Donny Schatz Powers to 22nd Victory at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park
Five-time champ closes gap in quest for another World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car title
ELBRIDGE, N.Y. – Oct. 12, 2013 – Donny Schatz’s remarkable World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season continued on Saturday night at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park as he powered to his 22nd victory of the year.
Schatz, who is chasing Daryn Pittman for the series championship, put his STP/Armor All J&J on the pole for the 25-lap main event, where he was nearly untouchable in a dominating performance that sliced into Pittman’s advantage. Schatz will trail Pittman, who finished fourth, by 52 points entering the World Finals on Nov. 7-8-9 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“It was a good night, I got qualified decent and had a good heat race, really good dash and built on it for the feature,” said Schatz, of Fargo, N.D., who is fourth all-time in World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series history with 146 wins, seven behind Mark Kinser. “In the 25 laps, the car changed quite a bit, but the guys did a really good job, and they keep finding ways to make this car better and more fun for me to drive. I tried to play my lap traffic smart and get around them as quick as I could without jeopardizing anything.”
Paul McMahan was the runner-up at the Saturday night event during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII at the 5/8-mile oval, holding off third-place finishing Craig Dollansky. Pittman, who is attempting to win his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series crown, minimized the damage from Schatz’s victory by finishing fourth in the A-main to go with a strong qualifying run. Kraig Kinser, who always seems to run well at Rolling Wheels, rounded out the top five.
“The car was pretty good, but just a little short tonight,” said McMahan, who resides near Nashville, Tenn. “We were getting better as the race went on, but just didn’t have enough to catch Donny. The track stays about the same every time we come here, but the key to this place is just starting up front. Hopefully in a few weeks we can pick up one more spot.”
The race was covered by CBS Sports Network to air a two-hour broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 1.
The lone caution of the feature flew on lap five as Joey Saldana rolled to a stop on the front stretch. On the restart, Schatz surged ahead of McMahan’s CJB Motorsports machine and weaved through lapped traffic to take the win.
Dollansky, who won the second of three heat races, started the feature event in the seventh position. Five laps into 25-lap main event he was running fourth. On the restart, he first fell behind Pittman before moving to the top line and on the next lap drove his EyeCon Trail Cameras entry around Pittman to take the third position.
“There were a couple of grooves out there to work with,” said Dollansky, of Elk River, Minn. “It seemed like the top groove favored the way that our car was. We hated to see that yellow flag when Joey stopped. I ran the bottom a couple of different times, but I was really just trying to create different lanes where you could pass. Starting where we did and get up there and in the mix was a pretty good run for us.”
Cody Darrah earned the KSE Hard Charger award with a seventh-place finish in the feature event after winning the Last Chance Showdown and starting 18th.
Steve Buckwalter of Royersford, Pa., who was on the pole for both World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series races last weekend at Williams Grove Speedway, represented the highest finishing member of the Pennsylvania Posse and continued a string of three-consecutive top-10 finishes. After posting the third-quickest time in qualifying, Blake Breen started the feature in fourth position but contact coming to the green in the A-main ended his night with suspension damage.