Oh, Canada! Schatz Does It Again
NISKU, Alberta — With a victory Saturday night at Castrol Raceway, Donny Schatz did what no other World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series driver before him has done — sweep all five Canada events in a single season.
“I love Canada,” Schatz said. “We’ve always had great races when we’ve come up here and always enjoyed it.
“(The Oil City Cup win is) not just for me, it’s for this whole STP race team. These guys are unbelievable and they definitely do their job to the best of their abilities. Hats off to them. Without their hard work and dedication and what they do, there’s no way I’d be standing here.”
Schatz, who started the feature in fifth, charged forward through a caution plagued first seven laps and battled polesitter Daryn Pittman for the lead.
“My race car was really good,” said Schatz, who now has 17 wins on the season and a three-race win streak. “I had to move around and be in lanes that other people weren’t. It’s fun to be in that position. I was disappointed obviously that we saw the yellow come back out but that’s all part of racing. You deal with it. You have to find a way to overcome that and get yourself back up there. It was a fun race.”
In addition to the race victory, Schatz scored the Oil City Cup after winning on the first night of the event.
As Schatz continues to roll through the last part of the season, he finds himself leading the championship standings by 177 points. Incredibly, the last time the five-time champion finished a feature outside the top-three was on July 18 at Williams Grove Speedway. Schatz finished in ninth that night. His streak of podium finishes now extends to 14 in a row, including eight of the last 11 wins.
As the Outlaws head to the west coast next week, Schatz carries this momentum and the knowledge that the last time the series was at Skagit Speedway and Grays Harbor Raceway, he scored victories at both tracks.
Pittman and Steve Kinser led the field to the green flag on the three-eighths-mile oval. That was short lived however as Cody Darrah wrecked coming out of turn two and ended up on his roof. Darrah was OK and went on later to finish the feature in 10th.
The field reset and as it went green again, Schatz took the opportunity to get around Kraig Kinser and Paul McMahan to take over the fourth position. One lap later, another caution fell after the No. 11eh of Marc Duperron spun in turn four. Another green flag was followed by another quick yellow after the 56 spun. It was bad luck for Schatz who had just powered past Brad Sweet and Steve Kinser to take over the second position.
The cautions were not over, but on the next run Schatz did have better luck, getting around Sweet and then battling Steve Kinser for the second position. At the same time Paul McMahan, who started the feature in third in his CJB Motorsports car but had fallen back through the early cautions, moved himself back to fourth after getting around Sweet.
The final caution of the night fell on lap seven. As the field again restarted, Pittman jumped to the lead. With Schatz in tow, Pittman went high, wobbled a bit coming off of two and gave Schatz the opportunity he needed.