SCHATZ STORMS TO SECOND IN CHARLOTTE
CONCORD, NC – (May 25, 2012) It was a long night at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway, but in the end Donny Schatz felt good about the final outcome.
“If you can’t win, second is the best place to be,” admitted the four-time WoO champion, after finishing second in Friday’s Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown. “The guys on this team worked really hard and I’m glad we got something positive. It’s no secret that we haven’t been getting the results we expect. Tonight, everyone stuck together and we were able to work our way into contention.”
Following last weekend’s doubleheader in Middletown and Hagerstown, the TSR team spent the week in the Charlotte preparing for the Outlaws 30th race in Charlotte. Schatz, who drove the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J to a Charlotte sweep in November, came in looking for his seventh win at the 4/10-mile dirt oval and first finish inside the top five in seven races.
He qualified 11th in the field of 29 cars and finished second in heat two. A ninth-place finish in the dash, meant starting ninth in the 30-lap A-Feature. Schatz was in eighth early in the race after working past Kasey Kahne with a low move coming out of turn four. He was trapped behind Ed Lynch, Jr., on a lap 10 restart and it cost him a few spots. He was able to take advantage of a pair of late restarts and get from sixth to third. With six laps to go he moved past Brad Sweet for second and tracked leader Joey Saldana. Schatz had one final chance on a late restart, but Saldana was up to the task and held on for the win and Schatz was scored second.
“Joey’s pretty good on the top,” Schatz said. “He’s probably one of the best guys on the cushion and he doesn’t make many mistakes. I put myself in a position that if he did make a mistake, I was going to be there and maybe go by him. I did all I could. We just had a good night and I’m glad to get out of here with a top two and move on.”
Schatz and the STP team entered Charlotte trailing his TSR teammate, Steve Kinser, by 32 points and left 12 behind. They’ll return to action on Monday night at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway.