Photo courtesy of Frank Smith.
FARGO, N.D. (September 18, 2018) – The second and final west coast swing of 2018 for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series came to a close over the weekend at Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, Calif. Nine-time World of Outlaws champion and current series point leader, Donny Schatz, ended the weekend on a high note with a runner-up finish on Saturday night.
After finishing fourth in the Sears Craftsman Dash, Schatz started the 25-lap main event on the outside of row two. Schatz battled with Brad Sweet and Logan Schuchart early on but eventually got by both drivers, as well as second place runner Dominic Scelzi.
In the closing laps, the half-mile oval began to take rubber but that didn’t slow Schatz’s charge to the front. The Fargo, N.D. driver reeled in race leader and Calif. native Cory Eliason in turns three and four coming to the white flag. Eliason got out of the groove, allowing Schatz to pull alongside down the front straightaway. The two made slight contact, which pushed Eliason into the wall and gave Schatz the lead. A moment later, the caution was displayed negating Schatz’s pass.
On the green-white-checkered restart, Eliason drove away with the win while Schatz was forced to settle for second.
On Wednesday, Schatz was in action at Placerville Speedway in Placerville, Calif. for the 49er Gold Rush Classic, where he finished 10th in the A-main. On Friday at Calistoga, Schatz recorded his third Quick Time of the season in time trials and finished fourth in the feature.
“It would have been great to get that win on Saturday to put a bow on the west coast swing, but that’s racing,” said Schatz. “Sometimes the yellows fall your way and sometimes they don’t. I’m really proud of the effort my Tony Stewart Racing team gave this week. We struggled on Wednesday but finished strong both nights at Calistoga. I’m looking forward to getting back to Eldora on Friday.”
The World of Outlaws makes its penultimate visit of the season to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio on Friday night for the BeFour the Crowns Showdown. In the previous five events at the speedway this season, Schatz has four victories. In the only event Schatz didn’t win, he finished third. The driver of the Textron Off Road / Ford Performance No. 15 has 13 career World of Outlaws wins at the Big E.
On Saturday, the series will head back to Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Penn. for the Commonwealth Clash.
Schatz currently holds a 224 point lead over Brad Sweet atop the World of Outlaws standings through 59 events.
9/12/18 – Placerville Speedway:
Qualifying: 11th; Heat: 3rd; A-Main Start/Finish: 9th/10th
9/14/18 – Calistoga Speedway:
Qualifying: 1st; Heat: 1st; Dash: 6th; A-Main Start/Finish: 6th/4th
9/15/18 – Calistoga Speedway:
Qualifying: 9th; Heat: 2nd; Dash: 4th; A-Main Start/Finish: 4th/2nd
2018 World of Outlaws Stats:
Top Fives: 44
Top Tens: 56