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Schatz perseveres to win at Volusia

Donny Schatz following his feature victory on Saturday night at Volusia Speedway Park. (Alan Holland / hoseheads.com Pho)

Donny Schatz following his feature victory on Saturday night at Volusia Speedway Park. (Alan Holland / hoseheads.com Pho)

From Aaron Fielder

Barberville, FL — (February 14, 2015) —  Nothing could keep Donny Schatz down Saturday night as he looked for his first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of 2015 on night five of DIRTcar Nationals sprint week at Volusia Speedway Park.

A solid night turned to potential disaster for the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver when he developed engine trouble during his second place Dash run.

“We broke a valve spring in the dash with two laps to go,” Schatz said. “We could have taken the chance to run the engine.”

The team opted not to and began the scramble to replace the engine with just the Last Chance Showdown separating them from the feature. As the field began rolling out to the racing surface for the A main, Schatz’s team pushed the No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies car out, fired the engine and prepared for the 30 laps ahead.

“We did not get a chance to adjust the racecar there,” Schatz said.

In spite of that, Schatz delivered a stand out performance.

Steve Kinser led the field to the green flag but it was Joey Saldana who led the first lap. From his third place starting position, the ‘Brownsburg Bullitt’ powered past Schatz and Kinser. Kinser faltered through the early laps and slipped back.

“I couldn’t get off of one and two,” said Kinser, a 20-time World of Outlaws champion. “I should have known as slow as I was to jump up on the top and that’s the only place I could run. Instead I sat there and ran myself back to fifth and then just had to run hard.”

As Kinser fell back, Schatz began to reel in Saldana. On lap seven, Schatz got the opportunity he needed, catching Saldana off of turn four. Schatz had the advantage as the two headed into turn one. Onto the backstretch, Schatz led with Saldana in pursuit. Through turns three and four, Saldana tried to retake the position, but Schatz held him off.

As the six-time champion built up his lead, Lasoski began challenging Saldana for second – a position he took over on lap 15. With Kinser moving forward, he and Saldana began a pitched battle for the third position. The two drivers traded the position back and forth for much of the next 10 laps.

“I saw him there one time,” Kinser said of seeing Saldana behind him. “I finally caught [turn] two a little better and down the back chute. Once I did that I thought I was alright. I definitely killed the tires but we’re not going to complain.”

Kinser finished the night in third with his No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies car.

Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, worked to catch Schatz in the closing laps but was not able to chase him down.

“[The track] took a little rubber off of two up on top and I didn’t know it was there,” Lasoski said. “I kept slipping up and accidentally found it. I see why Donny was getting such a shot down the backstretch but that’s why he’s a six-time champion.”

Lasoski finished the night in second.

After a late engine change and 23 laps led, Schatz credited his crew for their hard work and perseverance through the night. It was the 174th win of Schatz’s career.

“They do a phenomenal job,” Schatz said of his crew. “They got us out for the feature. Like I said, it wasn’t pretty. We needed to make some adjustments – we just didn’t have the time. So the car wasn’t the greatest but it managed to get a win. I’m happy about it. I was really wanting a gator.”

Greg Hodnett maintained the lead in his quest to win the DIRTcar Nationals sprint week championship and the coveted ‘Big Gator.’ He leads Daryn Pittman by five points. Pittman’s Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb teammate Brad Sweet is third, 23 points out of the lead.

Chad Kemenah was the night’s KSE Hard Charger, advancing nine positions to finish in 13th.

Racing returns to Volusia Speedway Park Sunday night as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series takes on night six of DIRTcar Nationals and the final night of sprint week. The series joins the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds on the half-mile track. Tickets are still available for DIRTcar Nationals at http://www.WorldofOutlaws.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-395-8606. Watch and listen live to DIRTcar Nationals athttp://www.DIRTVision.com.

Follow the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WorldofOutlaws, like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws, or check out the latest videos on YouTube atwww.youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws.

DIRTcar NATIONALS NOTES: Kerry Madsen took home the quicktime on Saturday night with a lap of13.048. It was the second night in a row Madsen scored the quicktime… The top-three finishers, Schatz, Lasoski and Kinser, have 27 of the series’ 36 championships between them… Schatz, Lasoski, Kinser and Tim Shaffer all won their heat races tonight

DIRTcar NATIONALS SPRINT WEEK CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1. 27-Greg Hodnett, 1921; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman, 1916; 3. 49-Brad Sweet, 1898; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen, 1897; 5. 71M-Joey Saldana, 1874; 6. 51-Paul McMahan, 1855; 7. 15-Donny Schatz, 1854; 8. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 1853; 9. 7S-Jason Sides, 1841; 10. 83-David Gravel, 1810

SEASON WINNERS: Daryn Pittman – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 13); Donny Schatz – 1(Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14)

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.; Feb. 14, 2015

A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [2] [$10,000]; 2. 2L-Danny Lasoski [5] [$5,500]; 3. 11-Steve Kinser [1] [$3,200]; 4. 27-Greg Hodnett [12] [$2,800]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [10] [$2,500]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [13] [$2,300]; 7. 71M-Joey Saldana [3] [$2,200]; 8. 7S-Jason Sides [11] [$2,100]; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen [8] [$2,050]; 10. 9-Daryn Pittman [6] [$2,000]; 11. 83-David Gravel [15] [$1,500]; 12. 1s-Logan Schuchart [17] [$1,200]; 13. 10H-Chad Kemenah [22] [$1,100]; 14. 1A-Jacob Allen [9] [$1,050]; 15. 41-Jason Johnson [19] [$1,000]; 16. 59-Danny Holtgraver [18] [$900]; 17. 51-Paul McMahan [4] [$800]; 18. 4-Cody Darrah [23] [$800]; 19. 1-Lucas Wolfe [14] [$800]; 20. 24-Terry McCarl [20] [$800]; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser [21] [$800]; 22. 14K-Dale Blaney [24] [$800]; 23. 45-Tim Shaffer [7] [$800]; 24. 98H-Dave Blaney [16] [$800]. Lap Leaders:Joey Saldana 1-7, Donny Schatz 8-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 10H-Chad Kemenah [+9]

Qualifying – 1. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.048; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.050; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana, 13.095; 4. 51-Paul McMahan, 13.123; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.171; 6. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.178; 7. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.210; 8. 27-Greg Hodnett, 13.211; 9. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.221; 10. 1-Lucas Wolfe, 13.228; 11. 83-David Gravel, 13.239; 12. 11-Steve Kinser, 13.254; 13. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.268; 14. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 13.271; 15. 45-Tim Shaffer, 13.276; 16. 98H-Dave Blaney, 13.303; 17. 1s-Logan Schuchart, 13.328; 18. 59-Danny Holtgraver, 13.338; 19. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.344; 20. 7-Craig Dollansky, 13.404; 21. 63-Kody Swanson, 13.407; 22. 24-Terry McCarl, 13.413; 23. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, 13.463; 24. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.495; 25. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.508; 26. 4-Cody Darrah, 13.520; 27. 14K-Dale Blaney, 13.530; 28. iO7-Steve Buckwalter, 13.536; 29. 4S-Danny Smith, 13.590; 30. 12-Robbie Stillwagon, 13.789; 31. 71MX-Paul May, 14.204 32. 77X-Wayne Johnson, No Time

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 2. 2-Shane Stewart [2]; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen [4]; 4. 1A-Jacob Allen [3]; 5. 10H-Chad Kemenah [7]; 6. 1s-Logan Schuchart [5]; 7. 63-Kody Swanson [6]; 8. 4S-Danny Smith [8]

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 2L-Danny Lasoski [1]; 2. 1-Lucas Wolfe [2]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman [4]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [3]; 5. 24-Terry McCarl [6]; 6. 59-Danny Holtgraver [5]; 7. 4-Cody Darrah [7]; 8. 12-Robbie Stillwagon [8]

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 45-Tim Shaffer [1]; 2. 71M-Joey Saldana [4]; 3. 83-David Gravel [2]; 4. 7S-Jason Sides [3]; 5. 14K-Dale Blaney [7]; 6. 41-Jason Johnson [5]; 7. 71MX-Paul May [8]; 8. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr [6]

Heat 4 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 11-Steve Kinser [2]; 2. 27-Greg Hodnett [3]; 3. 11K-Kraig Kinser [6]; 4. 51-Paul McMahan [4]; 5. 98H-Dave Blaney [1]; 6. 7-Craig Dollansky [5]; 7. iO7-Steve Buckwalter [7]

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 11-Steve Kinser [2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana [4]; 4. 51-Paul McMahan [3]; 5. 2L-Danny Lasoski [7]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman [5]; 7. 45-Tim Shaffer [8]; 8. 29-Kerry Madsen [6]

Last Chance Showdown – (12 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 1s-Logan Schuchart [1] [-]; 2. 41-Jason Johnson [3] [-]; 3. 4-Cody Darrah [6] [-]; 4. 59-Danny Holtgraver [2] [-]; 5. 63-Kody Swanson [5] [$300]; 6. 7-Craig Dollansky [4] [$250]; 7. 4S-Danny Smith [8] [$225]; 8. 12-Robbie Stillwagon [9] [$200]; 9. 71MX-Paul May [10] [$200]; 10. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr [11] [$200]; 11. iO7-Steve Buckwalter [7] [$200]

World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Championship Standings

Pos

Car

Driver

Total

Diff

Wins

Top 5’s

Top 10’s

QT

1

15

Donny Schatz

296

0

0

2

2

0

2

27

Greg Hodnett

286

-10

0

2

2

0

3

9

Daryn Pittman

280

-16

0

1

2

0

4

49

Brad Sweet

280

-16

0

2

2

0

5

71M

Joey Saldana

278

-18

0

1

2

0

6

2

Shane Stewart

272

-24

0

0

2

0

7

33

Danny Lasoski

268

-28

0

1

1

0

8

29

Kerry Madsen

264

-32

0

0

2

2

9

83

David Gravel

262

-34

0

0

2

0

10

7s

Jason Sides

262

-34

0

0

1

0

11

51

Paul McMahan

254

-42

0

0

1

0

12

11

Steve Kinser

248

-48

0

1

1

0

13

41J

Jason Johnson

246

-50

0

0

0

0

14

14K

Dale Blaney

242

-54

0

0

1

0

15

1S

Logan Schuchart

236

-60

0

0

0

0

16

11k

Kraig Kinser

232

-64

0

0

0

0

17

4

Cody Darrah

232

-64

0

0

0

0

18

24

Terry McCarl

226

-70

0

0

0

0

19

45

Tim Shaffer

224

-72

0

0

0

0

20

98H

Dave Blaney

216

-80

0

0

0

0