Donny Schatz Feels Right at Home at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana
KOKOMO, Ind. — June 1, 2015 — North Dakota will always be home for Donny Schatz, but Indiana could probably be considered a home away from home for the six-time and defending World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion. After all, his Tony Stewart Racing team is based in the Indianapolis suburb of Brownsburg, and Schatz won four out of five races on Hoosier soil last season. One of those victories came at Kokomo Speedway, which marked the first time he had won at the always racy quarter-mile bullring.
Schatz will return to Kokomo this week on Wednesday, June 3 as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series makes their annual visit to the track in North Central Indiana.
Last season at Kokomo, Schatz started fourth in the 40-lap A-Feature and took the lead from David Gravel on the sixth circuit, becoming the third leader in the first six laps of the race. Schatz would take command and pace the field the rest of the way to pick up what was at the time his 21st win of the season, en route to a career-high 26 wins on the season. Schatz opened the night as the fourth-fastest qualifier of the 38 entries. He charged from the fourth starting spot in the fourth heat race to pick up the win and earn a spot it he dash, where he ran fourth.
“Kokomo is always challenging,” said Schatz, who drives the Bad Boy Buggies J&J. “It’s a smaller track than a lot of the place we go and one end has a little bit different shape to it. It throws a curve to you every time you go there. Like any dirt track, you never know what the track will do and the surface is never the same twice. That makes it interesting for the racers and the fans.”
Schatz, who enters this week with 184 career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins, which is third-best all-time, has made five starts with the series at Kokomo in his career. He finished sixth in his Kokomo debut in 2005. Schatz was third in 2006 and better that by one position in 2007, earning a runner-up finish and was ninth in 2013.
The veteran driver has made one start in Indiana thus far in 2015. He powered his way from the 20th starting spot to finish fourth at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt last month. Including the event at Kokomo Speedway this week, three more races remain in Indiana for the World of Outlaws in 2015.
“I definitely appreciate all of the racing heritage in Indiana,” he shared. “It’s the home of the Indy 500 and a lot of great race car drivers, including my boss, himself. Tony Stewart Racing is based in Brownsburg and we take a lot of pride in winning races in the team’s home state.”
Heading into this week’s event at Kokomo Speedway, Schatz tops the leaderboard in a number of statistical categories with the World of Outlaws. He has won 11 times thus far in 2015, which has him on top of the point standings by 105 over Shane Stewart. Schatz also leads the series with 26 top-10 finishes and 19 top-five showings. He also has led 221 laps in feature racing events, which is twice more than the next closest driver. Schatz leads the series in dash wins with eight, which parlays into eight pole positions in main events.
“It sure is fun having the bulls-eye on your back,” said Schatz. “It’s been a familiar situation for the whole Tony Stewart Racing team for quite a while. The race team works awful hard to try and make sure they are better than everyone else. They try to do the things they need to do to make me comfortable in the race car and win races. When you can set your goals for something and work hard at it and succeed, there is nothing better than that. Hats off to my crew and they continue to work hard to try and keep us in that position.”
The event at Kokomo kicks off a busy stretch for Schatz and his fellow World of Outlaws competitors. They will race 12 times over a 24-day stretch in June, at 12 tracks in nine different states across the Midwest.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws event at Kokomo Speedway on Wednesday, June 3 are available online at http://slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023
Fans can also take advantage of the O’Reilly Auto Parts $5 OFF Special and receive $5 OFF when purchasing a General Admission ticket at participating O’Reilly Auto Parts Stores. The ticket buyer will exchange their O’Reilly receipt for a ticket at the Main Grandstand ticket booth on race day.
For more information on tickets visit http://slspromotions.ticketforce.com.
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