Columns

KERCHNER: The Heat Race

Donny Schatz celebrates victory at I-96 Speedway earlier this year. (Mark Funderburk photo)

Donny Schatz celebrates victory at I-96 Speedway earlier this year. (Mark Funderburk photo)

CONCORD, N.C. — Donny Schatz won his 153rd World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series feature Friday night at River Cities Speedway in his home state of North Dakota.

Victory No. 153 tied him with Mark Kinser for third on the series’ all-time wins list. He trails only Sammy Swindell with 293 victories and Steve Kinser, who has won a whopping 577 World of Outlaws main events.

That’s select company. But those numbers are intriguing.

It seems like Schatz has won everything there is to win the last six or seven seasons, but at age 36 he has to win another 140 features to catch Swindell for second on the wins list. And that’s provided Sammy doesn’t add to that total, which we all know he will.

Kinser, meanwhile, just turned 60 and is in his last full season of racing. Schatz, who has won five series championships, trails Kinser by a mere 424 victories.

In order to catch Kinser, Schatz would have to average 21.2 victories per season for the next 20 years. That would include six seasons racing after his 50th birthday.

Schatz won a career-best 23 features last year, but that is the only season of his career during which he won 20 features or more. He won 19 in 2007 and 18 in ’08.

Kinser by contrast won 20 or more races 10 times during his career, with a career high of 46 victories in 1987. He also won 36 features in 1991.

Swindell, 58, has won 20 or more races twice in his career. His most productive season was 28 victories in 1981.

Dazzling numbers for sure.

Posted by on Jun 23 2014 Filed under Columns, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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