Schatz Holds Off Kinser In Sin City
LAS VEGAS — Donny Schatz became the first repeat winner in the 2014 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season when he bested 20-time champion and his Tony Stewart Racing teammate, Steve Kinser, to win the FVP Outlaw Showdown Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Schatz is now four victories from tying Mark Kinser for third all-time with the series.
It was an all TSR front row as Kinser started on the pole of the 30-lap feature with Schatz to his outside. Kinser took the early lead with Schatz close in tow. Kinser was able to gain some distance over the next few laps as Jason Sides would enter the battle on lap three, passing Schatz for second place.
Sides caught Kinser on lap five and in turn three, he shot to the bottom. Kinser powered off of four to hold the lead and moved to the bottom the next lap to defend the position.
The caution flag waved when Bud Kaeding stopped with a flat left-rear tire on lap seven. On the restart, Kinser’s car again shot to the lead. Schatz passed Sides for second and took the lead for the first time on lap 10. Kinser fired back the next lap on the bottom to regain the lead.
Schatz made the pass for the win the next lap. Kinser had a final chance to battle back on a lap-17 restart. Kinser kept Schatz on the inside as far as he could coming out of turn four and the pair were even for several car lengths until Schatz’s STP/Armor All No. 15 found moisture and took off to the lead.
“It makes this a little more sweet to beat the king on his final trip to Vegas here with the Outlaws,” said Schatz, who now has 149 features wins in his career. “We weren’t so good last night, they kept finding problems and little things that helped. Our car wasn’t so good at the start, but at the end it was just going and that’s what you want.”
The 20-time champion, Kinser, held on for second after battling two-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Jason Meyers late in the race to give the Bad Boy Buggies No. 11 the second spot on the podium.
“I was real free to start with and I knew I was in trouble,” said Kinser. “We made some changes in the red and we felt a little better. We could sort of hold our own at the end, but he was just faster than we are.”
Jason Meyers raced from 11th to finish third in the Elite Landscaping/Tarlton & Sons machine.
“We had a great car here tonight, we only decided a month ago to run these races,” said Meyers. “I had a great team on the road and I miss them dearly, but being here at home an racing with all the guys that helped me over the years, we have a great time.”
Paul McMahan holds a nine-point lead over Schatz in the standings.
Joey Saldana was transported to a local hospital after the dash to be treated for what the team said was an arm injury. He was later released.