Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser Ready For Busy Schedule
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 30, 2013) – It can be argued that the 80-plus race schedule that makes up a World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series season is one of the most challenging in all of motorsports. Over the next week and a half, there won’t be anyone racing more than those competing with “The Greatest Show on Dirt.” The traveling Sprint car stars, headlined by Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz, will begin a stretch of nine races scheduled over 10 nights starting Friday at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., and concluding at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway Sunday, Sept. 8.
With only 19 races remaining in the 2013 season, it’s certain that the results of this run through Washington, Oregon and California will go a long way toward determining this year’s champion. Schatz has been on a surge since early July, when he was sitting third in the standings and trailing leader Daryn Pittman by 174 markers. The five-time and reigning WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion is in the midst of an incredible streak behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J, finishing on the podium in 14 consecutive WoO A-Features. He has won four of the last six events, including last Saturday’s Oil City Cup finale at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta – a remarkable accomplishment in itself considering he was involved in an accident to open the program that ultimately destroyed his primary STP machine. Schatz’s entire TSR crew kept plugging away throughout the night and he delivered his 17th victory of the season. The win allowed him to close to within 24 points of Pittman in the championship standings.
TSR’s Kinser was on a bit of surge himself behind the wheel of TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim beginning with his performance at the 53rd annual FVP Knoxville Nationals. The 20-time WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion followed a ninth-place finish in Knoxville with his second victory of the season at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., and, two races later, he led the first 30-laps of the A-Feature before finishing second to Schatz at Nodak Speedway in Minot, N.D. The roll continued last Friday at Castrol Raceway as Kinser looked to be in line for another top-five finish when disaster struck. Kinser was involved in a nine-car melee following a lap-23 restart that ended his night. The car was destroyed, forcing the TSR Bad Boy Buggies team to put together another car for Saturday night. Kinser was fast early in the night, racing his way into the dash, but he earned his second DNF (did not finish) of the weekend after mechanical issues forced him into the pit area only seven laps into Saturday’s A-Feature.
Both TSR teams have spent the week in the Seattle area preparing for the grueling stretch ahead. The two-night Monster Meltdown at Skagit kicks off the nine-race run down the West Coast. The 1/3-mile clay oval first hosted the Outlaws back in 1978 during their inaugural season. Kinser won for the first time at Skagit in August 1995, when he picked up a preliminary victory. He drove the TSR No. 11 to victory there two seasons ago to earn his first A-Feature triumph at the facility. In 2011, he finished on the podium twice and, last season, he had a tough couple of nights and didn’t crack the top-10. Schatz has competed at the picturesque facility in the Pacific Northwest 15 times. His only win came in a preliminary feature back in 2006. Last year, he was solid both nights. He led the first 10 laps of the opener before contact with Kerry Madsen resulted in a flat left-rear tire. He raced back to finish 11th and followed that Saturday night by racing from eighth to second in the finale.
After their only scheduled night off Sunday, Kinser and Schatz return to action Monday at Gray’s Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, Wash., where, last season, both drivers finished in the top-five. Kinser is a four-time winner at the 3/8-mile dirt oval and has earned 19 top-10s in his 22 starts there, including 11 consecutive. Schatz scored his only win in 21 starts at Grays Harbor back in 2005, when he passed Kinser late to capture the win. Following Monday’s race, the teams will race six consecutive nights with three stops in Oregon and conclude with three stops in California, including the 60th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions, which will be staged Friday and Saturday at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico.
Friday and Saturday at Skagit Speedway, the grandstands open at 5 p.m. PDT. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. More details are available by visitingwww.SkagitSpeedway.com.
Monday at Grays Harbor Raceway Park, the pit gate opens at 2:30 p.m. PDT. Grandstands open at 4:30 p.m. and racing is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More information is available by visiting www.graysharborraceway.com or by calling (360) 699-RACE.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s events can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO STP Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including live results from the track.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim:
The swing through Washington, Oregon and California used to be one of your favorite times of the season. With nine races in 10 nights, would it be safe to say this year’s run down the West Coast is going to be a little more hectic?
“It’s definitely going to be really tough on the Bad Boy Buggies crew (Scott Gerkin, Gary DuBois and Mark Angerett). We probably didn’t make it any easier by wrecking a car last weekend, but that’s racing. We used to spend six weeks working our way through Washington, Oregon and California racing on the weekends. We really had a great time traveling through one of the most beautiful parts of the country. We made a lot of friends out there and used to have quite a bit of time to see everyone. That won’t be the case this year. It looks like we’re going to have enough time to get from track to track. Do the best we can on the track, and then head down the road to the next one. Things change and we understand that. Hopefully, we can start off the week with a good couple of nights in Skagit and build from there.”
Since you really only get to the Northwest once a year, is it tough to adapt to places like Skagit, Elma and the Oregon tracks?
“Racing is always changing and there are no two dirt tracks that are ever the same. We’ve raced at Skagit quite a bit the last four or five years, and having two nights there gives everyone plenty of time to get things figured out. We’ve raced at Elma a lot of years, and same thing goes for Cottage Grove in Oregon. Those are really good places where had some good races and made a lot of fans. You just show up at the track and see if you can be close in hot laps. The competition is really tough out here and you have to start the night with a decent qualifying lap. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
The headline read that you won another race, but it was in a backup car. How tough was that for your STP team to react so quickly after your accident in Edmonton last week?
“I’ve been saying it for a while, but these STP guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Jim Oare) have an incredible desire to win. Any time you crash, you wonder what happened. They wanted to make sure I was OK, first and foremost, then we went to work. It’s about being prepared. We had only raced that car we crashed almost a dozen times, but you always have a spare ready just in case. We did the fire drill of getting the second car down and were fortunate to qualify in a spot that put us up front in the heat. The dash inversion draw was an eight and that put us on the front of the dash. We just kept working at it from there. By the end of the night, we had a car that allowed me to move around and find the right place to be. We won the race and the guys have worked hard this week getting another car ready so that we’re ready for this upcoming run of races.”
Last season, you had an impressive run through Washington, Oregon and California. What are your goals for the upcoming nine races?
“We haven’t changed our goals for a while. We want to continue winning races and being in position to do that. I think last year we led the first night at Skagit and ended up second the second night. I think we had three more seconds that week, so there’s room for improvement. After this stretch, we only have 10 more races on the schedule, so we need to be winning everything we can from now on. Obviously, we’ll just take it a race at time, but we definitely have high expectations.”
About Armored AutoGroup
Armored AutoGroup Inc., headquartered in Danbury, Conn., is primarily comprised of the Armor All®, STP® and Tuff Stuff® brands. The current Armor All product line of protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care products, glass cleaners, leather care products and car washes are designed to clean, shine and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces. The STP product line of fuel and oil additives, functional fluids and automotive appearance products have a broad customer base ranging from professional racers to car enthusiasts and “Do-it-Yourselfers”. Tuff Stuff cleaning products are formulated to tackle the toughest jobs.
Armored AutoGroup has a diversified geographic footprint with direct operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. and distributor relationships in approximately 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.armorall.com and www.stp.com.
About Bad Boy Buggies
Bad Boy Buggies is a leader in off-road utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor lifestyles. Bad Boy Buggies pioneered the category of electrically powered 4×4 vehicles, ideal for hunting and outdoor recreation due to their silent, odorless operation and environmentally friendly, emissions-free drivetrains.
Today, the Bad Boy Buggies product line ranges from four-wheel-drive electric hunting machines such as the Recoil, a fully electric, 4WD vehicle with an innovative, highly efficient 72-volt AC electric drivetrain, to the Work Series of diesel and gas-powered utility vehicles, including the Bad Boy Buggies XD, a versatile 4WD, diesel-powered utility vehicle with a total capacity of 1,600 pounds. In 2010, the Bad Boy Buggies brand and product line were acquired by E-Z-GO, a business unit of Textron Inc.
For more information, please visit www.badboybuggies.com.