Donny Schatz made his dirt late model debut at the famed Eldora Speedway in 2012 during the Prelude to the Dream. Schatz drove from 15th to fourth in the A-main, which featured all-stars across multiple disciplines of auto racing. Since then, Schatz has been hooked on late model racing.
The following offseason, Schatz put together a dirt late model team of his own to compete against local and regional competition. In his first two starts in a late model in his home state in May of 2013, Schatz went out and won both features.
Schatz has collected a total of 13 dirt late model feature wins to date, 11 of which came during Northern Late Model Racing Association (NLRA) competition.
In July of 2014, Schatz made his debut with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and charged from 17th to finish eighth. He best result against the Outlaws is a third-place run at River Cities Speedway in 2015.
For Schatz, racing his late model is a way for him to bring some fun back into racing. It provides a low-stress environment where he can go racing with his buddies and have a good time.
Schatz’s annual dirt late model schedule typically consists of DIRTcar UMP and World of Outlaws Late Models Series events to start the year at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, followed by a handful of NLRA races in North Dakota and Minnesota during the summer months. Schatz usually caps off his season by towing his Ford-powered Rocket to the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the World Finals.
In December 2019, Schatz teamed up with fellow World of Outlaws champion, Brandon Sheppard, to run the Gateway Dirt Nationals inside the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Sheppard piloted Schatz’s late model from 15th in the championship main event to finish second by a nose in a thrilling finish. The event featured the best dirt late model drivers in the country on one of the most challenging tracks seen all year.