Photo Credit: Speedway Shots
FARGO, N.D. – Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart Racing team have been known for finishing the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series seasons strong over the last several years after the Knoxville Nationals. If Friday night at River Cities Speedway was any indication, the Toco Warranty / Ford Performance team will continue that trend to complete 2019.
Schatz raced to his eighth feature win of the season at River Cities after starting in the sixth position. The team tried some things with the setup for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, but Schatz fell back one spot to round out the six-car field.
Schatz’s crew chief, Steve “Scuba” Swenson, went back to a more familiar setup for the 40-lap feature. And it worked.
Schatz used the lap 16 restart to charge from fourth to lead lap 17. After squeezing by Logan Schuchart for second in turn two, Schatz edged out David Gravel to lead the lap. The 10-time and defending series champion cleared Gravel in turn one and quickly distanced himself from the rest of the field.
Schatz built up a six-plus second lead over Gravel in the closing stages of the race and lapped up to ninth en route to his 12th career Outlaws win at River Cities Speedway and 17th overall Sprint Car win at the Grand Forks bullring.
“We’ve had some good races here and have won some races here, but the most recent one feels pretty damn good,” said Schatz in victory lane. “We tried a little something in the dash and it wasn’t the right thing to do, but when you’re starting in the third row in the dash, you have to try something. We went the other way for the feature and it was good. When the track started to change, we got really good. We didn’t even change anything on those open reds which was really surprising.
“On the restart, it was go time. The car felt great. I don’t know if everybody’s cars sat on the open red and their tires sealed over, but mine was a rocketship. I was just along for the ride,” said Schatz of the restart where he powered into the lead.
With the win, Schatz took over the World of Outlaws points lead for the first time since June 4th. He now has a 24 point advantage over Brad Sweet heading into this weekend’s action at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D. on Friday and Big Sky Speedway in Billings, Mont. on Saturday.
Last Saturday’s scheduled event at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo was canceled due to rain.
Schatz and the entire Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team would like to thank Toco Warranty, Ford Performance, Curb Records, Sage Fruit, Absolute Automation & Security and J&J Auto Racing for their continued support.
2019 Stats (World of Outlaws):
Top Fives: 32
Top Tens: 44