Second Leg of the Northern Tour
August 16, 2019
River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks, ND
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
Sprint Car Track Record
9.269 seconds by Jason Meyers on 8/21/09
Late Model Track Record
11.321 seconds by Mike Marlar
To Win Amount
Pits- 2:00 p.m.
Stands- 4:00 p.m.
Hot Laps- 6:30 p.m.
Time Trials- 7 p.m.
Racing at 7:30 p.m.
*All times Central
Type of Grandstand
Select rows in main grandstand have seat back
reserved seats in section A-R
General in East East grandstand
bottom row of main covered grandstands
Pit Age Limit
NO age restriction for pits. 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian.
Pit Gate Location
East side of the track
no coolers allowed
Credit Card Use
Ticket Window, Pit Gate
no smoking in grandstands, smoking permitted in designated areas
onsite, electric hookup
$20 with water
Grand Forks Int'l
River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks, ND
Track Size & Type
0.250; high banked
Sprint Car Track Record
9.269 seconds by Jason Meyers on 8/21/09
BACK TO BUSINESS: Schatz claims championship advantage with River Cities victory
Unreal. That’s how North Dakota-native Donny Schatz described his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series home state win Friday night at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D.
“It feels good,” said Schatz with a heavy exhale of air.
Unreal traditionally has one meaning. For the 10-time Series champion it had many.
He claimed first home state win of the year with the World of Outlaws – eighth of the season and 291st overall. He swept the night winning in his Sprint Car and NLRA Late Model. And he reclaimed the points lead over Brad Sweet – now leading the Kasey Kahne Racing driver by 24 points.
The word could also define his path to the victory.
Schatz’s second-place finish in his Drydene Heat race put him into the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, which didn’t go as planned. He started fifth and finished in sixth-place – last.
He and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team tried something different for the Dash, he said. It didn’t work. They tried something else for the Feature, and it did.
Once the Feature went green, polesitter David Gravel, coming off his recent Knoxville Nationals victory, shot to the lead over second-place Brad Sweet. Schatz immediately went to fifth on the first lap.
Before the leaders could make their way around turn three the red flag was thrown and the race went into an Open Red. Nick Omdahl hit the wall coming off turn four, which bounced his car inches off the ground, and with help from another car, put his front end into the fence near the flag stand.. It took 26 minutes to get his car untangled from the fence and repair the spot he hit.
Once the race went back green, Gravel again bolted to the lead. Schatz lost fifth-place to Sheldon Haudenschild and Mark Dobmeier looked underneath him in turn three to take sixth. But with a power move around the high side Schatz made a three-wide pass around Haudenschild and Dobmeier to reclaim fifth-place.
Gravel’s quick pace around the 3/10-mile track put him in lap traffic by Lap six. Behind him, Sweet and Logan Schuchart – who won at River Cities Speedway in June – battled for second. The two traded slide jobs, arguing over who would be second. Sweet lost the fight coming off turn two, hitting the cushion, bicycling, and allowing Schuchart to charge by.
Schatz also took advantage of Sweet’s fumble. Continuing to make ground on the high side, Schatz rocketed his Toco Warranty No. 15 around Daryn Pittman for fourth-place and then Sweet for third in turns three and four. Sweet didn’t let him get away, though.
On the exit of the next corner, Schatz and a lapped car almost collided, drastically slowing his pace and allowing Sweet to move back to third. While the top two in points tried to navigate lapped traffic, Haudenschild maneuvered around the slower cars like he placed them there to begin with. The Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing driver raced his way by Schatz and Sweet in one turn on Lap 12.
After bicycling off the cushion on the exit of turn two a few more times, Schatz eventually made his way back by Sweet for fourth-place.
Then, the second Open Red of the night on Lap 16. Contact with another car launched Brendan Mullen’s car off turn two and onto the top of the fence outside the turn. With Mullen OK and the car secure where it was – several feet away from the track – the race resumed.
When it did, Schatz made his “unreal” move. He went from fourth-place to second on the exit of the first corner, throttling around the top groove. He continued his power lust run down the back stretch, closing in on Gravel and diving underneath him in turn three, not knowing if the move would stick.
Once his right foot eased back on the throttle the answer quickly became “yes.” The traction was there. He went side by side with Gravel through turn four and drag raced him down the front stretch.
The reigning champion had the better grip, though. He outpowered the Jason Johnson Racing car to the flag stand and took the lead on Lap 17.
“I knew I was in a little bit of trouble with that red, but they said I had a decent lead,” Gravel said. “We tried to make the car a little bit better. You give Donny Schatz and his team two Open Reds to make their car better… he’s been dominating here for a long time. Obviously, his car wasn’t great earlier, and they made it a lot better. For us, we were in a position that we shouldn’t change too much because we’re in the lead. That’s the way it goes.”
However, Schatz said he and his team didn’t make any adjustments. He found his rhythm and ran a blistering pace for the remaining 23 laps. He weaved through traffic with ease, pulled away to a six second lead and lapped up to ninth-place – including Sweet, who finished 13th.
“Unreal,” said Schatz, after claiming his ninth win in the last 11 races at the speedway. “We had a plan from the word go to be good at the end. The track kind of came around to us. Not bad for a North Dakota boy and a South Dakota boy (Schatz’s crew chief Steve Swenson). I think that was an ass whooping there.”
While Schatz dominated in Grand Forks, N.D., he has his eye on the Series’ next race on Saturday, Aug. 17, in his hometown of Fargo, N.D. at Red River Valley Speedway. Get tickets and more information.
As always, if you can’t make it to the race, you can catch all of the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$10,000]; 2. 41-David Gravel [$5,500]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$3,200]; 4. 18-Ian Madsen [$2,800]; 5. 2-Carson Macedo [$2,500]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,300]; 7. 83-Daryn Pittman [$2,200]; 8. 5-Shane Stewart [$2,100]; 9. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$2,050]; 10. 13-Mark Dobmeier [$2,000]; 11. 7S-Tim Kaeding [$1,500]; 12. 19-Brent Marks [$1,200]; 13. 49-Brad Sweet [$1,100]; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,050]; 15. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$1,000]; 16. 7-Jason Sides [$900]; 17. 8H-Jade Hastings [$800]; 18. 9N-Wade Nygaard [$800]; 19. 11M-Brendan Mullen [$800]; 20. 27-Chris Ranten [$800]; 21. 2A-Austin Pierce [$800]; 22. 4-Terry McCarl [$800]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen [$800]; 24. O-Nick Omdahl [$800]; Lap Leaders: David Gravel 1-16, Donny Schatz 17-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 41S-Dominic Scelzi[+9]
Qualifying – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 10.282; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman, 10.433; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 10.456; 4. 15-Donny Schatz, 10.487; 5. 7S-Tim Kaeding, 10.546; 6. 7-Jason Sides, 10.593; 7. 18-Ian Madsen, 10.605; 8. 5-Shane Stewart, 10.61; 9. 49-Brad Sweet, 10.614; 10. 13-Mark Dobmeier, 10.619; 11. 41-David Gravel, 10.624; 12. 2-Carson Macedo, 10.64; 13. 8H-Jade Hastings, 10.686; 14. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 10.686; 15. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 10.69; 16. 9N-Wade Nygaard, 10.72; 17. 1A-Jacob Allen, 10.724; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 10.743; 19. 4-Terry McCarl, 10.748; 20. 27-Chris Ranten, 10.79; 21. 19-Brent Marks, 10.837; 22. 2A-Austin Pierce, 10.86; 23. 55-Nick Ranten, 11.018; 24. O-Nick Omdahl, 11.036; 25. 11M-Brendan Mullen, 11.043; 26. 6N-Greg Nikitenko, 11.107; 27. 20A-Jordan Adams, 11.167; 28. 8-Jack Croaker, 11.671; 29. 5T-Presley Truedson, 11.792; 30. 26-Blake Egeland, 11.827; 31. 31-Shane Roemeling, 12.104[Read More]
After finishing a Junior Sprint race, 13-year-old Ryan Timms was in front of a screen watching Brad Sweet win his first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship.
It was a vision of a reality the Oklahoma native hoped to be true for him one day.
Three years later, a day after turning 16, Timms passed Sweet on a late restart at Red River Valley Speedway to finish second in his second World of Outlaws start and first at the North Dakota track.
While it was an eye-widening pass to many watching, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion wasn’t surprised.
“I thought Ryan Timms did a good job,” Sweet said. “We’ve had some good 16-year-olds this year racing with us. The future is bright for the sport. It’s fun that there’s such a wide variety of drivers out here right now and so many capable drivers of getting wins and running up front. It’s definitely tough competition.”
Timms became the second driver this year to break the record for youngest podium finisher, beating Corey Day by three months in age. Day, of Clovis, CA, finished second twice with the World of Outlaws in March during the West Coast Swing, driving for two-time World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers.
“Figured my record wouldn’t stand for long with this kid being younger than me,” Day said on Twitter. “[Ryan Timms] is a bad man!”
The two teenage stars, who grew up racing against each other in the Micro Sprint ranks, will go head-to-head again for the Fall West Coast Swing with the World of Outlaws, starting with the Skagit Nationals at Skagit Speedway, Sept. 1-3, and running through the 49er Gold Rush Classic at Placerville Speedway, Sept. 17.
So cool to watch myself race with the guys I look up to! https://t.co/aDLcq1mWeT
— Ryan Timms (@RyanTimms_5T) August 28, 2022
Day’s career path has had the added benefit of being under Meyer’s mentorship, while Timms and his family have built their own program.
Timms grew up going to the racetrack with his father, Randy, who raced Modifieds and Late Models. Eventually, the fun of only watching wore out. He wanted to race.
His father put him in a Junior Sprint at about 7-years-old and he climbed the ranks from there. Micros, Midgets, 360 Sprint Cars and then 410 Sprint Cars, picking up multiple wins along the way.
As Ryan continued to win, a career path started taking shape. Randy put his 25-year racing career aside to help focus on his son’s. And with Ryan’s racing schedule increasing each year, he went to full online schooling after eighth grade.
“It’s not too bad,” he said about the adjustment. “I can do it all on the computer. I can get it done whenever.”
“I’m a junior now, then have next year and I’m done. I plan on going full Sprint Car, just plan on racing all the time and hopefully I can make something of it because it is all or nothing.”
This year marks his first full season running the family-owned #5T 410 Sprint Car and it didn’t take long for “Timms” to become a household name in the Sprint Car community. With each stellar performance, including a win at Huset’s Speedway, anticipation for his World of Outlaws debut heightened.
When he finally turned 16, becoming eligible to race with the World of Outlaws, Timms gave merit to the hype.
In his first World of Outlaws start at River Cities Speedway, on his birthday, he went from 17th to ninth in the Feature, earning the KSE Hard Charger award. Then, the next night at Red River Valley, he outran his heroes to make history.
“It was kind of a pretty big shocker,” Timms said. “I expected down the road we would do good. Get some podiums and stuff. I definitely didn’t think we’d pull off a second that quick. To drive around someone like Brad Sweet and (David) Gravel and (Sheldon) Haudenschild, those are some of the best guys on the Outlaw tour. It’s pretty crazy really. Now that I’m taking it all in, it’s weird.
“I made a Twitter post saying how weird it is to watch myself race against Brad Sweet, but it is pretty cool.”
He credits his early Sprint Car success to his days in the Micro ranks. Racing at tracks like I-44 Riverside Speedway – about five minutes from his house – and Port City Raceway – now owned by World of Outlaws winner Shane Stewart – helped him develop skills he said made 410 Sprint Car racing at times seem slow.
“Port City, it’s one of the best Micro tracks, I think,” he said. “If you ever watch it, it looks the same as winged Sprint Car racing, just shrunk down. It’s basically all the same, I don’t know what you’d call it, movements, I guess. Same style. It’s actually a lot quicker reaction time in some instances in the Micros. It’s kind of like slow motion in a Sprint Car for me.”
While Timms is already living a life on the road, chasing the World of Outlaws and following his Sprint Car dream, he’s still a junior in school. That means going from racing on the weekends to having to hold off on interviews during the week so he can take a test.
“It’s a lot better going from the tests to Sprint Cars,” Timms said.
For tickets to the upcoming World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series events, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or by downloading the DIRTVision App.