From Aaron Fielder
Edmonton, AB — (August 28, 2015) — Donny Schatz waited patiently Friday night at the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway as Shane Stewart and Joey Saldana battled each other for the lead for the first two-thirds of the race. When the moment was right, Schatz struck, sliding past the two drivers, then first and second, to take over the lead and eventually score his 26th World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
“I don’t know that we were probably as good as what Shane and Joey were but we just kept running different grooves and got to traffic and had to wait for them to make a mistake,” Schatz said. “I don’t know what happened but all I know is I came out of there and I didn’t see them in front of me anymore. That’s always good for when you’re trying to pass.”
Schatz, who hovered around third most of the night in his No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance car after starting the feature in fifth, found himself in the position on lap 24 as Stewart and Saldana worked their way through traffic. With Saldana on his bumper bar, Stewart caught up with Jason Sides and made contact with the wall before making slight contact with Saldana. The chain of events was the break Schatz needed as he drove by.
The win is the 199th career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory for Schatz and fourth straight at Castrol Raceway.
David Gravel took home the quick time earlier in the night after a lap of 13.359 seconds in qualifying. Stewart and Saldana led the field to the green flag in the feature following a tight battle in the Dash.
Cautions plagued much of the feature, stopping action eight times throughout the main event. As Schatz rose through the field, taking over third by lap five, one constant was the tight battle between Stewart and Saldana. On at least two occasions, Saldana battled past Stewart on a restart only to have the caution fly before a lap could be completed.
On lap nine after several laps of racing, disaster nearly struck for the two leaders as several cars were caught up in a crash in turns three and four. As the field bunched up and the yellow began to wave, Saldana and Stewart weaved their way through, splitting cars and avoiding contact all while maintaining the battle for the lead.
Saldana finally did get around Stewart’s No. 2 Eneos/GoPro/KickIt car for the lead on lap 16, as another caution reset the field. Saldana took the high line in turns one and two and Stewart was not able to close the door. He went on to lead lap 16 and the subsequent six laps.
As Saldana began working his way through the back of the pack, the small lead he had built over Stewart and Schatz evaporated. Stewart was all over Saldana eventually, briefly, retaking the lead, but the lapped traffic proved a formidable foe.
“Just trying to get around Sides and he entered in the middle of the track,” Stewart said of the incident that cost he and Saldana. “I thought he was going to stay there and he just kind of kept coming and got into me. He never saw me. Typically, he doesn’t go that high on the race track.”
Schatz got around both drivers in one fell swoop. One more yellow flag lay ahead for the drivers but Schatz easily jumped out to the lead and scored the victory.
“We definitely didn’t have the best car,” Schatz said. “But with the best team these guys will definitely go back and try to make it better and see if we can’t be a little better tomorrow night.”
Stewart, who finished second to Schatz was disappointed for the night that could have been.
“We had a great car,” Stewart said. “I had a good enough car to win that race pretty easily. I wasn’t really sure what to do on all those restarts. I know Joey kept getting a run on me but I felt like if I could get off of four really well he wouldn’t be able to get to me and on that last one he got to me… You’ve got have a little bit of luck. When you do get on the front row you’ve got to be able to take advantage of it. It felt like we were able to do that tonight, I just got caught up with a lap car.”
Saldana was all smiles as he climbed from his No. 71M Motter Equipment car. The driver and his team have hit their stride in recent weeks and have found success with a series of podium finishes.
“It was a good third place,” Saldana said. “This is a fun little race track and lap traffic was just crazy. That is pretty much what got me and Shane, and Donny just snookered us both. That’s the way to goes. We had a good car, these have been the two best cars all season so we were hanging right with them tonight but obviously you can see we’re third not first or second, so we’ve got to get a little bit better.
“The guys are working really hard. The Motter car has been fast every time we’ve been out, it’s just trying to seal it up and get a win, the hard part. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow.”
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action tomorrow night at Castrol Raceway for the conclusion of the Ninth Annual Oil City Cup. To find out more information and to learn how to buy tickets, visit http://woosprint.com/oil-city-cup.
Follow the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WorldofOutlaws, like it on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws, or check out the latest videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws.
Castrol Raceway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Tonight’s win was the 26th World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season for Schatz and the 199th career series win… Sean McDonnell was the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing six positions to finish in 15th… Donny Schatz has won the last four straight World of Outlaws events at Castrol Raceway… The win tonight was Donny Schatz’s first series win of the year in Canada – he swept the events last season.
SEASON WINNERS: Donny Schatz – 26 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14, Stockton Dirt Track on March 21, Silver Dollar Speedway on March 28, Placerville Speedway on April 8, Calistoga Speedway on April 12, Devil’s Bowl Speedway on April 26, Eldora Speedway on May 8, Eldora Speedway on May 9, Williams Grove Speedway on May 15, Weedsport Speedway on May 17, The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 22, Knoxville Raceway on June 13, Huset’s Speedway on June 14, Granite City Speedway on June 17, River Cities Speedway on June 19, Dakota State Fair Speedway on June 20, Beaver Dam Raceway on June 27, Lakeside Speedway on July 1, Dodge City Raceway Park on July 4, Cedar Lake Speedway on July 11, Lebanon Valley Speedway on July 26, Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on Aug. 8, Knoxville Raceway on Aug. 15, River Cities Speedway on Aug. 21, Nodak Speedway on Aug. 23, Castrol Raceway on Aug. 28); Shane Stewart – 7 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5, Keller Auto Speedway on April 17, Salina Highbanks Speedway on May 1, Crawford County Speedway on June 12, Eldora Speedway on July 17, Eldora Speedway on July 18, Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on Aug. 8); Daryn Pittman – 3 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 13, Antioch Speedway on March 29, New Egypt Speedway on May 19); Brad Sweet – 3 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 15, Calistoga Speedway on April 11, I-96 Speedway on June 25); Rico Abreu – 2(Thunderbowl Raceway on March 14, Stockton Dirt Track on March 22); Dale Blaney – 2 (Attica Raceway Park on May 29, Lernerville Speedway on July 21); Paul McMahan – 2 (Perris Auto Speedway on April 18, Tri-State Speedway on May 3); Joey Saldana – 2 (Kokomo Speedway on June 3, Cedar Lake Speedway on July 12);Christopher Bell – 1(Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on May 2); Brian Brown – 1 (USA Raceway on March 7);Cody Darrah – 1(Lernerville Speedway on July 21);Danny Dietrich – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on July 25);Stewart Friesen – 1(Ohsweken Speedway on July 28);Greg Hodnett – 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 13);Tim Kaeding – 1 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 13); Danny Lasoski – 1 (I-80 Speedway on June 5); Kerry Madsen – 1 (Junction Motor Speedway on Aug. 18);Terry McCarl – 1 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5);Jason Sides – 1 (Dodge City Raceway Park on July 3); Stevie Smith – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on July 25).
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Castrol Raceway; Edmonton, Alb.; Aug. 28, 2015
A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. Donny Schatz [$10,000]; 2. Shane Stewart [$5,000]; 3. Joey Saldana [$3,000]; 4. Kerry Madsen [$2,700]; 5. Brad Sweet [$2,500]; 6. Paul McMahan[$2,200]; 7. Daryn Pittman [$2,000]; 8. David Gravel [$1,800]; 9. Trey Starks[$1,600]; 10. Jason Johnson [$1,500]; 11. Travis Rilat [$1,300]; 12. Kraig Kinser [$1,200]; 13. Skylar Gee[$1,100]; 14. Jacob Allen [$1,000]; 15. Sean MacDonnell[$950]; 16. Jason Sides [$900]; 17. Casey Adams [$850]; 18. Marc Duperron [$750]; 19. Ross Matthewson [$725]; 20. Kyle Evans [$700]; 21. Matthew Dusseault [$700]; 22. Logan Schuchart [$700]; 23. Kelly Miller [$700]; 24. Don Miller [$700]. Lap Leaders: Shane Stewart 1-16, 23; Joey Saldana 17-22; Donny Schatz 24-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: Sean MacDonnell [+6]
Qualifying – 1. 7-David Gravel, 13.359; 2. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.398; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana, 13.398; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.402; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.417; 6. 51-Paul McMahan, 13.437; 7. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.460; 8. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.537; 9. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.677; 10. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.719; 11. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.769; 12. 8R-Trey Starks, 13.787; 13. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.801; 14. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.834; 15. 39C-Travis Rilat, 13.991; 16. 99-Skylar Gee, 14.051; 17. 2JR-Kelly Miller, 14.158; 18. 12-Casey Adams, 14.211; 19. 56-Ross Mathews, 14.394; 20. 11EH-Marc Duperron, 14.395; 21. 8-Sean MacDonnell, 14.457; 22. 2X-Kyle Evans, 14.631; 23. 4-Matthew Dusseault, 14.754; 24. 2M-Don Miller, 14.863; 25. 10B-Brody Anderson, 15.430; 26. 00-Robert Lavallee, 15.609
Heat 1 – (10 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 2-Shane Stewart ; 2. 41-Jason Johnson ; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 4. 7-David Gravel ; 5. 7S-Jason Sides ; 6. 99-Skyler Gee ; 7. 2X-Kyle Evans ; 8. 56-Ross Mathewson ; 9. 10B-Brody Anderson 
Heat 2 – (10 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet ; 2. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 3. 15-Donny Schatz ; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 6. 11EH-Marc Duperron ; 7. 2JR-Kelly Miller ; 8. 4-Matt Dusseault ; 9. 00-Robert Lavallee 
Heat 3 – (10 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 2. 71M-Joey Saldana ; 3. 51-Paul McMahan ; 4. 8R-Trey Starks ; 5. 39C-Travis Rilat ; 6. 12-Casey Adams ; 7. 2M-Don Miller ; 8. 8-Sean MacDonnell 
Dash – (8 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 2-Shane Stewart ; 2. 71M-Joey Saldana ; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 4. 7-David Gravel ; 5. 15-Donny Schatz ; 6. 49-Brad Sweet ; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart 
Last Chance Showdown – (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 2JR-Kelly Miller  2. 2X-Kyle Evans  3. 56-Ross Matthewson  4. 8-Sean MacDonnell  5. 4-Matthew Dusseault  6. 2M-Don Miller  7. 00-Robert Lavalle  8. 10B-Brody Anderson