Donny Schatz World Finals Preview


Missler
Posted on Nov 5 2013 - 4:57pm by Bores4815

Donny Schatz World Finals Preview

Donny Schatz World Finals Preview



INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 5, 2013) – Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz is in the midst of a career-best World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season, and he’s looking to close it out in miraculous style by becoming the first driver in WoO history to overcome a points deficit entering the final weekend and win a WoO championship.

After 71 nights of racing, the WoO STP championship battle is still in doubt and will be settled during this weekend’s season-ending World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The World Finals, which includes WoO Sprint Cars, WoO Late Models and the Big-Block Modifieds from the Super DIRTcar Series, begins with a pair of qualifying sessions for the Sprint Cars and Late Models Thursday. Complete programs with heat races, a dash and feature races will be held both Friday and Saturday.
Schatz will look to cap his 17th season on the Outlaws tour in history-making fashion behind the wheel of the No. 15 STP Gas Booster/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J, the same car he made history with in August by racing from 21st to first in the 53rd annual FVP Knoxville Nationals 50-lap A-Main at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway.

The five-time and reigning WoO champion enters the seventh edition of the World Finals trailing WoO STP championship points leader Daryn Pittman by 52 markers. Qualifying points will be on the line Thursday and then finishing points will be awarded following each 30-lap A-Feature. The scenarios that would enable Schatz to win his sixth WoO championship are complicated, but the Fargo, N.D., racer still has a puncher’s chance. Roughly 26 positions separate Schatz and Pittman, and that doesn’t factor in any additional qualifying points or the two additional points awarded to feature race winners.

The numbers Schatz and his STP team have put up this season are some of the best they have ever amassed. Schatz has posted a career-best 22 WoO A-Feature victories at 19 different tracks, and 15 of those wins have come in the last 31 races. He has 44 top-five finishes to Pittman’s 45, and 59 top-10s to Pittman’s 58. Schatz has led 409 laps in A-Features this season, 183 more than Tim Kaeding, who has led the second-most laps this season with 226. Schatz and his TSR teammate Steve Kinser are tied for most KSE Hard Charger Awards with eight. The one category that has helped Pittman maintain his advantage has been his ability to collect qualifying points. He has amassed 152 qualifying points to Schatz’s 48.

Schatz has experienced a great deal of success at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he is the all-time leader in wins with six triumphs. He’s competed in 27 WoO A-Features at the track and finished in the top-10 22 times. He has also been the fastest qualifier five times, with three of those have come during the World Finals. A best-case scenario for Schatz would include closing the deficit with a handful of qualifying points each night – the maximum is five for the fastest qualifier – and duplicate his 2011 World Finals, when he won both A-Features. Even in that scenario, he’ll need Pittman to finish outside the top-10 in order to have a shot at the title.

The WoO championship has been decided by less than 50 points only twice in the previous 35 seasons. Schatz was involved in the closest title fight back in 2009 when he defeated Jason Meyers by 19 points. The two entered the World Finals separated by 19 markers and Schatz picked up 10 points by topping both qualifying sessions. Meyers won the first A-feature over Schatz, picking up four points, and then gained six in the finale, finishing third while Schatz came home sixth. In 2001, Danny Lasoski won by 30 points after driving the Tony Stewart Racing No. 20 J.D. Byrider machine from 19th to finish seventh, two spots behind championship runner-up Mark Kinser, in the season finale in Las Vegas.

The World Finals represents the last two chances for fans to win great prizes from STP, Armor All and Tony Stewart Racing in the “Win with Donny Schatz and STP” promotion. Since the Knoxville Nationals, fans have been registering to be one of 15 winners each time Schatz wins an A-Feature. So far, 135 entrants have won prize packages. Schatz is hoping to add 30 more winners. Each entrant in the contest will also have a chance at being selected winner of a top-wing side board from the Knoxville Nationals-winning TSR No. 15 STP Gas Booster/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J. Entries will be taken through Saturday at www.starnetdp.com/STP/intro.html.

Thursday, the pit gates will open at 11 a.m. EST, with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, while the pit gates will open at 12:45 p.m. and the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at 800-455-3267, or visit www.CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com/Dirt.
Both Friday and Saturday’s events will be contested in front of what is expected to be a sellout crowd of more than 15,000 spectators, and the action will also be televised by the CBS Sports Network in December. Coverage of Friday’s World Finals begins Dec. 15 at 9 p.m. EST, while Saturday’s program is set for broadcast Dec. 22 at 9 p.m.

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.

 

Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP Gas Booster/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:

You’ve have had a record-setting season with 22 victories heading into the World Finals, but you’re 52 points behind in the championship standings. Will the results of this week determine whether you consider 2013 a successful season or not?

“We’ve had a great season. You always put that championship out there as the number-one goal. We have always raced for them the same way the past 10 years. You’ve got to win races. This year, we’ve won races and we’re not leading the points heading into the last event. That’s just the way it is. We had several DNFs (Did Not Finish) that have put us in this position, but we always race for the win. It’s been a lot of fun the last three or four months. We’ve had nothing to lose and everything to gain. And we still have that scenario heading into the weekend.  That’s allowed us to race for more wins than we’ve ever had before. It’s a little bit different, but we’ve experienced so many championship scenarios through the years that nothing really surprises us. Daryn has been a very consistent car all season long, and they are being rewarded for it. We want to win this championship, so we will continue to play the hunter role. It’s a no-pressure situation. We’ll go to Charlotte and give it everything we’ve got. After Saturday night, we’ll either be celebrating an incredible championship run or a record-breaking season.”

With the championship battle down to two races, what is your strategy for the World Finals?

“You go win. That’s all you really can do. Mathematically, it’s doable. Last year, we came into the World Finals with a 175-point lead and left with a 100-point margin to end the season. Realistically, is that something that is going to happen? You just never know. Anything can happen. It is racing. It happened to us last year, so I guess it could happen to someone else. All we have to do is focus on what it is we do. We know if we go there and do our thing, qualify well, put ourselves in a position to win the race, we’ll be fine. You can’t be concerned with where someone else is running or how many positions I need. I’ve never been in that position and I’m not going to start now. We’ll just do our best and, if we come out on top, great. But, if we don’t, we know we gave it everything we had and there will be another championship to chase.”

Does being the all-time win leader at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway give you any advantage over the rest of the competition this weekend?

“It does and doesn’t. You can’t ever expect, just because you’ve won someplace in the past, that you are going to show up and be lightning quick and expected to win. We’ve had some really good runs at Charlotte, but look at last year, for example. We were kind of trying some new things and ended up missing the inversion in qualifying, missing the show the first night and then, the second night, we ended up getting involved in a crash with another car. It just goes to show that you can be good at a particular track but, sometimes, things don’t go your way. We’re looking forward to getting there. It’s been a little while since we’ve won there and that’s goal number one for the weekend. We’re going to try and keep it simple. Get ourselves in a position to win and close out the season with a couple of victories.”

Tony Stewart Racing’s Donny Schatz: Career Results at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway

 

Year

Date

Donny Schatz

Qualifying

Start

Finish

2013

5/24

World of Outlaws

8

8

12

2012

11/3

World of Outlaws

19

7

25

 

11/2

World of Outlaws

25

DNQ

 

5/25

World of Outlaws

11

9

2

2011

11/5

World of Outlaws

6

5

1

 

11/4

World of Outlaws

7

1

1

 

5/27

World of Outlaws

11

9

3

2010

11/6

World of Outlaws

1

9

7

 

11/5

World of Outlaws

15

8

4

 

5/29

World of Outlaws

7

2

1

2009

11/7

World of Outlaws

1

5

6

 

11/6

World of Outlaws

1

3

2

 

5/22

World of Outlaws

2

1

3

2008

11/1

World of Outlaws

5

1

1

 

10/31

World of Outlaws

10

3

2

 

5/23

World of Outlaws

5

7

6

2007

11/3

World of Outlaws

2

8

4

 

11/2

World of Outlaws

1

2

2

 

5/25

World of Outlaws

4

5

1

2006

5/24

World of Outlaws

4

12

5

2003

5/24

World of Outlaws

5

17

8

2002

10/12

World of Outlaws

5

9

21

 

10/11

World of Outlaws

10

4

22

 

5/25

World of Outlaws

4

5

3

 

5/24

World of Outlaws

6

3

23

2001

10/6

World of Outlaws

3

2

 

10/5

World of Outlaws

5

9

3

 

5/26

World of Outlaws

2

10

3

5/25

World of Outlaws

1

3

6

2000

10/6

World of Outlaws

2

3

 

10/5

World of Outlaws

8

1

1

 

5/27

World of Outlaws

8

20

 

5/26

World of Outlaws

10

6

4

PRELIMINARY EVENT  DNC = Did not compete  

 

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