Bill Klingbeil: INDIANAPOLIS (May 30, 2013) – There is no rest in sight for the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series teams. And that’s just how Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz want it. The dirt-track stars have already raced 27 times in 2013 and have nearly 60 nights of racing still ahead of them before this year’s Outlaw champion will be declared. The schedule continues this week with a pair of races starting with Friday’s stop at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park and concluding with Saturday’s race at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich.
Schatz, the five-time and reigning WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion, is the series’ most recent winner. He raced the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J to victory Monday at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway to earn his fifth A-Feature win of the campaign and the 129th of his career. Kinser will be behind the wheel of TSR’s No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim looking to score his second A-Feature triumph of the season.
The WoO STP Sprint Car Series has staged 10 races at Attica Raceway Park, and Schatz and Kinser are the only two-time winners. The Outlaws’ scheduled stop at the 1/3-mile dirt oval last season was canceled because of rain but, in the three previous WoO races at the track, Schatz has been the driver to beat. In May 2008, he raced to his first career win at the track and, in May 2009, he led the first 31 laps of the WoO event before being collected by a lapped car. Two years ago, Schatz led the final 39 laps of the A-Feature to earn his first victory of the 2011 season.
Kinser was quick to figure out the fast way around the track, winning the inaugural Brad Doty Classic in the summer of 1989 the first night he turned laps there. That victory was the first of four consecutive triumphs at Attica. He won the Outlaws’ first visit to the track in May 1990 and was a winner again in August 1991. The Bloomington, Ind., racer finished sixth in Outlaws’ 2011 race at Attica.
Saturday’s race at I-96 will be the Outlaws’ 12th appearance at the track. Last year’s event was on a reconfigured 3/8-mile oval, but this season the track has returned to its original half-mile layout. Kinser leads all drivers with four WoO A-Feature victories at I-96. He earned his first win on the half-mile in 1997 and followed with wins in 2004, 2005 and 2008. Last June, “The King of the Outlaws” qualified seventh and raced from ninth to fourth in the 35-lap A-Feature.
A runner-up finish during the 2008 season is the best result for Schatz at I-96. He’s earned five top-10s in 10 starts at the Michigan dirt oval. In 2011, he finished fourth and, during last year’s stop at the track, he raced from 12th to sixth.
The TSR teams are coming off races in Charlotte, N.C., and Lawrenceburg. Kinser put together a complete night in Charlotte – qualifying fourth and finishing fifth in the 30-lap A-Feature – and earned his second top-five finish of the season. Schatz led 13 of 35 laps en route to his second career win at Lawrenceburg.
With 27 of the scheduled 85 races completed, Schatz holds the second position in the 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series season championship standings with 3,672 points and trails leader Daryn Pittman by 178 markers. He is tied with Pittman for most wins at five, and his 20 top-fives are second-most. Kinser continues to rank 10th with 3,334 points. He has one win, two top-fives and eight top-10s this season.
Friday at Attica Raceway Park, the pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. For more details, contact Attica Raceway Park at (419) 680-5606. The official Web site of Attica Raceway Park is www.atticaracewaypark.com.
Saturday at I-96 Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more details and ticket information, contact I-96 Speedway at (616) 642-0555. The official Web site of I-96 Speedway is www.i96speedway.com.
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:
Heading into a busy month of May, your goal was to gain consistency. Do you feel like you and the Bad Boy Buggies team are making the kind of progress you hoped?
“We’ve made some strides in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go. Our qualifying program still has us behind a little bit each night, but we were able to crack the top-five in Charlotte and that set us up for the rest of the night. We drove into the top-10 both at Eldora and Williams Grove, so that was encouraging, as well. We just need to be more consistent. After finishing fifth at Charlotte, we were hoping to have similar success in Lawrenceburg, but qualifying (33rd) really hurt our chances. We’ll keep working at it. There are a lot of races coming up and, if we can gain some consistency, we might be able to challenge for wins.”
With the races at Attica and I-96 this weekend, what sort of challenges do you expect?
“We know it’s going to be tough on Friday night heading into Attica. They have a strong group of regular racers there and, just like when we go to Williams Grove, those guys have a pretty good handle of what the track is going to do. We’ve had 40 or more cars there the past few times we’ve been there so, once again, qualifying is going to be important. The track usually slows down and the racing later in the night is pretty dicey. I’m looking forward to getting back on the half-mile at I-96, as well. I’ve always favored the bigger tracks, and that’s a place that seems to suit our program pretty well. I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
With three wins in the last seven races, it seems you and the STP team are starting to hit your stride. How do you continue to stay on this roll ?
“We just have to take care of the little things. Our motor, chassis and shock combination is working well, but we have to keep working to make it better. Our qualifying program is getting a little bit better, but we need it a lot better. Most of the time, you have to start close to the front to have a chance at winning. The weather is starting to get warmer and that usually is favorable to us. We succeed on slicker tracks and we’re beginning to get a better handle on these new Hoosier tires. If we can stay together as a team and have as much fun as we can, I feel like we can keep heading in the right direction. Winning is fun and that’s what we’re concentrating on.”
With wins in two of the last three races at Attica, you have to be excited about returning there this weekend. Is there something about the track that brings out your best?
“Attica is just one of those places that we got a pretty a good handle on the last few years. That doesn’t mean we’re automatically going to be a factor this week, but I do like racing there. The surface usually slows down and puts a lot on the driver. The STP guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Jim Oare) have put a good car underneath me consistently and we’ve been able to get to the front at Attica. It’s definitely a driver’s track where you have to be able to work lapped traffic and continue searching for the fastest way around the track. We’re going to give it our best shot and, hopefully, we’ll be able to get another win there.”
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.