Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz Eager To Return to Bigger Tracks
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 19, 2013) – One of the many challenges of competing with the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series is being able to adapt to always-changing race conditions. Dirt-track racing has never been defined as an exact science and that usually results in unpredictable outcomes. There have been times, however, when Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teammates Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz have dominated to a point where it seems they have mastered the game. But, with the Outlaws, there always seems to be another race to win.
The next opportunity for victory for the TSR tandem is Friday, when the WoO STP Sprint Car Series schedule continues with the opening night of the 4-Crown Nationals at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The Outlaws will then travel to the Pittsburgh area Saturday for the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
With only eight races remaining in the 2013 campaign, each night is significant to the championship race. Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J, is chasing his sixth WoO championship and has some ground to make up. The Fargo, N.D., resident trails current points leader Daryn Pittman by 70 markers entering the weekend. The silver lining for Schatz may be that July stops at Eldora and Lernerville marked the beginning of a midseason surge that allowed him to chop 103 points off of Pittman’s lead during an eight-race stretch.
Schatz returns to one of the most iconic dirt tracks in the world looking to add to his career-best season win total of 20 A-Features. Last Friday, he became the sixth driver in WoO history to win 20 A-Features in one season by leading all 30 laps at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa. Schatz has not won at Eldora since claiming the 2009 Kings Royal, but he has been incredibly consistent on the high-banked, half-mile dirt oval. He has finished inside the top-eight in five consecutive races, including a third-place finish in July’s 40-lap Kings Royal.
Throughout his remarkable career, Kinser has always relished the opportunity to race at Eldora. The 20-time WoO champion will be looking for his 35th career WoO A-Feature win at the track Friday behind the wheel of the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim. Kinser earned the first of his 575 career WoO A-Feature wins at Eldora in May 1978, and clinched his first Outlaw championship at the legendary track later that season. His most recent win at Eldora came in dramatic fashion back in July 2010, when he passed Kerry Madsen on the final lap to capture his seventh career Kings Royal triumph.
Following Friday’s appearance at Eldora, Schatz and Kinser will make their second appearance of the season on the 4/10-mile dirt oval in western Pennsylvania. Kinser is a 17-time winner at Lernerville. He won the Outlaws’ debut at the track in August 1979, and also won the track’s biggest Sprint-car race in July 2008, when he outdueled Schatz to win the 40th anniversary Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and pocketed $40,000.
Schatz will be looking to win his second race of the season at Lernerville Saturday. He won July’s opening Silver Cup feature and charged from 19th to seventh in the second 30-lap race. Schatz is a five-time winner at the facility and has finished first or second in each of the last three Commonwealth Clash A-Features. In 2010, he passed Paul McMahan midway through the 35-lap A-Feature en route to victory. The following season, he pressured Jason Meyers throughout the main event but finished second. Last season, he chased Dale Blaney to the finish.
Through 68 WoO A-Features this season, Schatz leads the series with his 20 wins and is tied with Pittman for most top-10s with 55. Kinser remains eighth in the standings as a result of his two victories, nine top-fives and 31 top-10s this season.
Friday at Eldora, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 2:30 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at (937) 338-3815 or visit www.EldoraSpeedway.com.
Saturday at Lernerville, the pit gates will open at 4 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at (724) 353-1511 or visit www.Lernerville.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:
After competing primarily on short tracks since the Knoxville Nationals in early August, how excited are you to return to big tracks like Eldora and Lernerville?
“We always look forward to going to Eldora, but even more this week. It’s been what seems like a really long time since we have seen any half-mile tracks. I’ve always said these Sprint cars are built to race on half-miles, where you can use all the horsepower and really get the car working. Both Eldora and Lernerville have been really good tracks for us over the years and that always gets you excited to get back there. It was a long tour out West, but everyone has had a few days being back home. We’ve been working hard here at the shop and I feel like we’re ready to get back to the track. We’ve only got a handful of races left, so we’re going to do everything we can to get our Bad Boy Buggies car out front and see if we can be in the mix at the end of the night.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
You have been through a number of championship chases during the past seven seasons. With eight races remaining, what is your mindset with regard to the championship picture?
“We have been running really well and winning races the past couple of months, and that’s all we can concentrate on. The STP guys have given me an extremely fast racecar and we’ve been able to take advantage of a few things. For the last eight races, we’re going to places where we have had success in the past and our expectations are to continue that. All we can do is keep shooting for wins and see where things stack up when we get to Charlotte. That’s really the only time you can worry about where things stand as far as a lead or a deficit in the standings. It starts this weekend and we’re going to need some cooperation from Mother Nature. In the past couple of years, I’ve felt really good at Eldora but we’ve come up just short in our bid for wins. Twice this year, we’ve run second most of the race and I felt like I had a chance to win both races. Then it’s on to Lernerville, where we’ve have been able to win some races, recently. We simply have to focus on continuing that success and doing everything we can to win races this weekend. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.”
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.