FARGO, N.D. (June 28, 2021) – Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart / Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 15 team were back in the upper Midwest last week, competing with the World of Outlaws at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. and Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn.
Schatz was fast early in the week, scoring a pair of podium finishes at Huset’s which highlighted his five-race stint last week.
Action began on Monday night at the Brandon, S.D. three-eighths mile where Schatz lined up on the outside of the front row for the feature.
Schatz grabbed the lead on the opening circuit over David Gravel and led the first nine laps. Pinned on the low side of turns three and four in lapped traffic, Gravel snuck by Schatz to take the lead on lap 10.
The track took rubber around the halfway point and the middle groove became the dominant line around the speedway. Schatz had a chance to steal the lead away from Gravel in the closing laps as Gravel found himself bottled up behind traffic. Schatz pulled even with the No. 2 machine of Gravel, but Gravel’s momentum carried him back into the lead off the corner. Gravel then took Schatz’s line away as Schatz had to settle for second at the checkers.
“I just didn’t go in the right spot there. I misjudged where the lapped car was going to go. That’s the way it goes and Gravel got by us,” recalled Schatz of losing the lead on lap 10. “I think we had something for Gravel though and that’s a positive.
“It was an incredible night. The car was getting better with each change we made. All we want to do is be competitive and if we’re competitive, I know we can win races,” said Schatz.
The following night was another strong outing for the Carquest / Ford Performance team. Schatz again started on the outside of the front row for the $30,000-to-win main event and took the lead at the drop of the green. The original start was called back due to an incident and on the ensuing restart, Schatz filed into second behind polesitter Aaron Reutzel.
Schatz was a contender for the win all race long, but came home in the third position.
“We are a lot closer with where we need to be with the car than we were. We were quick early in the night, but as the night goes on, that’s where we need to get better. We are making gains on it though. Hats off to everybody who works on this car. They are all working as hard as they can,” said Schatz after the race.
The week-long Showdown concluded with three consecutive nights at Jackson Motorplex June 24-26. Saturday’s finale was postponed to Sunday due to rain.
The weekend got off to a rough start as a car came down on Schatz during his heat and sent the 10-time champion into a wicked series of end-over-end flips. The crew pulled down a backup car and Schatz went from 16th to third in the Last Chance Showdown before wheeling his way from 23rd to 11th in the feature.
A 12th-place run on Friday night was followed up by a 22nd-place result on Sunday. Schatz was running inside the top five on Sunday when a mechanical failure plagued the No. 15, ending his race early.
This weekend, the World of Outlaws head to Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis. for the Independence Day Spectacular July 2-3.
Schatz and the entire Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team would like to thank all of their great partners for their continued support!
Carquest Auto Parts, Curb Records, Ford Performance, Sage Fruit, Digital Ally, Mobil 1, Absolute Automation & Security, Rush Truck Centers, Advance Auto Parts, Hunt Brothers Pizza, J&J Auto Racing.
2021 World of Outlaws Results:
Top Fives: 20
Top Tens: 26
Photo Credit: Trent Gower Photography