Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / TONY STEWART RACING – BROWNSBURG, IN – Despite a demanding schedule that included four events in a seven day span across much of the east coast and Midwest, Fargo, North Dakota’s Donny Schatz maintained his well-known championship composure and scored a trio of top-ten finishes, two of which on the podium.
Schatz’ relentless consistency has allowed the ten-time and defending World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion to maintain command in the Series championship chase by a margin of 48 points.
Schatz, driver of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Toco Warranty/Ford Performance/Curb Records/Sage Fruit/Absolute Automation & Security/No. 15 sprint car, highlighted his recent stretch of results with a pair of runner-up finishes during action at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway on May 21, as well as at Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 27.
Impressive enough, each of Schatz’ podium performances carried winning potential, as he nearly attained the $10,000 victory in New Jersey by pulling even with eventual winner, Danny Dietrich, as the pair raced through turns one and two on the final circuit. In fact, Schatz worked around Dietrich to lead lap 33 of 35, but the Gettysburg-native slipped back by the defending World of Outlaws champion the following lap.
A restart with seven laps remaining gave Schatz an opportunity to claim high honors at Lawrenceburg Speedway on Monday evening, but eventual winner, Kyle Larson, proved to be too strong on the cushion in clean air. Schatz charged forward from sixth to set up his challenge for the top spot.
Despite being scored just outside of the top-ten during the Patriot Nationals finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Saturday, May 25, Schatz was in a winning position yet again, actually on top of the field with less than a handful of laps remaining. Unfortunately, disaster struck the Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing entry in the form of a flat right-rear tire. Luckily, a series of cautions gave Schatz the time he needed to recover for an 11th place finish.
Schatz kicked off his Patriot Nationals visit with a seventh place finish on Friday night, May 24; a positive recovery after fading back as far as 12th in the running order.
“We were in position to win so many times this week,” Donny Schatz said, who now owns 19 top-ten finishes in 21 World of Outlaws starts. “I guess you could look at that two ways; we were in position to win just about every night, but we weren’t quite good enough to seal the deal. Being in position that many times says so much about this team and what they are capable of doing. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with the best crew in the business. We have a big one coming up. Hopefully we can do one better in Nashville.”
Donny Schatz will continue his chase toward an 11th World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship on Friday and Saturday, May 31 & June 1, with a two-day stint in the Music City. Chasing a total winner’s share equalling $40,000, Schatz will visit Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway during his visit to Nashville, Tenn., aiming to sweep both nights of the inaugural Music City Outlaw Nationals. Friday’s program will award a $15,000 top prize, followed by a $25,000 winner’s share during the weekend finale on Saturday.