DONNY SCHATZ: It’s an Indiana Doubleheader for the Outlaws Points Leader
INDIANAPOLIS (April 27, 2017) – The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series is giving Indiana an early start to its annual right of spring by kicking off the month of May a few days early with a pair of races in the Hoosier State this weekend. Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance-backed team will make their initial appearance in the Midwest Friday night at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway and at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt Saturday.
After Mother Nature washed out a pair of races last weekend, Schatz and the TSR team shift their focus to a pair of races being held within an easy driving distance of the Brownwburg, Indiana-based TSR race shop. It’s one of the only weekends during the 92-race season where the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance-backed team members have the opportunity to sleep in their own beds following the races. It’s also a chance for Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J, to continue his recent string of good outings in the state of Indiana.
Friday’s race at Plymouth Speedway will be the Outlaws’ second-ever stop at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval located in north central Indiana. Last season, Schatz competed in Indiana four times beginning with his debut at Plymouth, where he qualified 10th and raced from 13th to sixth in the 30-lap A-Feature. The goal Friday is to improve on that result and potentially work himself into position late in the A-Feature to challenge for a victory. In his last 12 Indiana WoO starts, Schatz has worked himself into that position seven times. He won five of those races, including a thriller at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville last June. That victory was his eighth in the state and Lincoln Park became the fifth different Indiana track where Schatz has claimed a WoO A-Feature victory. He has the opportunity to add two more wins and tracks this weekend.
For the last 13 consecutive seasons, the Outlaws have made a stop in southwest Indiana to race at Tri-State Speedway. This Saturday, Schatz will make it 14 straight years of competing at the high-banked, quarter-mile, dirt oval. Last spring, he had one of the most consistent nights he’s ever had at the facility by qualifying fifth, winning his heat and finishing fourth in the 40-lap A-Feature. The finish was his third-best result in 18 career appearances at the track. He has twice finished third – in 2004 and 2008.
Schatz and his TSR team of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti continue to operate with the goal of making improvements from their past performances. Following a weekend of races being postponed and canceled by rain, they are looking forward to closing the month of April on a high note.
Through 17 of the 92 scheduled races in the 2017 WoO campaign, Schatz continues to lead the standings. He has a 44-point advantage over David Gravel and leads the series with six A-Feature triumphs. He is tied for most top-fives with 11 and top-10s with 14.
For Friday’s race at Plymouth, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. EDT while the grandstands open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday at Tri-State, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are slated to begin at 6 p.m.
Race fans unable to attend the DIRTcar Nationals can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live audio coverage is available both nights as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com. Live video will be available Saturday night only. Visit to DIRTVision.com for more information.
Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.com, www.arcticcat.com, and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com.
Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing or on Twitter and Instagram @TonyStewart_Rcg.
Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.
Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArcticCat or on Twitter and Instagram @ArcticCat_atv @ArcticCat_Snow
Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.
Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/FordPerformance or on Twitter and Instagram @FordPerformance.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J:
After a rare weekend off, it’s back to work for you and the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team. What does the time away from the track do for you and the team?
“It’s kind of tough because we are so used to racing all the time. You spend the early part of the week getting everything you need to get done and then, as the weekend gets closer, you start looking at the weather. That’s the part that gets hard because there are a lot of variables in play. Teams have to travel. Tracks and the series have to consider the fans and the type of shows that we can put on if the weather actually breaks. Last week, the Outlaws made a good call early to postpone our scheduled race in Memphis, and then were decisive with the decision about Pevely Saturday. Once you get that word, you have to try and take advantage of that stolen time that we rarely get. Some guys went home. Some teams raced. Some teams were able to do both. By Sunday, I know we were all ready to get back to racing and that’s been the focus since. Being back at the shop the past couple of weeks is a big deal. It gave my guys not only a chance to prepare for a busy slate of races in May and June, but also some time to be with their families.”
The results over the past three years for you and the TSR team in Indiana have been extremely consistent. Does the proximity of racing close to home for your team members play any kind of role in those results?
“It’s really important for us to succeed no matter where we race, but there is something special about being closer to home. I know what it feels like for me to be racing in North Dakota and, even though my team has guys from California, Pennsylvania and South Dakota, Indiana has been home for them for quite some time. We almost always have extra people at the track during our Indiana races. It’s easier for family and friends to come out and be part of it. But honestly, the biggest reason for our results the past few seasons has been the hard work by everyone at TSR. We all have high expectations and work extremely hard to continue to get better. Obviously, we’re excited about the opportunity to have a home weekend for the guys and a lot of our people, but everyone still has the same goal for the weekend. We’re all heading to Plymouth Friday looking forward to the opportunity to race with the World of Outlaws and put ourselves in position to drive the Arctic Cat/Ford Performance car to victory lane.”