Schatz Gets 10th WoO Triumph
SPENCER, Iowa — Sometimes a little luck goes a long way.
For Donny Schatz, everything is going the right way. Schatz overcame a poor qualifying performance to capitalize in traffic on Friday at Clay County Fair Speedway, where he claimed his third trophy at the sixth annual Arnold Motor Supply Shootout.
It was his 10th World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature victory of the season and eighth consecutive top five, which helped extend his championship points advantage to a season-high 101 points.
“I hope it’s not the peak,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of racing left this year. There’s a long way to go. There’s a lot of season left and we’re doing really good right now, so we want to keep ourself on a roll.”
Schatz, who won the event in 2007 and 2008, began the night by qualifying 18th. He missed the inversion in the heat race, but caught a couple of breaks after starting on the inside of the third row.
Terry McCarl, who started one row in front of Schatz, was involved in an opening-lap crash. That moved Schatz up one row and after polesitter Scott Winters was called for starting too early, Schatz again advanced one row to take the green flag on the pole.
He finished second in his heat race, which gave him a spot in the dash. Schatz passed three cars in the dash and continued to move forward at the start of the feature.
Schatz quickly advanced into the top five while Lucas Wolfe jumped to the early lead from the pole. Craig Dollansky, who entered the event 72 points behind Schatz in the championship chase, had the quickest car early and he rode the cushion to the lead as he exited turn four on the sixth lap.
Traffic came into the equation two laps later and Wolfe was able to maneuver to the lead while Dollansky was slowed on the bottom in turn four. However, Dollansky regained the top spot on the ensuing lap and was in control until traffic claimed its first victim.
Jody Rosenboom spun in turn four on lap 17 as Dollansky was about to put him a lap down. Dollansky swerved to the top and tried to sneak between Rosenboom’s stalling car and the wall, but he ended up smashed between.
Dollansky gave up the lead during the caution as he headed to the work area to fix the damage. Wolfe inherited the lead and following a failed restart when Kerry Madsen flipped off the track in turn two, Schatz advanced past Jason Sides for the runner-up position on lap 19.
Wolfe reached traffic on lap 25 and while Schatz closed the gap, Wolfe maintained the lead as he picked off a handful of cars. But on lap 29, traffic took its second victim. Wolfe was trapped on the bottom behind Chuck McGillivray and Davey Heskin, who were both already a lap down and were battling for 19 th place.
“I just made a mistake going to the bottom and followed two lapped cars that were having their own race,” Wolfe said. “They both kind of missed the bottom and slowed down just enough that I had to wait on them in the corner.
“It was disappointing to lose so close to the end. Obviously it’s hard enough to get in that position and make it the whole night there, to lose it on the last two laps. But it’s hard to complain when Schatz beats you. They’ve been on a roll lately.”
Schatz took advantage and pulled even as they exited turn two. His momentum carried him into the lead in turn three and Wolfe was unable to close within a car length on the final lap.
“He got caught in the wrong part of the race track and I was in the right,” said Schatz, who has recorded seven wins and 17 top fives in the last 19 points races. “I managed to squeak on by there and didn’t have much race left from there.”
Steve Kinser made a late rally to round out the podium, earning his 25th top five of the season.
“I found me a little different spot than everybody else was running,” he said. “Actually it was just through the middle. I just started momentuming the middle and got pretty fast actually.”
Sides finished fourth and Cody Darrah drove from 11th to fifth.