SCHATZ RACES TO SIXTH AT I-96
LAKE ODESSA, MI (June 2, 2012) – The World of Outlaws were able to at least get one race in this weekend. Mother Nature knocked out Friday’s return to Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park, but Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team were able to hit the dirt on Saturday at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan. Schatz finished sixth in the 35-lap A-Feature after starting 12th and continues to rank second in the 2012 WoO championship standings.
The weekend began with a Friday evening race scheduled for Attica, but late Friday afternoon WoO officials were forced to postpone the event after steady rain Thursday evening and Friday morning soaked the grounds.
Schatz, who was en route to Ohio, turned back and returned to Fargo on Friday evening. Saturday morning, he traveled to Knoxville, Iowa, and attended the 23rd annual National Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction banquet. Ron Shaver, long-time engine builder and friend of Schatz, was one of 12 inductees.
Following the ceremony, Schatz traveled to Michigan for the Outlaws only appearance in the state in 2012. Just after arriving a slight rain shower made it look like the weekend was going to be a complete washout. However, the shower passed and despite getting a later start, the race was on.
Schatz was the 24th of 26 cars to hit the newly configured 3/8-mile dirt oval and he turned the 12th-best lap. The time put him on the pole for the third heat race. By the third heat, it was clear the top lane was the place to be so Schatz started on the inside followed outside polesitter Chad Kemenah into turn one. Unfortunately, Tim Shaffer was able to slide in front of Schatz coming out of turn two. Schatz finished third and would transfer to the A-Feature.
In the main event, he worked his way forward and spent the final 10 laps of the race battling Cody Darrah for the fifth spot. Passing proved to be difficult so Schatz had to settle for his series-best 18th top-10 of the season.
The week ahead is busy one for Schatz as he’ll return to action Tuesday for the Outlaws return to Kokomo (Ind.) for the first time since 2007. Wednesday night, he’ll compete in the Feed the Children Prelude to the Dream charity dirt late model race at Eldora Speedway. Friday night, Schatz will return to his STP No. 15 in Spencer, Iowa and Saturday it’ll be back to Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway for the Outlaws final appearance at the legendary half-mile dirt oval prior to this year’s Knoxville Nationals.