|Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and the TSR Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team venture back to Central Pennsylvania and New York this weekend for three races in three nights with the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
The tripleheader begins Saturday with the Nittany Showdown at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway and will be followed by a pair of races in New York that were postponed earlier in the season. Sunday’s Empire State Challenge at Weedsport Speedway was interrupted by Mother Nature on May 21 during heat-race action, and Monday’s “Big R Outlaw Shootout” at Ransomville Speedway was originally scheduled forJuly 23.
Schatz, the reigning and eight-time WoO champion, will continue his quest for a ninth WoO championship Saturday coming off his third consecutive podium finish and sixth in his last seven races last Saturday at Fulton (N.Y.) Speedway. He leads all drivers with 18 WoO A-Feature wins this season and is looking to become the only driver in the 40-year history of the Outlaws to win 20 or more A-Features in five consecutive seasons.
The driver of the TSR No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J will be making his eighth career appearance at Port Royal Saturday night. He made his debut at “The Speed Palace” in the fall of 2001 and made three consecutive late-season appearances after that first race. He won his fourth start at the track in September 2004, two days before he claimed his second career Williams Grove National Open. After a 10-year absence at the track by the Outlaws, Schatz led them back to the half-mile, dirt oval in the fall of 2014 and finished second behind Ryan Smith. In each of the past two seasons, Schatz has scored third-place finishes.
Schatz returns to Weedsport Sunday with a two-race winning streak at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval following wins in May 2015 and 2016. He has 14 career WoO A-Feature wins in the state of New York and Weedsport is one of four tracks in the state where he’s won multiple races.
Monday, he’ll be looking to make Ransomville the sixth track in New York where he concludes the night in victory lane. The Fargo, North Dakota driver first circled the half-mile, dirt oval during his rookie season in 1997 and returns hoping to make it the 82nd different track where he’s won a WoO A-Feature during his 21 seasons with “The Greatest Show on Dirt.”
With nine races remaining in the 2017 WoO season, Schatz and his TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti continue focusing on winning races and ultimately their fourth consecutive WoO championship. Consistency has been a key to their success as evidenced by their series-best 60 top-five and 68 top-10 finishes in 79 races.
Saturday at Port Royal Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 2 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. More details are available by calling (717) 527-2303, or by visiting portroyalspeedway.com
For Sunday’s Empire State Challenge at Weedsport, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. and grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. More details are available by calling (315) 834-3067 or by visiting weedsportspeedway.com.
Monday at Ransomville, the pit gates open at 1 p.m. and grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. More details are available by calling (716) 791-3602 or by visitingransomvillespeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live video is available on a pay-per-view basis for both Saturday night’s and Sunday night’s races, and free audio coverage is available for all three nights as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series races on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network.
Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.com, www.textronoffroad.com, www.arcticcat.com and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com
Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/
Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.
Textron Off Road: Facebook atwww.facebook.com/
Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/arcticcat.
Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.
Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/
|Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J:|
One of the best parts about being a competitor with the World of Outlaws is the volume of races. This weekend, you get three races in three nights at three tracks. How tough is that on you and your team?
“It’s really just something we are conditioned to. Racing is what we do and we want to do it as often as possible. The only thing that’s different is that we typically don’t have three-race weekends this late in the season. The hard part is really on the guys who work on these cars. There is travel and regular maintenance and that’s where having an experienced team like I have with Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti is a big positive for us. They’ve been doing this for years and it’s about planning and preparation and then making the right calls at the track. We’ve got a big track to start at Port, and then head to a smaller track in Weedsport. Then we close it out at Ransomville, where we haven’t been in a long time. You have to work together each step of the way. You just try to build on each part. The goal is to unload and have a fast car right out of the box at Port and just keep getting it better and better.”
You mentioned Port Royal and, following the race last season, you talked about the improvements the track continued to make and how much you enjoyed racing there. What specifically stood out as far as improvements go?
“It’s just a little bit of everything there. You can feel it when you get there. You can see how they’ve invested back into the track and continue to do so. It reminds me of Eldora in that way and it just continues to get better. I know Steve O’Neal and the fair board members there take a lot of pride in their facility. From what it was like when we first went there early in my career to how it is now is incredible. We are in the entertainment business and you can tell they are committed to that. They have continued to work on the racing surface. It’s been fast, wide, smooth and made for some great racing the last three times we’ve been there. I’m really looking forward to getting back there this weekend and having another chance to race there.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!