Schatz Cruises to Victory in Outlaws Debut at Cornwall Motor Speedway
He snaps a 33-race winless streak after leading all 40 feature laps at the quarter mile
CORNWALL, Ontario – July 29, 2012 – A quarter-mile track couldn’t have come at a better time for Donny Schatz.
A night after a violent flip destroyed his sprint car and left him beaten and bruised, Schatz rebounded in a backup car to lead all 40 laps on Sunday in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series debut at Cornwall Motor Speedway.
It was his third victory in six races at a quarter-mile track this season and it snapped a 33-race winless streak.
“Last night I was just glad to walk away from it,” Schatz said. “To come back with a victory, it’s the best thing you can ask for. We haven’t won a race in a while. We did everything we could tonight right and got a win, so it feels really good.
“It’s the way our program is built. Any time we get in that gear range we seem to have a little better handle on things – the way the car works, the way the motors run and all that. We really want to work on our big track stuff.”
After winning three of the first 12 World of Outlaws events of the season, Schatz hadn’t found the winner’s circle since April 25. Not only did he end Sunday night in Victory Lane, Schatz did so in style.
He qualified eighth quickest, led all 10 laps to win his heat race and then paced all eight laps of the dash to earn the pole for the feature.
Schatz shot out to the feature lead at the drop of the green flag with Kraig Kinser maintaining a close second. The duo entered traffic on lap eight and Kinser nearly caught a break when Schatz jumped the cushion in turns three and four while trying to lap Jessica Zemken on lap 17.
Schatz held on to the position amid tight traffic, which allowed Craig Dollansky – who drove from sixth to third in the first 15 laps – to join the battle for the lead.
“The track held up pretty well,” Dollansky said. “It definitely got slick as the night wore on. You could race the top. You could race the bottom, especially in (turns) three and four.”
The trio navigated its way through the cluster of cars as Steve Kinser began to edge closer to the front. After starting 12th, Kinser cracked the top five on lap 22 and was up to fourth on lap 25.
“We just got moving pretty good on the bottom and the middle,” he said. “The track was actually pretty good for the feature. You could move around. You could run the bottom, middle and the top. Once the cushion left it made it to where you could pass. It made a good race out of it then. Everybody could move around on it.”
As Kinser closed in on the front three, Dollansky made contact with the back of Kraig Kinser as they entered turn one with eight laps remaining. Kinser spun around, but kept his car going as Kerry Madsen slid off the track in turn four to force the only caution of the race.
Kinser, who fell to fourth, let Dollansky know his frustration during the caution. Schatz then had a clean restart and Steve Kinser got by Dollansky for the runner-up position on lap 35. Traffic appeared with three laps remaining, but Schatz negotiated the slower cars with ease to record his fourth win of the season.
“I didn’t overdrive anything,” he said. “I’ve got a little pain and thinking about that probably more than anything. Probably not overanalyzing things and trying to stay cool, calm and collected and not spin the tires, so that probably helped us get the win tonight.”
Sammy Swindell finished fourth and fast qualifier Lucas Wolfe ended fifth. Chad Kemenah was sixth, Kraig Kinser seventh, Joey Saldana eighth, Michael Parent ninth and Cody Darrah earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from last – 21st – to round out the top 10.
Saldana, Schatz and Kraig Kinser each claimed a heat race.