|INDIANAPOLIS (June 29, 2016) – It seems every week on the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman® Sprint Car Series campaign there is a new challenge. This week, the challenge for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz is to be the first one to get a handle on a temporary dirt surface Wednesday, then see if he can maintain his grip on a track where he began his illustrious career Saturday and Sunday.
Schatz, the seven-time and reigning WoO champion, leads the Outlaws into tonight’s inaugural Outlaw Clay Classic at Rockford (Ill.) Speedway before the series makes its way back to Badlands Motor Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota for the first of two stops at the action-packed bullring where Schatz took last year’s A-Feature victory.
For the third consecutive season, Schatz and the Outlaws will compete on a paved track that is covered with dirt. In 2014 and 2015, Schatz raced the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J to victory on one such track at Berlin Speedway in Marne, Michigan. The 7/16-mile dirt-covered oval proved to be a perfect match for the smooth driving style of Schatz, who is in the midst of his 20th season of competition with “The Greastest Show on Dirt.” Tonight’s race at Rockford will be the first dirt race in the track’s 69-year history. With the track measuring just longer than a quarter-mile, Schatz and his TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti will be looking to add another short-track triumph to the win total this season.
One of the 31 victories Schatz scored last season came during the Outlaws’ June visit to Badlands. Schatz raced past Shane Stewart on lap 26 and led the final 10 laps to earn his third-career WoO A-Feature at the 1/3-mile, high-banked dirt oval. It was a popular win for the North Dakota native because of his history at the track in southeastern South Dakota. It’s where Schatz spent many Sunday nights learning how to race Sprint cars before he ventured out on the road with the Outlaws. They weren’t all good nights as he destroyed a number of cars searching for speed on the tight track, but those experiences were part of the foundation that has led him to seven WoO championships over the last 19 seasons. He first tasted WoO success at the track in April 2001, when he stormed from 10th to win and then, six years later, he raced past Craig Dollansky to score the win in July 2007.
Schatz leads the Outlaws into action this week as the points leader with his 5,812 markers through 42 races. He has a 78-point advantage over Brad Sweet and has posted a series-high 10 victories to date. He also leads the series in top-fives with 28, top-10s with 39 and podium finishes with 18.
Last week, Schatz added his eighth KSE Hard Charger Award, racing from 14th to finish third inSaturday’s Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial at Beaver Dam (Wis.) Raceway. It was his second podium finish of the week following his charge from ninth to second last Wednesday at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska.
Wednesday at Rockford Speedway, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstands at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit rockfordspeedway.comor call 815-633-1500.
For Saturday and Sunday’s race at Badlands Motor Speedway, the pit gates will open at 5 p.m. CDT and the grandstands at 6 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit badlandsmotorspeedway.com or call 605-582-3536.
Race fans unable to attend this week’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen free 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 cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go towww.DIRTVision.com for more information.
The TSR Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance team can be followed on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/TonyStewart_Rcg, liked on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing, and followed on Instgram @TonyStewart_Rcg.