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Schatz Wins Thursday Feature For the Ages at Knoxville

Donny Schatz in victory lane after his preliminary victory during the 2002 Knoxville Nationals. - Jim Fisher / FSC Pictorial

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Knoxville, IA — (August 8th, 2002) — Donny Schatz came out on top of a tremendous battle with Tyler Walker and Danny Lasoski to take the victory Thursday night at the Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals. For Schatz, Walker, and Lasoski swapped the lead back and forth several times, even racing three wide on occasion before Schatz took command on lap 23 and pulled away the last two laps to take the victory in the Parker Stores sponsored #15 car.

“I really got mad after that false restart” said Schatz. “That broke my concentration a little. I started taking it easy in lapped cars, and slipped through the middle one time. It only takes one time with this bunch and they (Walker and Lasoski) got by me. We worked out way back up front though and I was screamin’ in my helmet about lap 22 because I knew I had it won because they (Walker and Lasoski) had been sliding each other back and forth before. That is what let me close back in on them.”

Shane Stewart and Walker started on the front row for the 25-lap preliminary feature. Stewart led field and Walked dropped back moving Greg Hodnett and Schatz moved into second and third. Schatz immediate challenged Hodnett for the position. Schatz and Hodnett raced side by side with Schatz taking the position on lap two using the high side.

On lap four Johnny Herrera and Sammy Swindell raced for the fifth position. While Herrera and Swindell battled Jac Haudenschild joined the fray to make it a three car battle. Walker quickly recovered from his bad start and start challenging Hodnett for the third position. Meanwhile Haudenschild moved past Swindell on the high side into sixth with Lasoski moving up to the seventh position.

Then on lap five Schatz moved past Stewart in turn four and took the lead. Hodnett quickly follwed Schatz through to take the second position and move Stewart back to the third spot. Then on lap six Tony Norem came to a rest at the top of turn one. Norem’s car had no brakes or steering, as his car turned down the track right in front of Lasoski, who avoided contact with Norem. Norem retired from the event.

Schatz pulled away from Hodnett at the restart. Then in turn three Stewart ran his car through the middle and spun in front of the entire field. Everyone else behind Stewart avoided contact as the yellow came out. Stewart restarted at the tail of the field.

Starter Doug Clark called the next restart back as he felt Schatz did not bring the field down properly. On the restart Walker threw a big slide job on Hodnett to take the second position. Hodnett then had to deal with Haudenschild racing for third into turn three. Haudenschild ran the low side to take the position. Before the drivers crossed the line Blake Feese got together with Randy Anderson and flipped hard in turn four. Jeff Mitrisin also piled into the fence hard trying to avoid the accident. Feese and Anderson were un-injured while Mitrisin was transported to a local hospital with leg pain. Feese retired from the event.

Schatz led Hodnett, Walker, Herrera, and Haudenschild to the restart. Hodnett went to the low side to block another Walker slide job, but Walker raced to the top and moved around Hodnett coming out of turn two to take the second position. On lap seven Lasoski continued his charge to the front and moved into the fifth position. Hodnett then had Haudenschild to deal with again as “the Wild Child” moved into the third position on lap eight in turn three.

Hodnett continued to drop back as Lasoski pulled the slide job through turn two to take fourth from Hodnett. Just then Schatz began to encounter lapped traffic and allowed Walker to close in. The lapped car of Mock picked Walker though on lap 13 and allowed Schatz to open up some distance between himself and Walker. By lap 15 Schatz had opened a nine-tenths of a second advantage over Walker. Meanwhile Lasoski dove to the bottom in turn four and took over third position from Haudenschild.

On lap 17 the battle became heated when Schatz was caught in lapped traffic in turn two. Walker was right there. On lap 18 Walker pulled the slide job on Schatz in turn four to take the lead. Soon it was Walker, Schatz, and Lasoski all together in lapped traffic. Lasoski dove to the bottom in turn two and took away the second position from Schatz. Walker went high on lap 20 with Lasoski on the bottom for the lead. Schatz was right there. The trio then raced three wide down the backstretch on lap 20 with Walker high, Schatz middle, and Lasoski down low. Then on lap 21 the trio raced three wide again down the backstretch with Lasoski gaining the top position.

Then on lap 22 Schatz threw a big slide job on Lasoski in turn two and the drivers almost made contact. Walker also surged ahead into the second position. Schatz them pulled away as Lasoski worked to fend off the advances of Haudenschild.

Up front though it was all Schatz taking the victory over Walker, Lasoski, Haudenschild, and Mark Kinser from 21st raced up to fifth.

“Anyone that thinks the World of Outlaws does not have a future should look at these two guys”, said Lasoski. “They did a hell of a job.”

Lasoski was visably in pain during the press conference.

” This is the first time I have ever fell out of the seat. It was all I could do to just finish” said Lasoski while icing his ankle.


1. Danny Lasoski, Dover MO, Stewart Mtrsprt 20 , 15.277 2. Jac Haudenschild, Wooster OH, Forbrook 5 , 15.283 3. Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque NM, Wilburn 2W , 15.338 4. Stevie Smith, New Oxford PA, Helm Racing 11H , 15.599 5. Jeff Mitrisin, Oskaloosa IA, Mitrisin 5J , 15.674 6. Mark Kinser, Oolitic IN, Kinser 5M , 15.693 7. Greg Hodnett, Memphis TN, Apple Mtrsports 12A , 15.693 8. Sammy Swindell, Germantown TN, Roth Mtrsports 83JR, 15.720 9. Donny Schatz, Fargo ND, Schatz 15 , 15.730 10. Tyler Walker, Los Angeles CA, C&W Mtrsprts 35 , 15.732 11. Kraig Kinser, Bloomington IN, Kinser Racing. 11K , 15.777 12. Justin Henderson, Beersford SD, Carnahan R19 , 15.794 13. Brent Antill, Huxley IA, Jordan Bros 1 , 15.901 14. Shane Stewart, Bixby OK, Holbrook 8H , 15.925 15. Jeff Swindell, Memphis TN, Goodson 6S , 15.943 16. P.J. Chesson, Far Hills NJ, Chesson 76 , 15.970 17. Byron Reed, Monclova OH, B & S Racing 5R , 15.992 18. Kerry Madsen, Penrith NSW AU, Gunder 82 , 16.004 19. Matt Moro, Des Moines IA, T&M Mtrsprts 2M , 16.013 20. Blake Feese, Saybrook IL, Feese 1F , 16.018 21. Jim Cameron, Cameron MO, Wells 96C , 16.021 22. Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro IN, THR Racing 1X , 16.023 23. Larry Ball Jr., Knoxville IA, Stroud 1S , 16.026 24. Ricky Logan, Little Rock AR, CRS Racing 3S , 16.029 25. Terry McCarl, Pleasant Hill IA, McCarl 24 , 16.035 26. Kim Mock, Kenosha WI, Osbourne&Mock 1M , 16.040 27. Danny Smith, Danville IN, Webb 51 , 16.063 28. Jerrod Hull, Sikeston MO, Dereau 50 , 16.117 29. Kevin Frey, Chambersburg PA.,Frey 2K , 16.140 30. Wayne Johnson, Mustang OK, Threatt 29 , 16.143 31. Randy Anderson, Clarion IA.,VanKeirsbilck 02X , 16.146 32. Lynton Jeffrey, Syndey NSW AU, Jeffrey 4K , 16.149 33. Don Droud Jr., Lincoln NE.,Ver Meer 55 , 16.192 34. Jason Meyers, Clovis CA, Carter/ 14 , 16.194 35. John Sernett, Savage MN, Sernett 91 , 16.199 36. Todd Hepfner, Pewaukee WI, Hepfner 28H , 16.218 37. Tim St. Arnold, Des Moines IA, Kinney Racing 7SA, 16.231 38. Randy Martin, California MO, Diamond Mtrsprt 14M , 16.238 39. Manny Rockhold, Pekin IL.,Gould 02 , 16.241 40. Travis Cram, Snohomish WA, Cram 92T , 16.245 41. Larry Pinegar II, Des Moines IA, Pinegar II 11L , 16.246 42. Tony Norem, Dassell MN, Sonner 47 , 16.336 43. Brian Carlson, Linden IN, Carlson 18 , 16.347 44. Peter Murphy, Fresno CA, Williams 0 , 16.348 45. Scotty Neitzel, Beaver Dam WI, Neitzel 2WX, 16.376 46. Dean Jacobs, Wooster OH, Gleason 21G , 16.377 47. Darren Stewart, Bixby OK, Stewart 9S , 16.456 48. Jaymie Moyle, Bridgwater AUST , VanderEcken 10 , 16.458 49. Tim Monson, Lakefield MN, Woodke 1WM, 16.475 50. Travis Rilat, Texas City TX, Archer 1A , 16.515 51. Bruce Robenalt, Tiffin OH, Robenalt 98 , 16.735 52. Ryan Jamison, W Burlington IA, Jamison 51J , 16.747 53. Destiny Hays, Oroville CA, Hays 20D , 16.870 54. Wayne Modjeski, Caledonia WI, NMZ Mtrsprts 77M , 16.902 55. Troy Meyer, Sioux Falls SD, Meyer 11M , 16.905 56. Kurt Winker, Kenosha Wi, Winker 10W , 16.928 57. Steven King, Jetmore KS, King Family 88K , 17.011 58. Bob Altmeyer, Kittanning PA, Altmeyer Vet 14A , 17.048 59. Curt Trainer, Kokomo IN, Busch 36 , 17.096 60. Steve Cushman, Phoenix AZ, Cushman 30 , 17.238 61. Kris Spitz, Kenosha WI, Spitz 4KS, 17.441 62. Randy Plath, Stronghurst IL.,Plath Mtrsprts 14P , 18.705

HEAT 1 10 Laps
1. Todd Hepfner, 2. Danny Lasoski, 3. Kim Mock, 4. Randy Anderson, 5. Mark Kinser, 6. Larry Pinegar II, 7. Dean Jacobs, 8. Kraig Kinser, 9. P.J. Chesson, 10. Jim Cameron,

HEAT 2 10 Laps
1. Tony Norem, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Randy Hannagan, 4. Jac Haudenschild, 5. Danny Smith, 6. Lynton Jeffrey, 7. Byron Reed, 8. Justin Henderson, 9. Darren Stewart, 10. Tim St. Arnold,

HEAT 3 10 Laps
1. Jaymie Moyle, 2. Sammy Swindell, 3. Kerry Madsen, 4. Johnny Herrera, 5. Brent Antill, 6. Jerrod Hull, 7. Larry Ball Jr., 8. Randy Martin, 9. Brian Carlson, 10. Don Droud Jr.,

HEAT 4 10 Laps
1. Jason Meyers, 2. Ricky Logan, 3. Shane Stewart, 4. Donny Schatz, 5. Stevie Smith, 6. Tim Monson, 7. Peter Murphy, 8. Kevin Frey, 9. Matt Moro, 10. Manny Rockhold,

HEAT 5 10 Laps
1. Travis Cram, 2. Blake Feese, 3. Tyler Walker, 4. John Sernett, 5. Jeff Mitrisin, 6. Terry McCarl, 7. Wayne Johnson, 8. Jeff Swindell, 9. Scotty Neitzel, 10. Travis Rilat,

1. Ryan Jamison. 2. Steven King. 3. Wayne Modjeski. 4. Bruce Robenalt. 5. Troy Meyer. 6. Steve Cushman. 7. Bob Altmeyer. 8. Kris Spitz. 9. Destiny Hays. 10. Kurt Winker. 11. Curt Trainer. 12. Randy Plath.

1. Matt Moro. 2. P.J. Chesson. 3. Don Droud Jr.. 4. Travis Rilat. 5. Scotty Neitzel. 6. Jim Cameron. 7. Manny Rockhold. 8. Wayne Modjeski. 9. Steven King. 10. Brian Carlson. 11. Ryan Jamison. 12. Bruce Robenalt. 13. Troy Meyer. 14. Bob Altmeyer. 15. Steve Cushman. 16. Kris Spitz. 17. Tim St. Arnold. 18. Darren Stewart.

1. Mark Kinser. 2. Stevie Smith. 3. Terry McCarl. 4. Jeff Mitrisin. 5. Jeff Swindell. 6. Justin Henderson. 7. Danny Smith. 8. Brent Antill. 9. Larry Ball Jr.. 10. Kevin Frey. 11. P.J. Chesson. 12. Matt Moro. 13. Jerrod Hull. 14. Kraig Kinser. 15. Larry Pinegar II. 16. Byron Reed. 17. Lynton Jeffrey. 18. Peter Murphy. 19. Tim Monson. 20. Randy Martin. 21. Wayne Johnson. 22. Dean Jacobs.

1. Donny Schatz. 2. Tyler Walker. 3. Danny Lasoski. 4. Jac Haudenschild. 5. Mark Kinser. 6. Johnny Herrera. 7. Ricky Logan. 8. Greg Hodnett. 9. Kerry Madsen. 10. Stevie Smith. 11. Jason Meyers. 12. Jaymie Moyle. 13. Terry McCarl. 14. Shane Stewart. 15. Sammy Swindell. 16. Travis Cram. 17. Randy Hannagan. 18. Randy Anderson. 19. Todd Hepfner. 20. Kim Mock. 21. John Sernett. 22. Blake Feese. 23. Jeff Mitrisin. 24. Tony Norem.


Check out Jim Fisher’s gallery from this event on FSC