two remained the same for the first 35 laps until Kasey Kahne Racing teammates Sweet and Pittman joined the battle for the lead. Sweet moved by Schatz and was followed by Pittman, who ultimately passed Johnson to secure the victory ahead of David Gravel, Sweet, Johnson and Schatz.
The weekend concluded with Monday’s annual stop at Grays Harbor Raceway. Schatz entered the event with a three-race winning streak at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval and, for the third consecutive night, Schatz was one of the first handful of drivers to qualify. He was the second to make a qualifying lap and, unfortunately, the track surface got better as qualifying went on and Schatz ended up 19th in the field of 26 competitors. He raced from seventh to fourth in the opening heat to transfer into the 30-lap A-Feature. In the main event, Schatz raced in the ninth and 10th positions during the opening 18 laps before moving up to eighth. He passed Jason Solwold for seventh with three laps remaining and finished there. Shane Stewart held off Sweet to score his second win of the weekend and seventh overall.
Through 67 of 92 scheduled races complete, Schatz remains on top of the 2017 WoO championship standings with 8,830 points. He leads Sweet by 96 markers and tops all drivers with 17 wins and 50 top-five finishes. He and Sweet are tied for top-10s with 57.
The Outlaws continue their run down the West Coast with a stop Wednesday night at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon before heading to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California for the 64th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions Friday and Saturday nights. Last September, Schatz led the final 28 laps at Willamette to earn his first win at the track. He is a two-time Gold Cup champion – 2004 and 2015 – and has six career wins at Silver Dollar Speedway.