An Action Packed Weekend In Store At Home For Donny Schatz

Image result for donny schatz and arctic cat

Most everyone in the Sprint car racing world is experiencing a Knoxville Nationals hangover this week. The biggest race of the year has come and gone and, for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz and his Arctic Cat/Ford Performance backed team, there isn’t time to sit around and try to recover from another epic performance. Schatz returns home for a three-race weekend in North Dakota with an eye on making a move in his quest for a ninth World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship.

The driver of the TSR No. No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/ Curb J&J will lead the band of Outlaws back into action starting with Friday’s return to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks where he’ll look to regain his post at the quarter-mile, high-banked dirt oval. Schatz followed David Gravel and Kerry Madsen to the finish line back in June, a result that snapped a four-race winning streak at the track. The weekend continues Saturday with the Outlaws first race at Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo since 2012, an event originally scheduled for June that was postponed because of rain. And Sunday, it’s back to his hometown of Minot and Nodak Speedway where Schatz has come home victorious the previous five times the Outlaws have circled the 3/8-mile, dirt oval.

The season is down to a 30-race push with events at 22 tracks in 13 states over the next 10 weeks. Schatz currently leads the 2017 WoO championship standings by 82 points over Brad Sweet. Schatz and his Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti will be looking to carry momentum from last week’s victory in the 57th annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals. The victory was his 10th in Sprint car racing’s premiere event and continues his July “Month of Money” success this season, during which he also won his fourth career Kings Royal at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and his sixth Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania.

Schatz made his first WoO start in the state of North Dakota six weeks prior to his 16th birthday in 1993. He’s made a lot of circles both in his home state and around the United States and Australia since that first race. He scored the first of now 18 career WoO A-Feature wins in North Dakota at Red River Valley Speedway in July 2002 and would love to bring that total to 21 by Sunday night.

In addition to driving the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J, Schatz will race his family owned No. 15 Petro Stopping Center/Schatz Crossroads/Fastlane Car Wash Dirt Late Model at both River Cities and Red River Valley. In August 2015, Schatz swept both the WoO race and NLRA Late Model main events at River Cities.

SCHATZ FAST FACTS: NORTH DAKOTA

• Donny Schatz made his World of Outlaws debut in July 1993 at Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo, North Dakota.

• Schatz has 37 career WoO starts at Red River Valley Speedway, 18 of which were classified as preliminary features.

• He has four career WoO wins at Red River Valley: two WoO A-Features in 2002 and 2006, and two preliminary features in 2003 and 2006. Schatz also has won a pair of Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions events at the track (2011 and 2012). Both of those wins came on the reconfigured, 3/8-mille dirt oval.

• Since the Outlaws first competed at River Cities Speedway in June 2007, Schatz has been one of the drivers to beat around the high-banked, quarter-mile dirt oval. He has competed in all 20 WoO races contested on the ultra-fast short track, the record lap at which is 9.269 seconds and annually has some of the most exciting races of the WoO season.

• Schatz has won eight WoO A-Features at River Cities, including four of the previous five 40-lap A-Features and six of the last nine, and has finished in the top three in 12 of his last 13 starts there.
• Schatz was part of the 24-car field in 2006 at Nodak Speedway when the Outlaws made their debut in Minot. He finished seventh after losing a right-rear tire just after taking the lead.

• In 2007, he made contact with Daryn Pittman battling for the lead early in the race and suffered his only DNF (Did Not Finish) in 10 career WoO starts at Nodak.
• After posting three top-fives and a seventh-place finish, Schatz has reeled off five consecutive wins at Nodak from 2012 to 2016.

SCHATZ FAST FACTS: 2017

• Through 59 of 92 scheduled races in the 2017 WoO campaign, Schatz leads the championship standings with 7,690 markers and holds an 82-point advantage over Brad Sweet.

• Schatz leads the series with 16 wins and 43 top-five finishes. His 49 top-10s are tied with Sweet for the series high.

• This is his 21st season of competing with the World of Outlaws and he has competed in at least one WoO event in North Dakota every year.

• With 30 races remaining on the 2017 schedule, Schatz will venture to 22 tracks between now and the first week of November. He has previously won WoO races at 20 of those tracks, including 2017 wins at Eldora and Lernerville.

At all three events this weekend, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. CDT, the grandstands open at 4 p.m., and hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information at River Cities, visitwww.rivercitiesspeedway.com or call (218) 773-3001. For tickets and more information at Red River Valley, visit redrivervalleyspeedway.com or call (701) 388-6637. For tickets and more information at Nodak, visit racenodak.com or call (701) 838-6464.

Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live audio coverage is available as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com. Visit to DIRTVision.com for more information.

Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the Web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.comwww.arcticcat.com, and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com.

Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing or on Twitter and Instagram @TonyStewart_Rcg.
Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.

Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArcticCat or on Twitter and Instagram @ArcticCat_atv @ArcticCat_Snow

Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.

Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/FordPerformance or on Twitter and Instagram @FordPerformance.

 

Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J:
 

You’re coming off another Knoxville Nationals win to continue your remarkable run of success in Sprint car racing’s biggest event. What’s the biggest key to have the consistency you and your team have had there the past decade and a half?

“I don’t think anyone is ever going to give away his key to success, but being around great people has always been a big thing in the racing world. It’s definitely that way at TSR. I’ve been there 10 years and my team has been with me that long too. They are very consistent at what they do. They understand that just because you win a race today, it doesn’t mean that winning a race tomorrow is a given. They know you have to work at it and you may have to go about it in a little different way than you did yesterday. That’s a big thing to get four guys to pull the rope in the same direction, to work together and understand you are not always going to agree on everything. It takes four people and the direction to get to the same place isn’t always down the same path. Those guys do a phenomenal job of adapting to what needs to be done. That’s a really big thing and something that has shined at Knoxville. Hopefully, it shines in championship form the rest of the season.”

This weekend, you return home for three races in your home state. What are you looking forward to and what should the fans who are coming out be ready to see?

“We are going to see some great racing and a truly unique opportunity. It’s probably going to be one of the busiest weekends of the year for me, coming home and getting the chance to race in front of family and friends. We’re coming off an incredible week in Iowa and excited to get back in the car. The weekend starts with two races Friday and Saturday just an hour apart. River Cities Speedway is one of the most exciting tracks we get to go to throughout the year. A lot of the other World of Outlaws competitors talk about how much they love racing there. I love it. You just never know how things are going to turn out in the race up there and that’s one of the reasons the fans just pack that place. I’m excited the Outlaws are coming back to Fargo on Saturday. It’s been a few years and, unfortunately, we had a problem with the rain in June and I’m excited that we get the chance to come back. To cap it off, we go back to my hometown and a place where I first witnessed racing in Minot. We’ve definitely had a good run of success there the past six years and we’re hoping we can continue that. It’s going to be a great weekend in North Dakota and the fans are going to get to see a great following. I know my guys are chomping at the bit to do some racing after the Nationals and now it’s time to race for a World of Outlaws championship. So, we’re going to work our tails off this weekend and hopefully put on a good show for the fans.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Sebastian Saavedra Is In As The New Driver Of The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7

Mikhail Aleshin
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has announced Sebastian Saavedra as the driver of the No. 7 Honda for the next two Verizon IndyCar Series races. The Colombian will join teammate James Hinchcliffe at Pocono Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park.

The event at Pocono will mark the 27-year-old’s 64th career IndyCar start and third at the Tricky Triangle. Saavedra will once again be paired with race engineer Blair Perschbacher with whom he has won previously in the Indy Lights Championship.

“I am very excited to be back with the SPM organization,” Saavedra commented. “It’s another late call to jump in, but I take it with pride after a promising start of our relationship in Toronto. Looking forward to a challenging event as the Tricky Triangle can be, and support Hinchcliffe in his pursuit of championship points. I’m thankful to my sponsors and my continued relationship with AFS Inc.”

President and CEO of AFS Inc. Gary Peterson noted: “It’s great to team up with Sam after the great rivalry we had in the Lights championship. After Sebastian’s positive performance in Toronto, the next two events will be an opportunity to show his strength on ovals and that he is a great candidate for the 2018 season with SPM.”

“Delighted to have Sebastian back with the SPM team following what was a very encouraging performance at the Toronto event,” said Piers Phillips, General Manager of SPM. “He is experienced and competent, and I have no doubt he will contribute to the overall performance of the team. We’re heading to Pocono full of confidence as a team and we’re looking forward to hopefully seeing Sebastian and James at the front of the pack.”

The No. 7 Lucas Oil Honda will highlight AFS Racing for this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 and next week’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Fans will be able to see Saavedra in action beginning with practice at9:00 a.m. ET this Saturday, August 19 at racecontrol.indycar.com.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Andretti Autosport Readies For The ABC Supply 500 At Pocono

Andretti Autosport Sheild
Andretti Autosport
RACE PREVIEW
ABC SUPPLY 500 AT POCONO RACEWAY
Verizon IndyCar Series
OF NOTE:

  • Marco Andretti is just three laps shy of leading 1,000 laps during his Verizon IndyCar Series career. This weekend serves as a “home race” for the Nazareth, Pennsylvania-native.
  • The No. 26 car of Takuma Sato will wear Expedite Home Loans branding, a division of Ruoff Home mortgage who dressed his car for the Indianapolis 500 and again at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • Alexander Rossi seeks redemption from last year’s race where he led four laps before making contact with Charlie Kimball on pit lane which sent him airborne.
  • The ABC Supply 500 of 2015 was the last time Ryan Hunter-Reay took the top step of the podium, the American finished third at Pocono in 2016.

No. 26 Expedite Home Loans Honda

“Pocono Raceway is truly one of my favorite tracks. The venue is set up in a great natural environment that I always enjoy and the track is very challenging. The characteristic of this ‘Tricky Triangle’ is so much fun that every corner is totally different. The sensation of speed going into high-banked Turn 1 is very impressive and the balance of the car shifts, particularly Turn 3, quite neutral as it will gets much less banking, is very, very challenging. It is followed by a long straight which give us a great overtaking opportunity too, so the race here is always exciting. We have been ultra competitive on the superspeedway and I’m looking forward to have an another super weekend in the Expedite Home Loans car.”

Current Points Standings: 7 (381 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History

Number of Starts: 4       Best Start: 3 (2016)        Best Finish: 6 (2015)

No. 98 Andretti Autosport / Curb Honda

“Pocono is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar and it is a special one with the whole Andretti family being from the area. We have some unfinished business to take care of this weekend from last year when our day ended prematurely after we felt like we had a car to win. This team always has something special for the superspeedways and since it is our last one of the year, we want to make sure to close this portion of the schedule out with a win for the 98 team.”

Current Points Standings: 8 (358 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History

Number of Starts: 1       Best Start: 7 (2016)        Best Finish: 20(2016)
No. 28 DHL Honda

“I’ve really been looking forward to getting back to Pocono. There’s no doubt the DHL Honda has been very strong here the past few years. Last year’s unfortunate electrical issue that occurred while leading sent us to the back of the field, yet we were still able to come all the way back through the field to finish third. As a team, we feel like we have a few things to accomplish at Pocono. Certainly, one of our best chances at a victory over the past year slipped away, so we’re looking for redemption.”

Current Points Standings: 12 (297 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History
Number of Starts: 4        Best Start: 2 (2013)        Best Finish: 1 (2015)

No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda

“Pocono is an important race to me as it is a home race and I will have a lot of family and friends at the track cheering us on. UFD is also based nearby and it would be great to have a good result for Bill [Hynes], Chad [Taylor] and the whole UFD family. We’ve sat on the pole at Pocono but not on the podium, so I can’t help but feel like I have unfinished business in Long Pond.”

Current Points Standings: 13 (286 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History

Number of Starts: 4        Best Start: 1 (2013)        Best Finish: 9 (2014)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Ed Carpenter Racing Is Ready To Attack Pocono

Ed Carpenter

  • The second of two 500-mile races on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar awaits Ed Carpenter Racing’s drivers this weekend at Pocono Raceway. JR Hildebrand and team owner Ed Carpenter will take on the 2.5-mile, three-turn triangular oval nicknamed “The Tricky Triangle” in Long Pond, PA on Sunday, August 20.
  • In 2013, the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Pocono Raceway for the first time since 1989. Carpenter has competed in each race since, with a highest qualifying position of 10th last year and a best finish of 9th in 2013. Hildebrand, whose last full-time season prior to this year was 2012, has not yet competed at Pocono. 2017 will mark the 24th year of Indy car racing at the track nestled in the Pocono Mountains.
  • Last year’s ABC Supply 500 was just over a quarter of the way to completion when Carpenter radioed in that his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet had lost power. He coasted in from Turn 2, bringing the car to a stop in his pit box on Lap 57. The electrical failure was deemed terminal and Carpenter exited the car, credited with a 21st place. The sister No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka car, then driven by Josef Newgarden, finished 4th after starting on the outside of the front row.
  • The last time Carpenter and Hildebrand competed in a 500-mile race, they were at the 2.5-mile oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Carpenter qualified 2nd for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, giving ECR their 4th front row start in the past five years. Hildebrand earned the best qualifying position of his career at Indianapolis and started 6th. Both drivers led laps in the event; when Carpenter took the lead, 2017 became the 10th year in a row in which he has led a Verizon IndyCar Series race.

JR Hildebrand

  • Hildebrand has collected solid results at the majority of the oval races this season. In addition to leading the Indianapolis 500, he scored podium finishes at two of the four oval races so far this year. Just 20 days removed from breaking a bone in his left hand in a last-lap incident at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Hildebrand turned 250 laps under the lights at Phoenix Raceway and raced his way to a 3rd place finish. Last month at Iowa Speedway, he topped that performance when he matched his career-best Indy car result and finished 2nd.
  • Pocono will be the penultimate race of Carpenter’s season, who competes exclusively in the oval events. The only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series has finished no worse than 12th in his four races so far this year, including a 7th place at Phoenix. In addition to his front row start at Indianapolis, he also qualified 4th at Iowa. Carpenter has been quick throughout the year, recording the fastest lap times in practice sessions at Indianapolis and Texas Motor Speedway and the second-fastest lap in final practice at Iowa.
  • The design of each of Pocono’s three turns draws inspiration from different race tracks. Turn 1 is modeled after New Jersey’s Trenton Speedway (closed in 1980), Turn 2 mimics the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Turn 3 is comparable to the Milwaukee Mile. The 2017 ABC Supply 500 at “The Tricky Triangle” will air live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 20.

 

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet): “I have always really enjoyed racing an Indy car at Pocono. It’s such a challenging track that requires a lot of work to get the right setup on the car. While we’ve had good cars there in the past, good results have eluded us. It’s my second-to-last race of the year, so I’m hopeful we can get the finish we have been working towards!”


JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet): “I’m excited to put my first laps in around Pocono and just really looking forward to getting back on track! Pocono’s a very unique place that I know can be pretty tough, so I’m anxious to get out there and work with the team. Hopefully, we’ll put together another solid weekend at an oval race!”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Donny Schatz Wins The Knoxville Nationals For The 10th Time

Image result for donny schatz
Dates: Wednesday-Saturday, August 9-12, 2017

Series: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series

Event: 57th annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals

Location: Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway

Winners: Wednesday – Kyle Larson of Paul Silva Motorsports

Thursday –David Gravel of CJB Motorsports

Friday – Jason Johnson of Johnson/Marshall Racing

Saturday – Donny Schatz of Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing

TSR Results:  Wednesday – Schatz: Started 6th, Finished 2nd/Running, completed 25 of 25 laps

Christopher Bell: Started 9th, Finished 9th/Running, completed 25 of 25 laps

Saturday – Schatz: Started 2nd, Finished 1st/Running, completed 50 of 50 laps

Bell: Started 6th in B-Main, Finished 8th in B/Running, completed 22 of 22 laps

TSR Points: Donny Schatz – (1st with 7,675 points, 82 ahead of second-place Brad Sweet)

The historic pace at the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals continued Saturday night for Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz. The eight-time and reigning World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion led the final 27 laps of the 50-lap finale of the 57th annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals to earn his 10th Nationals victory.

Schatz started second in the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J and led the field to the green on lap 23 after polesitter David Gravel brought out a caution. Schatz withstood challenges from both Kerry Madsen and Kyle Larson to pick up his 26th career triumph at the famed half-mile dirt oval in Central Iowa and continued his remarkable run on Sprint car racing’s biggest stage, where he’s finished first or second 16 of the past 18 years.

 

 

 

“Winning the Knoxville Nationals never gets old and never gets any easier,” Schatz said. “I may get a lot of the credit, but this Arctic Cat/Ford Performance race team is incredible and they deserve every bit as much. Nobody realizes the pressure that is on this team. They have to make the right decisions every time. With as many races as we have won, the pressure just keeps building and building because, if you don’t win, you are under a lot of scrutiny and we don’t want to be in that position. We want to win races. We want to be competitive and be at the forefront of this sport. Tony Stewart has assembled and incredible team here. We are celebrating 10 years together and tonight we are going to celebrate another incredible week here at the Knoxville Nationals.”

Schatz started on the front row for the sixth time in his career at the Nationals following an impressive qualifying-night performance Wednesday. He qualified fourth in the field of 48 competitors and charged from eighth to win the fourth heat race to transfer into the 25-lap preliminary feature. He started sixth in the A-Main and quickly began his charge forward. He was up to third on lap five and took second from Austin McCarl on lap 13. Polesitter Larson was setting a strong pace up front, but Schatz was able to close the gap as the two worked through lapped traffic. Larson didn’t make any mistakes during the final portion of the race and scored the win ahead of Schatz. The results of the evening earned Schatz 492 points, the most by any driver.

Following Thursday’s qualifying program, Schatz ranked second overall and was locked into Saturday’sA-Main finale.

When Saturday’s A-Main went green, Gravel and Schatz raced side by side into turn one. Gravel dove low and pulled out to a small lead coming out of turn two and, when Gravel went high in turns three and four, Schatz made a run for the lead with a low move in turns three and four. Gravel had enough momentum to maintain the top spot and the two settled in for the early portion of the race. Once Gravel reached traffic, Schatz was able to close in and make a run at the top spot. He tried a slide job in turns three and four and later briefly held the lead down the backstretch on lap 16, but Gravel was able to surge back in front and hold the top spot until his engine expired on lap 22.

 

 


Schatz led the field back to the green and raced away from Madsen until a caution two laps later was used for the mandatory pit stop. The TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti replaced the rear tires, filled the Arctic Cat No. 15 with fuel and made minor chassis adjustments before sending Schatz back out for the second half of the race. On the restart, Schatz rode the cushion in turn one and Madsen made his bid for the lead by throwing a big slider at Schatz, but Schatz never flinched and drove around the outside of Madsen to maintain the lead. The gamble cost Madsen second as Larson was able to sneak under the Australian driver coming out of turn two.For the next dozen laps, Schatz set a torrid pace around the top and held a solid margin over Larson until another caution on 38 slowed the pace. Schatz was clean again on the restart and re-established his lead with only 10 laps remaining. Things got dicey during the final three laps as Schatz tried to maneuver lapped traffic. He split a pair of cars and then was forced to make a couple of attempts to lap Brooke Tatnell. Larson was able to cut into the lead, but his last-corner attempt at a slide job fell short and Schatz drove away for the victory.

“These young guys keep getting better, and that Kyle Larson is pretty awesome,” Schatz said. “Early in the race, David set a really torrid pace and he was right up on the top. There were some pretty big holes up there and I didn’t even realize how big they were until we got slowed down on one of those yellows when I saw them and said to myself I may want to be careful up here. Once we got going, I felt really good, but you have to get yourself to the end of the race. You have to make sure when you get into traffic that you are in a good spot, that you are in the right place, and I did that for most of the race. We came down to that last 12-lap run there and I thought we might catch traffic at the end and we caught them. I got to a car that was just going for it and got myself in a couple of bad spots, but we got there. I know Kyle was coming and he had to do whatever I wasn’t and, for two laps, I was all over the place. That’s what racing is. It’s what we strive for and, if I was running second, that’s what I would have been hoping for. It worked out. We got the win and it feels good.”
Knoxville Nationals Notes:

• This was the 25th Knoxville Nationals for Schatz, who made his debut in 1993 as an 18-year-old. In his debut, he qualified 63rd and finished sixth in the non-qualifiers race.

• After qualifying fourth in Wednesday’s preliminary program, Schatz raced from eighth to win his seventh career qualifying-night heat race.

• His runner-up finish Wednesday was his seventh second-place finish and third in a row in Knoxville Nationals qualifying programs.

• Saturday’s triumph was number 10 for Schatz and the 11th Knoxville Nationals A-Main win for car owner Tony Stewart. Schatz has won eight driving for TSR and the organization earned three Nationals triumphs with Danny Lasoski (2001, 2003, and 2004).

• By leading 27 laps Saturday, Schatz surpassed Steve Kinser as the all-time lap leader in the Nationals. Schatz now has led 320 laps, 19 more than Kinser. Schatz also became the first driver in Nationals history to lead laps in 14 A-Mains.

• Schatz trails only Kinser (12) for most Nationals A-Main wins.

• Schatz ranks 10th all-time with 26 career wins at Knoxville Raceway.

• He now has 245 career WoO A-Features wins.

• Schatz has career earnings of $2.17 million in his 25 Knoxville Nationals appearances.

The Nationals only provided WoO teams with participation points since the event follows a format that differs from the regular WoO program. Schatz continues to the lead the 2017 WoO championship standings and has a 82-point advantage over Brad Sweet.

Up Next:

With the Nationals behind them, Schatz and the TSR team will prepare for the Outlaws’ annual August run through North Dakota before heading west for the next month. The North Dakota native will compete on his home soil three nights starting Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks beforeSaturday’s return to Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo. The Fargo event was originally scheduled for June but was washed out and rescheduled for this weekend. The finale of the weekend will be held at Nodak Speedway in Schatz’s hometown of Minot.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Expedite Home Loans Joins Andretti Autosport At Pocono

Andretti Autosport Sheild
Andretti Autosport
PRESS RELEASE
EXPEDITE HOME LOANS JOINS ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT AT POCONO
The online-based company will serve as primary sponsor for Takuma at the ABC Supply 500 
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 14, 2017) – Continuing their partnership with Andretti Autosport, Expedite Home Loans, an online division of Ruoff Home Mortgage, will embellish the No. 26 Honda of Takuma Sato. Expedite Home Loans will join the team for this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, chasing the checkered flag with the reigning Indy 500 champion.

“We’re extremely proud to continue to grow our partnership with Ruoff Home Mortgages and to welcome their Expedite Home Loans division to our livery lineup,” said Michael Andretti. “Takuma and the No. 26 team will be working hard this weekend to bring the partnership to victory lane once again.” Fort Wayne, Indiana-based, Ruoff Home Mortgage, has built an impressive resume with Andretti Autosport in their first season with the team. Following the 101st Indianapolis 500 victory, the residential home mortgage company has paired with Sato and Andretti Rallycross teammate Scott Speed to add more impressive results to their resume, including Sato’s fifth-place finish at Mid-Ohio and Speed’s victory at the Red Bull Global Rallycross Round 7 in Indianapolis.

Andretti Autosport’s Verizon IndyCar Series drivers compete at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, this weekend with qualifying broadcast Saturday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. INDYCAR racing from the Tricky Triangle airs live on Sunday, Aug. 20, on NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET.

About Ruoff Home Mortgage
Founded in 1984, Ruoff Home Mortgage is a full-service residential mortgage company with 27 branches throughout Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Florida. They have been ranked on the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for the past four years and are also ranked in the Top 100 Mortgage Lenders by Mortgage Executive Magazine.  Ruoff Home Mortgage is also licensed to originate in the states of Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport boasts a wide racing portfolio rooted in tradition and designed for success. Together with Andretti Formula E and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IndyCar Series and Indy Lights, along with entries in the FIA Formula E Championship and Global Rallycross. The company boasts four IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012), two Indy Lights titles (2008, 2009), one Pro Mazda championship (2013) and one USF2000 championship (2010) and has captured victory five times at the famed Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (2005, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2017). Additionally, the team holds two X Games Gold Medals and two Global Rallycross championship (2015, 2016). To share in the Andretti story, please visit online at AndrettiAutosport.com and follow along on Twitter via @FollowAndretti.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Mikhail Aleshin Part Ways

Mikhail Aleshin
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that Mikhail Aleshin will not return to drive the No. 7 Lucas Oil Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The first Russian driver in Indy car racing will instead continue working with his sponsor, SMP Racing, in sports-car racing.

The INDYCAR team issued a statement on the decision:

“Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the No. 7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season,” the statement read. “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.

“Aleshin is the key SMP Racing driver working on the new LMP1 prototype BR1 which shall be ready for its first test session in the near future. Designed by Russian company BR Engineering, in cooperation with Dallara, the BR1 of SMP Racing team will debut in FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018.”

Aleshin, 30, has driven in 46 Verizon IndyCar Series races for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports since 2014, with a best finish of second place twice (Houston-2 in 2014 and Pocono in 2016). He is 16th in this year’s standings with a best finish of sixth in the first race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear doubleheader weekend.

The team did not name a replacement driver for the remainder of the 2017 season.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

“Young Money” Will Have A Full Weekend!

Kyle Larson
After a dominating win on Wednesday night at the Knoxville Nationals, Kyle Larson faced a dilemma. He had qualified for the prestigious A-main finals of one of the premiere dirt races in the world. The problem was the race was set for Saturday night, and his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series forbids him from racing on dirt the day before he has to drive the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, be it qualifying, practice or the race.

On Thursday, he appeared with Ganassi at an event in downtown Detroit unveiling the Camaro ZL1 as Chevrolet’s entry in next year’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. On the drive to the airport afterward, Larson tried to talk Ganassi into allowing an exception. The team owner voiced his concerns—the contract language exists to make sure Larson is fresh and to give the team time to find a replacement if he gets injured.

With Larson and other team officials pleading Larson’s case, Ganassi ultimately relented, and now Larson will race in the event in Knoxville, Iowa on Saturday to try to put an exclamation point at the end of what he calls his favorite week of racing of the year. He finished fifth in the event last year. “I’m thankful for Chip to even allow me to do what I get to do right now,” Larson says. “It’s especially nice that he’s making an exception for Saturday night.”

Larson expects to fly to Iowa after his responsibilities at Michigan International Speedway end on Saturday afternoon. He will race at night and fly back to Michigan after that. He doesn’t have to be anywhere at MIS until 11:30 Sunday morning. “I’ll still be able to get plenty of sleep and be ready,” he said.

Larson has won two races in a row at Michigan.

“Young Money” could be flying back to Michigan Saturday night $150,000.00 richer, if he wins the feature at Knoxville!

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

American Racer, Santino Ferrucci, Gets Second Test With Haas F1 Team

 

 

Ferrucci Ready for Second Test with Haas F1 Team

American Driver Will Wheel Haas VF-17 Aug. 1-2 at Hungaroring

 

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 31, 2017) – American racer Santino Ferrucci will get his second stint in a Formula One car when he tests for Haas F1 Team Aug. 1-2 at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary.

 

The 19-year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut, is Haas F1 Team’s development driver and he made his debut in the FIA Formula 2 Championship this past weekend in Hungary with Team Trident. In his first drive of an F2 car, Ferrucci qualified just .408 of a second off the pole in 10th before earning points with a strong ninth-place finish in his first race on Saturday. Ferrucci graduated to F2 after spending the 2016 season and the first six races of 2017 in the GP3 Series with DAMS.

 

Ferrucci tested for Haas F1 Team last July at England’s Silverstone Circuit where he took the wheel of the Haas VF-16. In doing so, Ferrucci became the first American driver to steer an American Formula One car since Oct. 9, 1977 when Danny Ongais drove a Penske PC4 in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario.

 

This week’s two-day test on the 4.381-kilometer (2.722-mile), 14-turn Hungaroring will see Ferrucci in Haas F1 Team’s current car, the VF-17.

 

“My first test with Haas F1 Team was incredible and the only downside was that I had to wait more than a year to do it again,” said Ferrucci, who began his career in karting, touring the United States and Europe at age 5. “The experience last year was obviously really good, but with this year’s car being so much different – faster, wider and with more downforce and bigger tires – I’m keen to get a feel for what these current-generation Formula One cars are like.”

 

Formula One rules state that two days of each in-season test must be allocated to young-driver training, which is classified as someone who has competed in two or fewer grands prix. Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen participated in the first open test April 18-19 at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, making them ineligible for the test in Hungary.

 

“Santino continues to progress in his racing career and we’re happy to provide another opportunity to aid in his development and the development of our racecar,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “Santino performed very well for us last year at Silverstone and we’re all interested to see him back in our car in Hungary.”

 

After scoring multiple karting championships, Ferrucci graduated to open-wheel racing in 2013, competing in Formula 2000 and the Skip Barber Racing Series. He won his Skip Barber Racing Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway and collected five victories, two poles and three fastest-lap awards upon the conclusion of the season. In Formula 2000, Ferrucci never finished outside of the top-four in the six races he started, with each field featuring 37 or more cars.

 

The 2014 season saw Ferrucci in British Formula 3. He won two races, both at Brands Hatch, becoming the youngest race winner in the history of British Formula 3 at 16 years, two months and 30 days.

 

In 2015, Ferrucci continued to advance in open-wheel, competing in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Ferrucci finished third in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand point standings on the strength of a win and five podiums. It was his first full season competing in an open-wheel championship.

 

Ferrucci’s ascension up the racing ladder continued in 2016 in his first season with DAMS, highlighted by a third-place finish Aug. 27 at Spa-Francorchamps. He also made his sports car debut, winning his first outing in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America race Sept. 15 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

 

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Team Penske Had A Great Day At The Honda Indy 200

Josef Newgarden

Track:                      Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Race:                       Honda Indy 200

Date:                        July 30, 2017

 

 

No. 1 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 7th

Finish: 4th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led: 0

Points Position (deficit): 4th (-17 pts.)

 

Recap: Simon Pagenaud’s weekend really hinged on Saturday’s qualifying session for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion came up a little short in qualifying and it carried over to Sunday’s race result, though he produced another solid finish in the No. 2 Menards Chevrolet. Pagenaud missed making the Fast Six round of qualifying Saturday by mere hundredths of a second and was relegated to a seventh-place start for Sunday’s race. The 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio road course is notoriously known as a tough place to pass, which increases the importance of track position from the outset of the race. Pagenaud moved into the top five after the first round of pit stops but really had a difficult time advancing farther than that. The Menards Chevrolet team worked a different tire strategy than their Team Penske teammates, but it wasn’t enough to get Pagenaud to the front of the field. The native of Montmorillon, France did have some memorable battles on track with teammate Helio Castroneves and former Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, but ultimately he wasn’t able to defend his Mid-Ohio win from 2016 . With the fourth-place finish, Pagenaud has recorded top-five results in five of his last six starts and he earned his 11th top 10 of the season in just 13 outings. In a bit of a points anomaly, Pagenaud dropped from third to fourth in the standings Sunday, but he is two points closer to the top spot than he was following the previous event in Toronto as he trails leader and teammate Josef Newgarden by just 17 points.

 

Quote: “The Menards Chevy was good all weekend. I do wish that we could have qualified a little better just to decrease the number of cars to get around. It was kind of a neutral day in the championship but that’s all right. We’re right there and it will come down to Sonoma. Congratulations to Josef (Newgarden). They’re really on a roll right now.”

 

 

No. 2 PPG Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start:  2nd

Finish: 1st   (6th career INDYCAR victory)

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led: 73

Points Position (lead): 1st (+7)

 

Recap: Coming on the heels of his win at Toronto two weeks ago, Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 PPG Paints Chevrolet crew made it two in a row Sunday as they earned their third win of the season at the Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200. Newgarden started the race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from the second position after his best qualifying result of the season Saturday, finishing second only to teammate and Verizon P1 Pole Award Will Power. After the green flag flew to start Sunday’s race, the Tennessee-born Newgarden quickly moved to the front of the field after making an impressive pass for the lead to get by Power on Lap 13. Newgarden flexed his muscle after that as he began to pull away from the pack, opening up leads between five to seven seconds on his pursuers for most of the remainder of the race. He only lost the lead as pit stops cycled through as he led a dominant 73 of 90 laps on the day. The No. 2 PPG Paints crew had flawless and well-timed pit stops throughout the afternoon to help key the victory. Shortly after his final stop of the day, Newgarden had one of his few tense moments when the only caution flag of the race flew after Ed Jones spun on track. With competitors behind him on the faster Firestone alternate red tires while Newgarden was on primary black tires, the first-year Team Penske driver held serve and maintained the lead on the Lap 71 race restart and pulled away in the closing laps to beat Power to the finish line by 5.155 seconds. Newgarden’s sixth career Verizon IndyCar Series victory enabled him to capture the series championship lead for the first time in his career and he became the first American to lead the series standings since Ryan Hunter-Reay won the 2014 title. Newgarden will carry a seven-point lead over teammate Helio Castroneves heading into the next race of the season on August 20 at Pocono Raceway.

 

Quote: “I felt like we were a little stronger at the start than Will (Power). He was good, and we had a decent gap to (Takuma) Sato, I think. We were holding fairly steady. I think Will was struggling a little more than me, and I just didn’t want to wait behind him. We were either going to pass him on track in a straight-up pass or pass him on the pit cycle. That was our plan. I didn’t want to wait until the pits. I felt like I had an opportunity, so I just tried to time something and pull a move on him. He gave me a lot of racing room like a great teammate. I think he knew we were a little bit quicker. So he gave me good room, and once we got past him, I thought we were really fast. It was a good day for the PPG Chevrolet. Pretty smooth, for the most part. Still stressful. It’s always stressful, even when the car is fast. It seemed like the car was working on reds and blacks. It didn’t really matter. It just got better throughout the race and as the track gripped up. Only real drama was the restart, it felt like we were on the wrong tire again, kind of like Road America. Fortunately, we had a bit of a buffer with the car in between. It’s great to take over the lead in points, but there’s so much racing to do. I don’t really pay attention to it.”

 

 

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start:  5th

Finish: 7th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led: 0

Points Position (deficit): 2nd (-7)

 

Recap: Following a solid seventh-place run in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Helio Castroneves remains second in the championship standings with just four races now remaining, but he’s got a bit of a different view. Castroneves is now looking up at a different person, as the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead shifted from Scott Dixon to teammate and Sunday’s race winner Josef Newgarden, but Castroneves remains in the thick of the title chase. The three-time Indy 500 winner has narrowly missed the season title in previous seasons, but he is well positioned as the 2017 season heads into the homestretch. Castroneves started Sunday’s race in the fifth spot and ran among the top five for the majority of the 90-lap race. However, on a Lap 71 restart following a caution period caused by an Ed Jones spin, Castroneves lost a couple of positions when the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet encountered its engine limiter. The result was a seventh-place finish for Castroneves as it marked his fourth consecutive top-10 result dating back to an early-race accident at Texas Motor Speedway. For the season, Castroneves has produced 12 top-10 finishes in 13 races – including a win at Iowa – as the model of consistency in 2017.

 

Quote: “That was a tough race. These cars are so physical to drive. We only had the one caution that didn’t really affect anyone, I don’t think. On that restart, I had some sort of glitch that took away a bunch of power for a couple of seconds and two cars went around me like I was standing still. That’s unfortunate. But it was a decent day in points for the Hitachi Chevrolet team. A super day for Josef (Newgarden). Congratulations to that group. He leapfrogged us, but we’re still in second. We head to a couple of ovals now which could really mix things up. It’s going to be a battle. That’s for sure.”

 

 

 

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st (49th career INDYCAR pole position)

Finish: 2nd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led: 14

Points Position (deficit): 5th (-52)

 

Recap: After bad luck struck following early contact at Toronto, No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet driver Will Power bounced back strong in Sunday’sVerizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a second-place finish. Power began the weekend capturing the Verizon P1 Pole Award to give him the prime piece of track real estate that is the top starting spot. As the race began, Power showed off his veteran ability as he held back the field and maintained the early lead. Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden was able to get by Power on for the lead on Lap 13 and after a strong first pit stop of the race, Power continued to run in second place. Power was still second as he came into the pits for primary compound tires, fuel and a one-turn front wing adjustment on Lap 42 after telling his team on the radio that he was suffering from understeer issues. He continued behind Newgarden in the second spot as he visited the pits on Lap 67 for alternate compound tires and fuel. Shortly after, the caution flag waved as the No. 19 car spun on track. As the field restarted on Lap 71, Power tried to put pressure on Newgarden but a lapped car factored into the battle and Power never got the run he was hoping for. Over the closing laps, Power did a good job to hold off the hard-charging Graham Rahal, who was fighting hard for second at his home race. Power brought home a runner-up result, his fourth career second-place finish at Mid-Ohio. The performance showed he is still very much in the championship hunt as he is now just 52 points behind Newgarden, the new series leader, with a total of 401 points.

 

Quote: “I know we started on the pole and finished second and that could be viewed as coming up short in some way, but it was a very good finish for the Verizon Chevrolet. We really weren’t on the pace all weekend and really got the most out of qualifying. So second, for the pace of my car, that was as good as we could get today. We’ve had too many seconds in this place, though. Josef (Newgarden) was super fast today. He was just flying around today.”

 

 

Next Race: The Verizon IndyCar Series takes a short break before heading to Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, for the ABC Supply 500 on Sunday, Aug. 20 with race coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Tune into the INDYCAR Radio Network or log on to IndyCar.com for additional coverage.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!