|Dates: Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Friday-Sunday, July 21-23, 2017
Series: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series
Locations: Tuesday – Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania
Friday–Saturday – Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Winners: Tuesday – Donny Schatz of Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing
Friday – Brock Zearfoss of Aaron Long Racing
Saturday – Rain Postponed A-Feature to Sept. 28
Sunday – Rain Postponed event to October date to be determined
TSR Results: Tuesday – Started 3rd, Finished 1st/Running, completed 40 of 40 laps
Friday – Started 3rd, Finished 3rd/Running, completed 25 of 25 laps
TSR Points: Donny Schatz – (1st with 7,030 points, 76 ahead of second-place Brad Sweet)
Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz and the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance-backed team embarked on a busy week of action as the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series continued the “Month of Money” with four races scheduled in a six-day stretch. The eight-time and reigning WoO champion added to the momentum from his Kings Royal triumph the previous weekend by winning his sixth career Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania last Tuesday. The Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team continued its podium streak Fridaynight in the opener of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania with a third-place run. Mother Nature was the winner the rest of the weekend, forcing WoO officials to postpone the 30-lap, $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals finale until Sept. 28 andSunday’s scheduled race at Ransomville (N.Y.) Speedway to a date to be determined in October.
“We had a great start to the week with the night we had at Lernerville,” said Schatz, who drove the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J to his 15th WoO win of 2017. “Coming off the Kings Royal, we knew it was going to be a big week. Tuesday was one of those nights where things just worked extremely well. My guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti) gave me a great machine all night. There is a lot of prestige to these big races, but we treat them all the same. Every race out here counts. There are some guys who get in these races and try to do too much. We had to survive a little scare early in the race and then we knew we had to be there at the end. It takes a complete team to win races like the Kings Royal and the Silver Cup and, thankfully, Tony (Stewart) has surrounded me with great people.”
Schatz opened the evening by qualifying third in his qualifying group and followed that up by racing to
victory in the third heat. He finished third in the Craftsman Club Dash to earn the second starting spot for the 40-lap A-Feature. Schatz held the fourth position during the first handful of laps and survived a couple of close calls with Tim Shaffer by lap 10. Shaffer made a bold move on lap nine and forced Schatz to take evasive action in turn one. The result was Schatz losing a couple of spots and a lot of track position on leaders Sheldon Haudenschild and Daryn Pittman.
He charged his way forward, ultimately passing Shaffer and Pittman to reach second. With only 10 laps remaining, Schatz did everything he could to get around Haudenschild. The two exchanged the lead while working through heavy traffic, setting up what looked to be a thrilling last five laps. A caution on lap 35 took the leaders out of traffic and provided Haudenschild with an open track. On the restart, Haudenschild pulled away in turns one and two, but he got hung up on the cushion leaving turn four, resulting in his racecar flipping. Schatz would assume the top spot and he drove away following the restart and raced to his eighth career triumph at Lernerville and 244th career WoO A-Feature win.
Saturday’s Summer Nationals finale was pushed through quickly with threatening weather all around the historic half-mile oval. Schatz was the 10th car to make a qualifying lap in the field of 38 cars and he turned the seventh-fastest lap. He finished third in the first heat and was scheduled to start the 30-lap A-Feature ninth. Rain began to fall just as the teams were called to push their cars to the starting grid. After a 40-minute delay, WoO officials postponed the running of the A-Feature until Sept. 28, when the Outlaws return to Williams Grove for the National Open.
The rain unfortunately followed the traveling Outlaws north on Sunday. After making the nearly seven-hour trek to Ransomville Speedway, the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team was ready to lead the WoO stars into action at the half-mile dirt oval for the first time since 1997. A heavy rain shower hit the track just after 5 p.m. and the amount of water the storm delivered caused the race to be postponed until later in the season.
With 50 of the 92 scheduled races complete, Schatz has accumulated 7,030 points and leads the championship standings over Brad Sweet by 76 points. The eight-time and reigning WoO champion also leads the series in wins with 15 and top-fives with 39.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!