Tony Stewart Racing’s Donny Schatz is a huge fan of Canada and the current World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series championship leader continued to show why this past weekend by sweeping the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta. The victories capped a five-race Canadian winning streak for the driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J and raised his total of 2014 WoO A-Feature triumphs to 17.
“I love Canada!” said Schatz, following the weekend sweep. “We’ve always had great races when we’ve come up here and always enjoyed it. (The Oil City Cup win is) not just for me, it’s for this whole STP race team. These guys are unbelievable and they definitely do their job to the best of their abilities. Hats off to them. Without their hard work and dedication and what they do, there’s no way I’d be standing here.”
TSR’s Steve Kinser earned a pair of top-10s behind the wheel of the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim in his final appearances in Canada. The 20-time WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion continues his final full season on tour in the World of Outlaws’ “Salute to the King Tour.”
The eighth annual Oil City Cup opened Friday night with Schatz turning the second-fast lap around the 3/8-mile dirt oval in the field of 20 cars. The five-time WoO STP titlest and 2007 and 2013 Oil City Cup champion transferred into the dash by finishing third in heat two. He started second and finished third in the six-lap race that set the starting in positions for the first four rows of the lineup for the 30-lap A-Feature. Despite dropping one position in the dash, the short race proved valuable as the STP crew made the necessary adjustments that allowed Schatz to quickly assume control in the A-Feature. He took the lead on the opening lap and would go one to lead all 30 circuits and capture his 16th victory of the campaign and second straight. Kinser’s night began with the Bloomington, Indiana resident timing in 10th. He started the main event 11th and finished 10th.
Heading into the weekend, Schatz had already swept the three previous Canadian stops. He scored wins at Autodromme Drummond (Drummondville, Quebec), Cornwall Motor Speedway (Ontario) and Ohsweken Speedway (Ontario) in late July and with Friday’s win, he had the opportunity to become the first driver to sweep the Canadian tour in a single season. His trek to add another milestone to his quickly growing book of accomplishments Saturday started with the 37-year-old qualifying fourth. He finished fifth in the dash and started the 30-lap A-Feature inside of row three. In order to make it five straight, Schatz would have to get past his TSR teammate who would start second after qualifying seventh and finishing in the runner-up spot in the dash. Daryn Pittman got the early leader with Kinser in tow. A pair of early cautions made things slightly more difficult for Schatz, but by lap three he and Kinser were fighting for second. A restart on lap seven provide Schatz an opportunity to grab the lead from Pittman and he took advantage. Schatz would pull away and lead the rest of the race and capture his 17th victory of 2014 and 163rd career WoO A-Feature win.
The weekend sweep for Schatz also continued his remarkable run of 14 consecutive podium finishes dating back to July 18. The streak has enabled Schatz to extend his lead in the championship standings 177 points over Pittman. Schatz has 9,203 points and leads the series with 17 wins and his 46 top-fives and 57 top-10s also lead the series.
Kinser ranks eighth in the championship standings with 8,176 markers. He scored his 577th career WoO A-Feature triumph early in the 2014 season and has amassed eight top-fives and 33 top-10s.
The journey to the championship continues this weekend in the northwest with races in the state of Washington. Skagit Speedway in Alger will host the Outlaws Friday and Saturday before the annual Labor Day stop at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma.