Media Tabs Schatz to Repeat as World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Champion


Knoxville-Ad
Posted on Feb 4 2013 - 7:34pm by Bores4815

WoO-STP 2012Schatz, Saldana and Hodnett are favorites to win highest-paying events

Shawn Miller: CONCORD, N.C. – Feb. 4, 2013 - Donny Schatz has been designated as the favorite to win the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship in 2013.

A variety of 55 members of the sprint car media selected the five-time and reigning champion to garner the prestigious title again this season. They also tabbed Schatz to repeat as the winner of the Knoxville Nationals with Joey Saldana the favorite to claim the Kings Royal and Greg Hodnett the top pick to win the National Open.

Schatz ended last season by recording eight wins, 20 podiums and 24 top fives in the final 29 races to earn his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship since winning four straight from 2006-09 to become this season’s favorite.

“I don’t know if you’d say a favorite,” Schatz said. “There are a lot of competitive cars out there on the road with the World of Outlaws and at the tracks where we race. It keeps a guy on his toes. You can’t sit on your hands too long. You have to be game on and think outside the box to get a little bit of speed or do things a little better than anything else.

“We definitely want to be repeat champions. Going into this year I feel a lot more relaxed and a lot less weight on my shoulders.”

Almost exactly half of the voters picked Schatz as the No. 1 and he was the only driver to be on every ballot, which asked the media members to rank the top five for the 2013 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series title. Five points were awarded to first-place votes, four points to second-place votes and so on.

Schatz, who was voted as low as third a total of four times, earned 243 points. Craig Dollansky, who tied a career best with a second-place finish in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series last season, was voted second with 172 points and 15 first-place votes.

Sammy Swindell ranked third with 131 points and eight first-place votes with Steve Kinser (90 points) edging Joey Saldana (86 points) for fourth place. Kinser and Saldana each received two first-place votes.

Daryn Pittman, who returns full time to the series as a driver for Kasey Kahne Racing, was tabbed sixth (47 points). Kraig Kinser picked up one first-place vote and 24 points to rank seventh with Cody Darrah (10), Jason Sides (7) and Paul McMahan (6) rounded out the top 10.

Kerry Madsen, Dale Blaney, Hodnett, Chad Kemenah and Bryan Sebetto also received at least one point.

The media were also asked to select a winner in each of the three highest-paying events – the $150,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa; the $50,000-to-win Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio; and the $50,000-to-win National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Schatz, who has won the last two Knoxville Nationals and six of the last seven, was picked as the favorite in that event by 30 media members. Swindell, the 1983 winner, had 11 votes with 12-time Knoxville Nationals champion Steve Kinser third with six votes.

Saldana nabbed 18 votes to become the No. 1 selection for the Kings Royal, which he won in 2002 and 2006. Swindell – a three-time winner who claimed the event last season – ranked second with 12 votes and Schatz – the 2007 and 2009 champion – was third with seven votes.

Greg Hodnett had 13 votes to be favored as the National Open winner. Schatz, who won last season’s event to establish a record five National Open wins, is second with eight votes. McMahan was third with seven votes.

The 2013 season, which currently includes 89 races at 57 tracks in 25 states and three Canadian provinces, kicks off at the 42nd annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park near Barberville, Fla., with a three-day event beginning on Friday, Feb. 15.

Tickets can be ordered online by clicking WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets or by calling 877-395-8606. Every night is a doubleheader and there are FREE Fan Pit Passes with every ticket.

2013 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Media Poll:

1. Donny Schatz (27)…………………………………………………..243

2. Craig Dollansky (15)………………………………………………..172

3. Sammy Swindell (8)…………………………………………………131

4. Steve Kinser (2)………………………………………………………..90

5. Joey Saldana (2)………………………………………………………..86

6. Daryn Pittman …………………………………………………………47

7. Kraig Kinser (1)………………………………………………………..24

8. Cody Darrah……………………………………………………………10

9. Jason Sides.…………………………………………………………….7

10. Paul McMahan……………………………………………………….6

Others Receiving Votes: Kerry Madsen 4, Dale Blaney 2,

Greg Hodnett 1, Chad Kemenah 1, Bryan Sebetto 1.

Knoxville Nationals Favorite:

1. Donny Schatz………………………………………………………..30

2. Sammy Swindell…………………………………………………….11

3. Steve Kinser………………………………………………………….6

4. Craig Dollansky………………………………………………………3

5. Daryn Pittman ………………………………………………………..2

6. Brian Brown/Joey Saldana/Shane Stewart…………………1

Kings Royal Favorite:

1. Joey Saldana…………………………………………………………18

2. Sammy Swindell …………………………………………………….12

3. Donny Schatz ………………………………………………………..7

4. Dale Blaney…………………………………………………………..5

5. Craig Dollansky/Daryn Pittman………………………………………3

7. Steve Kinser/Kerry Madsen………………………………………….2

9. Chad Kemenah/Paul McMahan/Tim Shaffer………………………..1

National Open Favorite:

1. Greg Hodnett ……………………………………………………….13

2. Donny Schatz ……………………………………………………….8

3. Paul McMahan ………………………………………………………7

4. Daryn Pittman ……………………………………………………….6

5. Sammy Swindell……………………………………………………..5

6. Steve Kinser………………………………………………………….4

7. Cody Darrah/Craig Dollansky……………………………………….3

9. Dale Blaney/Lance Dewease/Danny Dietrich/

Doug Esh/Fred Rahmer/Tim Shaffer………………………………..1

The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), University of Northwestern Ohio, VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Vicci (Official Apparel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, KSE Racing Products, MSD Ignitions, Penske Shocks and Superflow Dynos; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Astro Titanium, ButlerBuilt, Fuel Safe, Intercomp, J&J Auto Racing, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and TNT Rescue.