Schatz Wins Wednesday Night Feature at Knoxville

From T.J. Buffenbarger, Mike Campbell Photo

Knoxville, IA — (Aug. 13th, 2003) – Donny Schatz won Wednesday night’s preliminary feature for the 43rd Annual Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals at the Knoxville Raceway. Schatz held off a last lap charge from Danny “The Dude” Lasoski to pick up the victory in the Parker Stores, Featherlite coaches sponsored J&J Chassis with Shaver power.

“I’m not sure how I did it”, said Schatz in the press room after the feature. “I saw the #20 on the board and knew he was coming.”

Chad Kemenah and Greg Hodnett were on the front row for the 25-lap preliminary feature event. It was third starting Joey Saldana taking the point though leading the field off turn two with Kemenah, Hodnett, and Schatz in tow. Then on lap two Hodnett ran on the top of the track with Kemenah on the bottom through turns one and two racing for the second position. The duo raced side by side down the backstretch until Kemenah maintained the position in turn three. Schatz then moved past Hodnett on lap four, then past Kemenah on the backstrem for second on lap five.

Lap seven saw Saldana’s lead in jepordy with Schatz closing the gap. Schatz looked to the low side of the track in turns one and two on lap seven, but could not make the pass. Schatz put the slide job on Saldana in turn one and into the lead. From there Schatz checked out as Hodnett and Kemenah continued to battle for third. Hodnett took the position in turn one on lap nine. Meanwhile Lasoski made up ground from getting boxed in at the start to move into sixth.

Hodnett was just about ready to move past Saldana when the caution flag appeared for NASCAR Busch Grand National series driver Kasey Kahne’s car on the fronstretch. Kahne’s motor quit running, and the crew was unable to repair the car for the restart.

Schatz was able to pull away during the restart as Hodnett moved to the top of the track to challenge Saldana. Lasoski also moved past Kemenah to take away the third position. Hodnett and Kemenah continued to race side by side until finally on lap 12 Hodnett took away Kemenah’s line in turn three to take the second position.

Lap thirteen saw Sammy Swindell and Lasoski racing for the fourth position. Lasoski used his patented low line to take away the position. Soon the duo caught up to third place Saldana. Lap fourteen saw Lasoski slip a bit off turn four and allow Swindell to pull along side. Lasoski managed to hold off Swindell and moved to the top of the track in turns three and four to dispose of Saldana for third on lap 16. One lap later Swindell pulled a slide job on Saldana in turn one to take over the fourth position.

While Schatz started to overtake slower cars Lasoski reeled in Hodnett and used the low line off the second corner to take away the second position. Schatz had a straightaway advantage until while working lap 22 Jesse Hockett blew a right rear tire and hit the wall between turns one and two. Hockett was uninjured, but was unable to continue.

Schatz had three lapped cars between himself and Lasoski for the restart. Lasoski disposed of two of the cars, but was unable to clear the third. This allowed Schatz to open up a sizeable advantage.

Shane Stewart and Paul McMahan were also moving through the field challenging Swindell for position. Just as that battle was heating up the caution flag appeared again for Chad Kemenah stopped facing backwards on the front stretch. Kemenah’s team was unable to make repairs for the restart.

This time Lasoski had only one lapped car between himself and Schatz. Lasoski immediately disposed of the lapped car and went after Schatz. Lasoski tried sliding through the middle of turns one and two and appeared to have momentium to clear Schatz. Schatz moved up the track though and took away Lasoski’s line. Lasoski had one more shot in turns three and four and looked to maybe have enough momentum to pull around Schatz, but it was not to be as Donny once again won the prelim feature at Knoxville. Lasoski, Hodnett, Shane Stewart, and McMahan rounded out the top five.

Swindell was the quick qualifier over the 50 car field with a lap of 15.286 seconds around the ½-mile oval. Hodnett, Stewart, Kahne, Jason Sides, and Lasoski won the heat race events. Toni Lutar won the C-Main, while the B-Main victory went to Kraig Kinser.

During the start of the first heat race Jeff Johnson and Johnny Herrera made contact in turn one with Herrera getting upside down in turn one. Johnson later returned for the C-Main while Herrera’s car was finished for the night.

43rd Annual Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals
Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, IA
Wednesday, August 13th, 2003

Time Trials: 1. 1, Sammy Swindell, Bartlett, TN, 15.286; 2. 11H, Paul McMahan, Bristol, IN, 15.303; 3. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND, 15.309; 4. 20, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO, 15.374; 5. 16, Erin Crocker, , 15.376; 6. 17, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN, 15.402; 7. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN, 15.462; 8. 12, Greg Hodnett, Memphis, TN, 15.475; 9. 15K, Chad Kemenah, Finlay, OH, 15.489; 10. 2L, Ed Lynch Jr, Apollo, PA, 15.529; 11. 70, Calvin Landis, , 15.563; 12. 4M, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK, 15.565; 13. 7, Jason Meyer, Clovis, CA, 15.577; 14. 80K, Mike Kertscher, , 15.603; 15. 4, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA, 15.628; 16. 5M, Mark Kinser, Oolitic, IN, 15.667; 17. 66, Brooke Tatnell, Sydney, Australia, 15.687; 18. 5, Johnny Herrera, Alburque, NM, 15.694; 19. 57A, Eric Vander Ploeg, , 15.711; 20. 2K, Kevin Frey, Mechanicsburg, PA, 15.738; 21. 83JR, Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA, 15.761; 22. 77, Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA, 15.765; 23. 10, Jaymie Moyle, Knoxville, IA, 15.766; 24. 75J, Jesse Hockett, , 15.77; 25. 91, John Sernett, Shakopee, MN, 15.788; 26. R19, Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD, 15.805; 27. 21X, Skip Jackson, Sydney, NSW, Aus, 15.851; 28. 4X, Tony Lutar, White Rock, BC, 15.916; 29. 36, Curt Trainer, Kokomo, IN, 15.924; 30. 7S, Jason Sides, Memphis, TN, 15.937; 31. 20A, Adam West, , 15.943; 32. 98, Bruce Robenalt, Tiffin, OH, 15.954; 33. 7TW, Brandon Wimmer, , 15.955; 34. 10C, Jeremy Campbell, , 15.96; 35. 51, Jan Howard, , 16.029; 36. 37, Joe Bustillos, , 16.053; 37. 50D, Derek Beckman, Runnels, IA, 16.058; 38. 11J, Jeff Johnson, Indianola, IA, 16.096; 39. 47, Matt Moro, Des Moines, IA, 16.134; 40. 69, Mike Moore, Des Moines, IA, 16.197; 41. 75, Ty Bartz, Sheboygan Falls, WI, 16.219; 42. 15M, Bobby Mincer, West Burlington, IA, 16.271; 43. 14A, Robert Altmeyer, Kittanning, PA, 16.382; 44. 1A, Eddie Leavitt, , 16.395; 45. X, Chuck Swenson, , 16.588; 46. 55KC, Bob Hildreth, Iowa Falls, IA, 16.888; 47. 35X, Greg Jones, , 16.929; 48. 43, Doug Strong, Billings, MT, 17.3; 49. 17X, Corey Haigh, Indianola, IA

First Heat: 1. Greg Hodnett; 2. Donny Schatz; 3. Jason Meyer; 4. Jaymie Moyle; 5. Brandon Wimmer; 6. Robert Altmeyer; 7. Doug Strong; 8. Jeff Johnson; 9. Johnny Herrera

Second Heat: 1. Shane Stewart; 2. Paul McMahan; 3. Lance Dewease; 4. Brooke Tatnell; 5. Skip Jackson; 6. Kraig Kinser; 7. Greg Jones; 8. Bruce Robenalt; 9. Derek Beckman

Third Heat: 1. Kasey Kahne; 2. Mark Kinser; 3. Sammy Swindell; 4. Joey Saldana; 5. Calvin Landis; 6. Adam West; 7. Ty Bartz; 8. Joe Bustillos; 9. Bob Hildreth; 10. Justin Henderson

Fourth Heat: 1. Jason Sides; 2. Ed Lynch Jr; 3. Erin Crocker; 4. Kevin Frey; 5. Mike Moore; 6. Jan Howard; 7. John Sernett; 8. Chuck Swenson; 9. Jon Agan

Fifth Heat: 1. Danny Lasoski; 2. Jeremy Campbell; 3. Chad Kemenah; 4. Jesse Hockett; 5. Matt Moro; 6. Eric Vander Ploeg; 7. Mike Kertscher; 8. Eddie Leavitt; 9. Curt Trainer

C Main: 1. Tony Lutar; 2. Justin Henderson; 3. Bobby Mincer; 4. Curt Trainer; 5. Derek Beckman; 6. Bob Hildreth

B Main: 1. Kraig Kinser; 2. Calvin Landis; 3. Skip Jackson; 4. Eric Vander Ploeg; 5. Mike Kertscher; 6. Jan Howard; 7. Brandon Wimmer; 8. Justin Henderson; 9. Matt Moro; 10. John Sernett; 11. Adam West; 12. Mike Moore; 13. Ty Bartz; 14. Chuck Swenson; 15. Tony Lutar; 16. Joe Bustillos; 17. Bruce Robenalt; 18. Eddie Leavitt; 19. Robert Altmeyer; 20. Greg Jones

A Main: 1. Donny Schatz; 2. Danny Lasoski; 3. Greg Hodnett; 4. Shane Stewart; 5. Paul McMahan; 6. Sammy Swindell; 7. Joey Saldana; 8. Mark Kinser; 9. Brooke Tatnell; 10. Jason Meyer; 11. Jaymie Moyle; 12. Jason Sides; 13. Skip Jackson; 14. Jeremy Campbell; 15. Erin Crocker; 16. Ed Lynch Jr; 17. Kraig Kinser; 18. Eric Vander Ploeg; 19. Lance Dewease; 20. Calvin Landis; 21. Kevin Frey; 22. Chad Kemenah; 23. Jesse Hockett; 24. Kasey Kahne