Photo by Dave Biro.
FARGO, N.D. (September 4, 2018) – Following a pair of shows in the badlands of South Dakota and Montana, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series made the haul out to Washington for three events in four nights. Donny Schatz closed the weekend with a Labor Day win at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.
A win in the Sears Craftsman Dash put the nine-time and defending champion on the pole for the 30-lap feature. Schatz jumped out to the early lead over Sheldon Haudenschild, but Haudenschild momentarily took the lead on lap three.
Schatz was able to move back by the sophomore Outlaws driver to lead at the line before opening up a five car length lead. Cautions throughout the race kept the field bunched up and the leaders out of lapped traffic.
In the late going, Schatz was challenge by Kasey Kahne Racing teammates, Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet. Schatz remained strong in the final laps, which included a green-white-checkered restart, to capture his 18th win of the season.
“The track was really good, you had to move around to get through traffic. I actually wish we would have stayed in lapped traffic more, that’s when it gets really fun,” Schatz said in victory lane. “I don’t know any driver that wants cautions. I was hoping we could stay in lapped traffic because my car was good all over the race track and that I can attribute to my guys.”
On Friday, August 31st and Saturday, September 1st, the World of Outlaws were in Alger, Washington for the Outlaw Energy Showdown at Skagit Speedway. On night one, Schatz charged from 10th to sixth in the 40-lap main event.
Night two was much better for the current series point leader. Schatz finished second in his heat and second in the dash before recording a runner-up finish in the feature. Schatz pulled even with Pittman for the lead on lap 27, but the treacherous cushion in turn two bit the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 and briefly relegated him back to third.
The World of Outlaws have another three-race stretch over the next four days, starting Wednesday, September 5th at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon. From there, the series will head to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California on September 7th-8th for the Gold Cup. Schatz is a two-time champion of the Gold Cup, with his most recent title coming in 2015.
Entering Wednesday’s event, Schatz holds a 246 point lead over Sweet in the World of Outlaws point standings.
8/31/18 – Skagit Speedway:
Qualifying: 16th; Heat: 4th; A-Main Start/Finish: 10th/6th
9/1/18 – Skagit Speedway:
Qualifying: 2nd; Heat: 2nd; Dash: 2nd; A-Main Start/Finish: 2nd/2nd
9/3/18 – Grays Harbor Raceway:
Qualifying: 6th; Heat: 2nd; Dash: 1st; A-Main Start/Finish: 1st/1st
2018 World of Outlaws Stats:
Top Fives: 41
Top Tens: 51