Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / TONY STEWART RACING – TULSA, OK – For the third time in his career, ten-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion and Fargo, North Dakota-native Donny Schatz will enter the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The six-day program, which will feature roughly 350 competitors derived from all disciplines of auto racing, will kick-off, officially, with preliminary competition today – Monday, January 13.
Helping narrow the field to Saturday’s A-main lineup, preliminary competition will extend through Friday, January 17, as each competitor will enter one of the five designated preliminary programs, each of which allotting positions for Saturday’s 55-lap finale. Schatz, who will pilot the Sage Fruit/No. 15 entry for Mark Cooper of Spike Chassis and Mike Curb of Curb-Agajanian Racing during his 2020 Chili Bowl attempt, will be a part of Friday’s preliminary display, attempting to earn a spot in Saturday’s showstopper for the first time in his career.
The top-two A-main finishers from each of the respective qualifying nights will solidify themselves into Saturday’s main event. All competitors who do not finish in the top-two will be forced to compete in one of the respective consolation mains scheduled for Saturday morning, afternoon and evening. The final four qualifiers, with the first 20 locked-in after five nights of preliminary action, will come from Saturday’s B-mains.
Schatz made his first Chili Bowl Midget Nationals start in 2017 under the command of a Clauson-Marshall Racing (CMR) entry, finishing seventh in the first B-main on the final night, just one spot short of transferring into the 55-lap finale. In 2018, Schatz returned to Tulsa where he was relegated to a seventh-place finish in the second D-main on Saturday night following a disappointing DNF in his preliminary A-main.
Prior to his Chili Bowl attempt, Donny Schatz, along with three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team owner, Tony Stewart, will participate in a live Q&A at the Ford Performance display within the Chili Bowl vendor area on Friday, January 17 at 2 p.m. Immediately following the live Q&A, Tony Stewart will take part in an autograph session at his personal apparel trailer.