World of Outlaws–15 for the 15: Donny Schatz Makes It Four in a Row with River Cities Win

15 for the 15: Donny Schatz Makes It Four in a Row with River Cities Win
Dusty Zomer finishes second, scores his best ever World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series finish
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – June 19, 2015 – In front of a packed house at River Cities Speedway Friday night, Donny Schatz continued his impressive 2015 run, besting Dusty Zomer to score his 15th World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win so far this season and fourth in a row.

“That was fun in traffic,” Schatz said. “The race track was unbelievable. There was a top, a bottom, a middle – sliding, turning. It’s not very often that it happens like that.”

Racing against impending weather, the green flag fell on the 40-lap feature with Zomer and Schatz on the front row. Zomer led the first two laps but a caution flag fell shortly after the second lap was completed. When the race returned to green, Schatz slid Zomer in turns three and four to lead lap three.

Schatz caught the back of the field on lap six and began lapping cars. As the laps ticked by Schatz expanded his lead as the field behind him stayed tight and worked their way through the traffic. By the final red flag of the night on lap 33, Schatz had built up a nearly four second lead over second place Zomer. On the restart, Zomer tried to make a move on the six-time champion, but it was Schatz’s to lose.

“It’s hard to tell what’s going on when you’re up front,” Schatz said. “You just keep pushing as hard as you can. My car, for a point, got really good, really good and then it seemed like those yellows kind of hurt the momentum a little bit and it got really, really tight.”

Through 36 races so far this season, Schatz has built up a 192 point lead over Shane Stewart in his campaign for a seventh series championship.

“Hats off to these three guys, they’re unbelievable,” Schatz said of his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team. “The car owner we have, we couldn’t do it without his hard work and his effort to put us here with great marketing partners like Chevrolet Performance and Bad Boy Buggies and all the great people we have.”

The battle for second and third was intense all night with a series of drivers fighting for the spots.

After Schatz took over the lead, Zomer settled in to second with Paul McMahan on his tail. By lap 12, it was Shane Stewart who, after slipping back to fourth at the start of the night, raced around McMahan on the high side of turns one and two. Five laps later, Stewart had caught Zomer and began trying to work his way around for second.

“We may have bumped a little bit but that’s short track racing and that’s what makes it fun and interesting,” Stewart said of contact made between he and Zomer on lap 19. “I actually thought I had him there and then the caution came out. Just had to get my nose clean because I was pretty tight behind cars and blistered the right rear tire a little bit and probably hurt us a little bit later in the race.”

After a caution on lap 31 and then a red flag on lap 33, Stewart tried again to get around Zomer but was not able as he fought off attempts by Brad Sweet, Joey Saldana and McMahan to get around him.

Zomer closed out the night in second with Stewart right behind in third. The finish was the best ever World of Outlaws finish for Zomer.

“I’m glad we could put on a heck of a show. Donny, he’s good. Obviously you can tell he’s been doing this for many years. He got around traffic really nice and he was able to maneuver really nice. I’m just happy for this whole team… they gave me a heck of a car tonight.”

Just one week ago, Zomer had a wild crash at River Cities that ended the night for his No. 82 Buffalo Wild Wings team.

“Last week, obviously, we made the papers up here for taking a wild ride so now we’re happy we’re maybe making the papers here for making a top-three at the Outlaw show,” Zomer said. “Super happy for the team, it was a good run.”

For Stewart, the finish was the 20th top-five run of the season for his No. 2 Eneos/Larson Marks Racing team.

“It’s great to come here to Grand Forks,” Stewart said. “This is an awesome crowd. I haven’t been here in a long time. It’s good to see the fan support and head on to Huron and hopefully we can pick up a win then.”