BRISBANE, Queensland (December 25, 2019) – The 2019 season will officially come to an end for Donny Schatz in the coming days at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway near Brisbane, Australia. Schatz’s first event of his six-race Australian tour is set for Thursday, December 26th, followed by action on Saturday, December 28th. If Schatz can visit victory lane on December 28th, it will mark five out of the last six years in which he has ended the calendar year with a win.
Schatz’s 2020 season will commence on New Year’s Day at Archerfield Speedway, followed by a World Series Sprint Car event on Saturday, January 4th. The World Series Australian Open kicks off on Friday, January 10th and concludes with the 50-lap, $20,000-to-win finale on Saturday, January 11th.
Schatz comes in as the nine-time and defending Australian Sprint Car Open champion. In a dominating performance during last year’s Australian Open, Schatz took the lead on lap 21 and led the final 29 circuits to claim the title.
You’ve been going down to Australia for over 20 years. What makes you keep going back year after year?
The fan base I’ve built, the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made are priceless and ones I don’t want to live without. I would love to be home for Christmas, I’d love to have some serious downtime over the holidays, but once you build relationships with some of the great people down there, it’s like a second home for me. It also allows me an opportunity to enjoy time with some of the close friends that go with me… Lannie Nichols and Jason Sides are both with me again this year. It changes the pace up. It’s a racing vacation for us all.
Six years ago you started racing exclusively at Archerfield Speedway. What are a few things you like about that track?
I’ve had a lot of fun there. Racing there is fun, it’s unique, it’s different. The people that run the track are incredible. They are good friends of mine. They are the type of people that do whatever it takes to make it right for the racers. It’s good to see their dedication to the sport.
The race track is unique. There will be nights where it’s cowboy up and other nights where it’ll be slick. There are just a lot of things about going there that are fun and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year.
Where do your nine Australia Open titles rank on your list of accomplishments?
Well anybody that’s been there will tell you it’s a tough, little place. So to be able to win that 50 lapper isn’t easy. We’ve won it in style and we’ve barely won it. Just because you’ve won it once doesn’t mean you’re going to win it again. I’ve been very fortunate to win it nine times. It’s a tough deal. As I get further along in my career, I’m cherishing wins more. When you’re younger, you might take stuff like that for granted. But my Australia Open wins rank right up there with the other biggest moments of my career.
Archerfield Speedway Track Facts:
Distance: .25 mile
One-Lap: 11.020 seconds set by Shane Stewart on March 30, 2013
50-Lap: 12.16.309 set by Donny Schatz on January 10, 2009
Upcoming events at Archerfield Speedway:
December 26th – Boxing Day Spectacular
January 4th – World Series Sprint Cars
January 10th – World Series Australian Sprint Car Open
January 11th – World Series Australian Sprint Car Open Finale
Photo credit: DB3 Inc.