Reigning Outlaws Champion Heads to Wisconsin Looking to Turn Up The Heat in the Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance Machine
INDIANAPOLIS (July 8, 2016) – The cliché’s are numerous in regard to Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz turning up the heat in July and August during World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman® Sprint Car Series competition. When the weather warms up so does Donny Schatz and his Bad Boy Off/Chevrolet Performance team is the cliché most commonly heard.
That notion is something the North Dakota native has followed through on over the past decade. As he continues his 20th season of competing with the Outlaws this weekend in the FVP Outlaws at Cedar Lake Speedway event in New Richmond, Wisconsin, the seven-time and reigning WoO champion is looking to add to that theory behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J. The current point leader returns to Cedar Lake as the most recent winner with the Outlaws following his 12th triumph of the season last Sunday at Badlands Motor Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota. Schatz has also come out victorious in two of the previous three races at Cedar Lake Speedway.
Schatz became a fan favorite at Cedar Lake, a 3/8-mile high-banked dirt oval located less than a half hour from Minneapolis, during his days of competing with the WISSOTA Sprint car series in 1995 and 1996. When he joined the Outlaws in 1997, he was able to continue competing at the track each summer, but it wasn’t until 2008 when Schatz notched his first WoO A-Feature at the facility. And he’s been a consistent threat to win at the track each season since. He’s made some fantastic charges from the back to the front and has raced his way to victory lane on four occasions as well including wins in 2008, 2009, 2014 and the opening night of the 2015 FVP Outlaws event. Last year’s win was his 20th of the season and he went on to win a career-high 31 times en route to his seventh WoO championship.
Next week, the Outlaws begin their annual “Month of Money” and Schatz wants to head into the most lucrative portion of the 92-race season with plenty of momentum. Last week, he led all 30 laps of the Outlaws’ debut at Rockford Speedway before charging from 19th to seventh in the opener at Badlands Motor Speedway. His victory quest in Sunday’s 40-lapper started from the third row and he worked his way past Joey Saldana on lap 27 and drove away to capture his fourth career WoO A-Feature at the 1/3-mile dirt oval.
With 45 WoO races under his belt this season, Schatz has amassed 6,250 points and has a 95-point lead over Brad Sweet in the WoO championship standings. His 12 victories, 30 top-five and 42 top-10 finishes and nine KSE Hard Charger Awards top all drivers competing with “The Greatest Show on Dirt” in 2016.
For both Friday and Saturday night shows at Cedar Lake, the pit gates open at 3 p.m. CDT and the grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit cedarlakespeedway.com or call 612-363-0479.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live video coverage is available for both nights or fans can listen free as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to DIRTVision.com for more information.
The TSR Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance team can be followed on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/TonyStewart_Rcg, liked on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing, and followed on Instgram @TonyStewart_Rcg.
|Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Bad Boy Off Road/Chevrolet Performance J&J:|
How much do you enjoy this time of the year when you get to race in the region where you got your start?
“It’s always nice to be close to home and around familiar faces. In the last month we’ve kind raced all around my home area with nights in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Even down in Nebraska we have some family, so it’s been fun. I know its that time of the year and heading back to Cedar Lake always kind of gets our mindset thinking what’s coming up. I have a lot of memories from my early days racing at Cedar Lake. It’s always a pretty racy place where you can move around and run. My guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti) have done a great job of putting an incredible machine under me lately. Tony Stewart has assembled an incredibly talented group to surround me with. It’s fun racing with them and doing it around home and having success just makes it all that much better.”
You enter the weekend following two wins in the last three starts and winning two of the last three times you’ve been to Cedar Lake. What are your goals for the weekend?
“The goal is simple and that’s to win. What happened last week or even the last couple of years at Cedar Lake doesn’t have any bearing on what is going to happen this weekend. You have to figure out how to get your car going forward quickly from hot laps on. You can’t always just look at what you did before because things are always changing. We’ve got a baseline to start with and then it’s about qualifying in a good position for the heat, getting a dash spot by doing well in the heat and going from there. If for some reason we don’t get in the dash, we have to figure out how to make a charge in the feature. A lot of things change during the features at Cedar Lake and that’s where experience does play in our favor. I’ve got the best guys in the pits working on my car and I’m just the lucky guy that gets to drive it. We want to head to Ohio with a couple more wins, but you can’t get two until you get one, so that’s what our plan is for Friday.”