Fargo, N.D. (June 12, 2024) – Donny Schatz made a successful first trip of the 2024 season through his home area last weekend with a podium finish at River Cities Speedway in Grand  Forks, N.D. and followed that up with a fourth place finish in the No. 15 CarQuest / Ford Performance J&J at Ogilvie Raceway, allowing him to close to within 40 points of David Gravel of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series point lead.

Schatz headed into River Cities on Friday night, where Schatz made some of his first competitive laps in 1993, with an astonishing 2.7 average finish at the quarter-mile oval in Outlaws competition since its debut at the speedway in 2007.

Schatz ended qualifying fourth quick with a sub-ten second lap and parlayed that result into second place finishes in both his heat race and the dash to earn the outside pole position for the 40-lap main event.

The feature, which originally took to the track around 8:30 pm, was delayed due to rain for nearly two-hours but when the race finally went green Schatz and Gio Scelzi battled for the lead in the early portion of the race.

For the second time in as many weeks, David Gravel headed to the work area as he became involved in a multi-car pile-up on lap five, creating another opening to close ground in the season-long points chase. 

Schatz had slipped back to fifth by the 13th lap but was back in fourth at the midway point. With the leaders in heavy lapped traffic with ten laps remaining, Schatz caught and passed fellow title contender Carson Macedo and began to reel in Scelzi and Sheldon Haudenschild for the lead.

Schatz remained within striking distance in the closing laps, finishing third.

Schatz started Saturday’s event at Minnesota’s Ogilvie Raceway having to battle back from adversity as mechanical issues caused Schatz to miss qualifying. Schatz started in the ninth and final spot in heat three but was already fifth with just one lap completed.

Following a red flag for Brooke Tatnell, Schatz lined up third on the lap five restart, pulling even with Carson Macedo in hopes of going from last to the dash, but ended the race in third.

Rolling off inside row five in the 30-lap main event, Schatz climbed to sixth before a caution on lap eight. On the restart, Gravel made contact with Schatz and for the second time in as many nights, a chain reaction pile-up brought the race to a stop.

Schatz took fifth once the accident scene was cleared and went on to battle for fourth with Gio Scelzi and Logan Schuchart in the final circuits.

Schatz finished the race in the fourth position to close to within 40 points of the point lead.

This weekend, Schatz will look to continue to close in on an 11th series championship as the series heads to the track where Schatz currently holds 11 titles, the Sprint Car Capital of the World, Knoxville Raceway. Schatz has 27 wins, 71 top fives, and 89 top tens at the famed half-mile on the Marion County Fairgrounds.

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, Advance Auto Parts, Curb Records, Ford Performance, Sage Fruit, Mobil 1, Absolute Automation & Security, J&J Auto Racing, Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts

2024 Stats:
Races: 27
Wins: 2
Top Fives: 13
Top Tens: 24