Claims ninth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series
victory of the season
KNOXVILLE, IA – June 12, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Wrecked cars and flared tempers could not hold back reigning World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway as he barely avoided an early multi-car crash and battled past Jamie Veal to score his ninth series win of the season during the Xtream Shootout powered by Mediacom.
Schatz, who started fifth, battled Shane Stewart early for fourth. After a crash on lap five caught up several of the front runners, Schatz restarted in third and then fought his way around second place Ian Madsen. As Veal worked his way through traffic, Schatz closed the distance, then commenced to battle Veal, side-by-side, lap-after-lap for the lead. Veal held tough but Schatz got around off of turn four with just three laps remaining to take the top spot.
“This place has been very, very good to me,” Schatz said. “I’ve been very blessed to not get hurt here and have the success I’ve had. This team is incredible. We can always go back to the same old setup but it’s kind of fun to try new things and try to get better. We keep playing around and we make a lot of gains and we make a lot of steps backwards but the racecar just kept getting better and better as the race went on.”
The win is Schatz’s 24th career 410 win at Knoxville. The reigning and nine-time Knoxville Nationals champion is 11th on the all-time wins list at the track.
Brad Sweet kicked off the night, scoring his fifth quick time award of the season. Sweet, Schatz, Danny Lasoski and Shane Stewart all picked up Heat race wins, while Veal battled past Ian Madsen to take the Dash win and the pole for the night’s feature.
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On the green flag, Veal, a native of Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, who has just come off a red-hot sprint car season in Australia including a World Series Sprintcar championship, jumped out to an early and commanding lead over Ian Maden and Brian Brown. Schatz battled Stewart in fourth. The first caution flew on lap five as the top wing sideboard on Tasker Phillips came off in turn three.
On the restart, Madsen, in third moved down the track going into turn one, caught the right front tire of Stewart which sent Stewart into Brown and set off a multi-car crash that collected as many as 10 cars. Schatz barely made it through. Among the most heavily damaged were Brown, Stewart, Greg Wilson, Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman, Craig Dollansky, Scott Bogucki and Davey Heskin. After a long red flag, racing resumed with four fewer cars on track.
Veal again jumped out to a strong lead as Schatz worked to get around Madsen for second. Madsen held the position after a two lap battle. Schatz though wasn’t done as he got side-by-side with Madsen on lap 15 and eventually took over the position as the two drivers dove into turn three.
Schatz quickly caught Veal as he worked his way through traffic. With seven laps remaining, Schatz nearly got around Veal but Veal held the top spot and shifted his line to the bottom of the track. The position was short-lived though as Schatz’s relentless pursuit paid off. As the two worked to complete lap 22, Schatz got the better of Veal off of turn four and took over the lead.
Veal, meanwhile, slipped back, giving second to Lasoski, who was charging forward and third to David Gravel.
As the Knoxville crowd booed, Schatz climbed from his No. 15 Bad Boy Off-Road J&J victorious.
“At the end of the race things changed a lot,” Schatz said. “The track started moving around. The top of three and four was really good but you could even get through the middle. (The track) threw some crumbs up from time-to-time, so you just had to be cautious and not hit it too hard. I did it a few times.
“I’m pretty fortunate to be standing up here next to the Hall of Fame flagman (Doug Clark). I wanted to stand next to him last night but tonight’s the night.”
For Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion and all-time wins leader at Knoxville, the second place finish was part good luck, part experience.
“I want to thank (crew chief) Guy Forbrook for this thing,” Lasoski said. “We’ve been struggling the last month, month and a half and he’s definitely got it better and better. I hate to see what happened on that crash, it took a couple of good competitors out. I don’t know how we would have stacked up then.”
With three wins so far on the season, David Gravel and his No. 5 Big Game Treestands, CJB Motorsports team continue to build on momentum as the series heads into the crucial summer months.
“We didn’t qualify like we wanted to but got through the heat race and got really lucky to get through that crash,” Gravel said. “Obviously, a lot of guys wrecked. A little luck. We were sixth after the crash and we had a really good restart and got up to third but then fell back a little bit. We actually had a really good car. Took a couple of corners a little different and maybe we could have been second or maybe win the race. I’m really happy, we made improvements over last night, we finished fifth, and we’re looking forward to coming back here (for the Knoxville Nationals).”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series returns to action Tuesday at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Minn. For more information and to learn how to purchase tickets, visit WoOSprint.com/Granite-City-Speedway.
Knoxville Raceway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Donny Schatz claimed his ninth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory of the season. His last win came at Lincoln Park Speedway on June 8… Tonight’s win was the 24th career win for Schatz at Knoxville. He is the reigning and nine-time Knoxville Nationals Champion… Paul McMahan became the second driver of the season to take a provisional. He was also the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing 14 positions to finish in 11th.
CONTINGENCY WINNERS – MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Greg Wilson; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Donny Schatz; Penske Shocks ($50 cash): Logan Schuchart; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Brad Sweet; VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash): Logan Schuchart; Edelbrock ($50 cash): Jason Johnson; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Paul McMahan; Morton Buildings ($50 cash): Paul McMahan; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Jacob Allen; Super Flow ($50 cash): Daryn Pittman; Craftsman/Sears ($100 cash): Jamie Veal; KSE Racing Products ($100 product certificate): Paul McMahan; Comp Cams ($50 product certificate): Donny Schatz; JE Pistons (Set of Rings): Joey Saldana; JE Pistons (Set of Rings): Greg Wilson.
SEASON WINNERS: Donny Schatz – 9 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 4, Stockton Dirt Track on March 18, Stockton Dirt Track on March 19, Silver Dollar Speedway on April 2, Lincoln Speedway on May 19, Weedsport Speedway on May 22, Lincoln Park Speedway on June 8, Knoxville Raceway on June 11); Brad Sweet – 6 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 13, Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14, Cotton Bowl Speedway on Feb. 26, Ocean Speedway on April 1, Bakersfield Speedway on April 15, Plymouth Speedway on May 13); Daryn Pittman – 4 (Royal Purple Raceway on Feb. 27, Perris Auto Speedway on April 16, USA Raceway on April 18, New Egypt Speedway on May 24); David Gravel – 3 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 12, Tri-State Speedway on May 14, I-96 Speedway on June 6); Joey Saldana – 3 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 3, Devil’s Bowl Speedway on April 22, Jacksonville Speedway on May 4); Shane Stewart – 3 (Arizona Speedway on March 6, Devil’s Bowl Speedway on April 23, Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 30); Kerry Madsen – 2 (Eldora Speedway on May 6 and 7); Lance Dewease – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 20);Chad Kemenah – 1 (Fremont Speedway on June 3); Jason Johnson – 1 (Placerville Speedway on March 24);Terry McCarl – 1 (Knoxville Raceway on June 10); Jason Sides – 1 (I-30 Speedway on April 26); Greg Wilson – 1 (The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 27).
The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Bad Boy Off-Road (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), Craftsman (Official Tool), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), Morton Buildings (Official Building), Sears (Official Home Store), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience) and VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, KSE Racing Products, MSD, Penske Shocks, and Superflow Dynos; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and TNT Rescue.