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King Donny the XXXIII

Donny Schatz following his victory at the 33rd annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. (Bill Miller Photo)

Donny Schatz following his victory at the 33rd annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. (Bill Miller Photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Rossburg, OH — (July 16, 2016) — Donny Schatz remains atop the sprint car world to start the month of money for another summer following his victory at the 33rd annual Kings Royal on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway. Schatz took the lead from Brad Sweet and held off challenges from Christopher Bell and late race surge by Rico Abreu for the victory. The win was earned Schatz his third Kings Royal victory and 15th World of Outlaws win of the season.

After dropping back at the start Schatz used patience to let the race play out and for his car to come in during the later stages of the event.

We put a full load of fuel on and I was kind of in trouble at the beginning,” said Schatz. “You really have to pace yourself to not panic. I was kind of going backward and guys were ripping the bottom and kind of getting away from my all over, but I knew if I didn’t abuse my tires and didn’t get myself in trouble I was going to be able to come back.”

Towards the end Schatz had to hold off a surging Rico Abreu.

“I knew Rico would be coming. Rico is a gasser, Rico’s an awesome racer, he’s awesome person. If I was going to get beat by someone, which I don’t want to get beat, I was going to be okay if it was him. It just worked out the way it did and we were able to get the checkered first. “

Jamie Veal and Brian Brown started on the front row with Veal leading through two corners before Brown slid past Veal off of turn four to lead the opening lap. One lap later Sammy Swindell moved past Veal using the bottom of turn two. Swindell quickly closed in on Brown while Brad Sweet got around Veal for third on lap three.

With Swindell quickly catching Brown using the bottom on lap five when Brown changed his line through three and four and opened up a five can length lead. While Brown and Swindell jockeyed for position Sweet quickly closed on the lead duo with all three drivers utilizing the bottom of the track.

Behind the lead trio Bell began to make his presence felt at the front of the field. After starting 14th Bell was up to sixth by lap five and joined Veal and Bell racing for fourth position. Schatz soon moved past Veal and Bell followed suit.

While Schatz and Bell were picking up speed the race for the lead intensified on lap 10 when Swindell got a run on Brown on the bottom and took the lead in slower traffic. Swindell’s lead was short lived as Sweet passed Brown for second on lap 11 and two laps later drove around the top of Swindell for the lead.

As the leaders worked through traffic Schatz continued his march to the front disposing of Brown and Swindell on consecutive laps. Schatz quickly closed in on Sweet to challenge for the lead, capitalized on Sweet being held up in traffic racing side by side to take the lead. Sweet attempted to counter Schatz’s bid for the lead, but Schatz led lap 20 and started to pull away.

Shortly after Schatz took the lead the first caution flag appeared when Bryan Clauson had a flat right rear tire and slowed in turn four. The tire did enough damage that Clauson’s team was unable to make repairs for him to rejoin the field for the restart.

Schatz chose the inside line for the restart and found himself racing three wide for the lead into turn one with Swindell and Bell. Schatz came off the second corner with the lead while Bell took over the second spot from Swindell. Abreu managed to keep pace with Bell passing Swindell for third on lap 22. One lap later Sweet dropped Swindell out of the top five.

After gaining second place Bell quickly closed in on Schatz. Bell was glued to Schatz’s back bumper around the top of the race track until Bell caught the wall coming off turn four on lap 26. Bell slammed into the catch fence after riding the wall for a moment, and flipped on the front stretch. Bell emerged from the car frustrated but under his own power.

Following an open red flag Schatz chose the bottom again for the restart and held off Abreu’s initial challenge for the lead into turn one. Abreu kept pace with Schatz while Greg Wilson started to work up through the field into the fourth position by 28.

By lap 33 it became apparent Abreu was starting to close in on Schatz. With four laps to go Schatz caught the tail end of the field. This allowed Abreu to close in right in on the back bumper of Schatz. Schatz slipped once off turn four and Abreu setup his challenge for the lead. Abreu got one look under Schatz with two laps to go, but couldn’t make the pass. Abreu stayed close on the final lap, but could not gain enough momentum in the final corner as Schatz used the momentum off turn four to close out his third Kings Royal victory over Abreu and Sweet.

33rd Annual Kings Royal
World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series
Eldora Speedway
Rossburg, OH
Saturday July 16, 2016

Qualifications: 1. 29 – Kerry Madsen, 13.110; 2. 14 – Christopher Bell, 13.171; 3. 5 – David Gravel, 13.191; 4. 15 – Donny Schatz, 13.265; 5. 2 – Shane Stewart, 13.277; 6. 23 – Trey Starks, 13.372; 7. 83 – Joey Saldana, 13.394; 8. 24 – Rico Abreu, 13.418; 9. 41 – Jason Johnson, 13.419; 10. 71M – Dave Blaney, 13.421; 11. 1ST – Gary Taylor, 13.432; 12. 3 – James McFadden, 13.435; 13. 1B – Dale Blaney, 13.440; 14. 7S – Jason Sides, 13.441; 15. 5T – Travis Philo, 13.465; 16. 17W – Bryan Clauson, 13.484; 17. 19M – Brent Marks, 13.490; 18. 10H – Chad Kemenah, 13.490; 19. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 13.502; 20. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 13.505; 21. 1 – Sammy Swindell, 13.507; 22. 7 – Paul McMahan, 13.512; 23. 18 – Ian Madsen, 13.524; 24. 11N – Randy Hannagan, 13.530; 25. 49 – Brad Sweet, 13.536; 26. W20 – Greg Wilson, 13.548; 27. 33 – Danny Lasoski, 13.553; 28. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 13.575; 29. 21 – Brian Brown, 13.580; 30. 71 – Jamie Veal, 13.587; 31. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.590; 32. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 13.596; 33. 49D – Shawn Dancer, 13.598; 34. 59 – Jac Haudenschild, 13.603; 35. 22 – Cole Duncan, 13.609; 36. 41X – Dominic Scelzi, 13.627; 37. 21 – Cap Henry, 13.711; 18. 1A – Jacob Allen, 13.730; 39. 94 – Ryan Smith, 13.756; 40. 8M – T.J. Michael, 13.800; 41. 7W – Tasker Phillips, 13.832; 42. 56X – Ryan Myers, 13.858; 43. 2X – Parker Price-Miller, 13.866; 44. 70 – Danny Holtgraver, 13.898; 45. 12 – Daniel Harding, 13.943; 46. 00 – Dane Lorenc, 13.970; 47. 81 – Lee Jacobs, 14.011; 48. 6 – Bill Rose, 14.011; 49. 40 – Caleb Helms, 14.013; 50. 17 – Josh Baughman, 14.060; 51. 57X – Andrew Palker, 14.091; 52. 38 – D.J. Foos, 14.099; 53. 22B – Ryan Broughton, 14.171; 54. 22D – Josh Davis, 14.490; 55. 13 – Clyde Knipp, 14.648; 56. 49H – Bradley Howard, 14.663; 57. 83X – Adam Cruea, 14.768; 58. 45 – Bob Tucker, 15.686; 59. 60 – Kory Crabtree, NT; 60. 2M – Dustin Daggett, NT

Heat Race #1 (10 Laps): 1. 49 – Brad Sweet, 2. 83 – Joey Saldana, 3. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 4. 2B – Dale Blaney, 5. 29 – Kerry Madsen, 6. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 7. 21 – Cap Henry, 8. 40 – Caleb Helms, 9. 13 – Clyde Knipp, 10. 2 – Parker Price-Miller. (First three finishers transferred to the feature)

Heat Race #2 (10 Laps): 1. W20 – Greg Wilson, 2. 24 – Rico Abreu, 3. 14 – Christopher Bell, 4. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 5. 7S – Jason Sides, 6. 1A – Jacob Allen, 7. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 8. 17 – Josh Baughman, 9. 70 – Danny Holtgraver, 10. 49H – Bradley Howard. (First three finishers transferred to the feature)

Heat 3 Finish (10 Laps): 1. 1 – Sammy Swindell, 2. 41 – Jason Johnson, 3. 33 – Danny Lasoski, 4. 5 – David Gravel, 5. 94 – Ryan Smith, 6. 5T – Travis Philo, 7. 12 – Daniel Harding, 8. 49D – Shawn Dancer, 9. 59X – Andrew Palker, 10. 83X – Adam Cruea. (First three finishers transferred to the feature)

Heat 4 Finish (10 Laps): 1. 15 – Donny Schatz, 2. 7 – Paul McMahan, 3. 17W – Bryan Clauson, 4. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 5. 71M – Dave Blaney, 6. 8M – T.J. Michael, 7. 38 – D.J. Foos, 8. 00 – Dane Lorenc, 9. 59 – Jac Haudenschild, 10. 45 – Bob Tucker. (First three finishers transferred to the feature)

Heat 5 Finish (10 Laps): 1. 21 – Brian Brown, 2. 18 – Ian Madsen, 3. 10H – Chad Kemenah, 4. 2 – Shane Stewart, 5. 22 – Cole Duncan, 6. 1ST – Gary Taylor, 7. 7W – Tasker Phillips, 8. 22B – Ryan Broughton, 9. 81 – Lee Jacobs. DNS: 60 – Kory Crabtree. (First three finishers transferred to the feature)

Heat 6 Finish (10 Laps): 1. 35 – Jamie Veal, 2. 19M – Brent Marks, 3. 11N – Randy Hannagan, 4. 3 – James McFadden, 5. 23 – Trey Starks, 6. 41X – Dominic Scelzi, 7. 6 – Bill Rose, 8. 56 – Ryan Myers, 9. 22D – Josh Davis. (First three finishers transferred to the feature)

C-Main (12 Laps): 1. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 2. 6 – Bill Rose, 3. 59 – Jac Haudenschild, 4. 70 – Danny Holtgraver, 5. 40 – Caleb Helms, 6. 00 – Dane Lorenc, 7. 7W – Tasker Phillilps, 8. 57X – Andrew Palker, 9. 22B – Ryan Broughton, 10. 38 – D.J. Foos, 11. 13 – Clyde Knipp, 12. 22D – Josh Davis, 13. 83X – Adam Cruea, 14. 17 – Josh Baughman, 15. 45 – Bob Tucker, 16. 56R – Ryan Myers, 17. 49D – Shawn Dancer. DNS: 2X – Parker Price-Miller, 81 – Lee Jacobs, 49H – Bradley Howard, 2M – Dustin Daggett, 60 – Kory Crabtree.

Last Chance Showdown (15 Laps): 1. 2 – Shane Stewart, 2. 1B – Dale Blaney, 3. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 4. 7S – Jason Sides, 5. 3 – James McFadden, 6. 22 – Cole Duncan, 7. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 8. 70 – Danny Holtgraver, 9. 12 – Daniel Harding, 10. 1A – Jacob Allen, 11. 71M – Dave Blaney, 12. 40 – Caleb Helms, 13. 1ST – Gary Taylor, 14. 8M – T.J. Michael, 15. 21C – Cap Henry, 16. 6 – Bill Rose, 17. 5T – Travis Philo, 18. 41X – Dominic Scelzi, 19. 00 – Dan Lorenc, 20. 59 – Jac Haudenschild, 21. 94 – Ryan Smith, 22. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 23. 93 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 24. 23 – Trey Starks. (First four finishers transferred to the feature)

Feature (40 Laps): 1. 15 – Donny Schatz, 2. 24 – Rico Abreu, 3. 49 – Brad Sweet, 4. W20 – Greg Wilson, 5. 21 – Brian Brown, 6. 2 – Shane Stewart, 7. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 8. 41 – Jason Johnson, 9. 83 – Joey Saldana, 10. 18 – Ian Madsen, 11. 5 – David Gravel, 12. 1 – Sammy Swindell, 13. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 14. 7 – Paul McMahan, 15. 29 – Kerry Madsen, 16. 19M – Brent Marks, 17. 11N – Randy Hannagan, 18. 7S – Jason Sides, 19. 10H – Chad Kemenah, 20. 71 – Jamie Veal, 21. 14 – Christopher Bell, 22. 33 – Danny Lasoski, 23. 1B – Dale Blaney, 24. 17W – Bryan Clauson.

Lap Leaders: Brown 1-9, Swindell 10-12, Sweet 13-19, Schatz 20-40