INDIANAPOLIS (July 19, 2012) – The road doesn’t get any easier for Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz this weekend. After last weekend’s 29th annual Kings Royal and Tuesday’s Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, each of which attracts more than 40 World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series competitors to slug it out on its famed dirt ovals, Kinser and Schatz now return to hostile territory for three nights of racing. It’s back to legendary Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the two-night Summer Nationals Friday and Saturday, and then a Sunday stop at Lebanon (N.Y.) Valley Speedway.
Kinser swept the night in the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/ Chevrolet Maxim at Williams Grove in May, earning his 571st career A-Feature, and he followed that with a flag-to-flag win in the Morgan Cup. “The King of the Outlaws” leads the WoO championship standings heading into the weekend and has been at or near the top of the standings since that May victory at Williams Grove, which was his 38th WoO triumph at the track. Kinser is hoping to score his first Summer Nationals victory on Saturday.
Schatz will be looking to end a pair of streaks this weekend at Williams Grove behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J. He is trying to snap a 29-race winless streak in WoO competition and a 17-race winless streak at Williams Grove. On April 25 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, he won his third A-Feature of 2012 and the 116th of his career, but he hasn’t been able to return to victory lane since. The Fargo, N.D., racer has 15 career wins at the track during his 16-year WoO career, and seven of those have come during the Summer Nationals. Earlier this season, qualifying problems hurt him both nights when he timed in 29th and 27th and ultimately finished 17th and 24th.
Sunday will mark the 32nd consecutive season the WoO competes at Lebanon Valley Speedway in northeast New York. Kinser won the Outlaws’ debut at the track in June 1981 and has won eight more times at the track. His most recent win on the high-banked, half-mile dirt oval came in May 2005. Schatz will be make his 16th start at the track and is seeking his third victory there. He was victorious in May 2001 and most recently in July 2006. Last July, Kinser finished third and Schatz came home ninth.
Kinser and Schatz have been part of a terrific battle at the top of the WoO standings. They entered last weekend’s action at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, tied for the lead. Each driver charged through the field, running from the back to finish inside the top-10 in Saturday’s Kings Royal. Kinser finished fourth Tuesday at Lernerville in the opening feature and Schatz, who battled mechanical problems, finished 18th. The difference in their finishes allowed Kinser to open a 25-point lead over Craig Dollansky while Schatz dropped to fourth and trails Kinser by 33 points.
The second feature event of the Silver Cup didn’t count in the point standings but did provide some highlights for TSR. Team owner Tony Stewart came out on top of a spirited battle with Schatz late in the 30-lap A-Feature to earn his second career WoO win. All three TSR cars are expected to be in competition at Williams Grove this weekend.
Friday and Saturday at Williams Grove Speedway, the pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with the grandstands opening at 5:45 p.m. Time trials are scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. More details are available by calling Williams Grove Speedway at (717) 697-5000, or by visiting www.williamsgrove.com.
Sunday at Lebanon Valley Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. EDT, with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.lebanonvalley.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Sprint Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Maxim:
The last time you raced at Williams Grove, you won both the feature race and the Morgan Cup. Is your confidence pretty high for your return there this weekend?
“I think we have a pretty good mindset going in. We had a really good car there in May and were able to gain quite a bit on things. Things can change pretty quickly, though, and with the caliber of cars they have there, anything can happen. The Bass Pro Shops guys have been working really hard to keep me in the thick of both races and this points deal. This weekend is going to be really tough, but I hope we can do the same thing we did last time.”
You’ve been involved with the World of Outlaws since the beginning. What does it mean to be racing at places like Williams Grove and Lebanon Valley where you’ve raced so many times?
“The big thing is that they have avid fans of Sprint car racing. When we go to Williams Grove, the fans are so into the Outlaws vs. Posse rivalry, it’s like us competing on someone’s home court. Through the years, I’ve raced against some of the greats out there and made a lot of friends along the way. Lebanon Valley has been one of those places where we go every year and you remember so much. They don’t get as much Sprint car racing up there. When we come to town, the fans really pack the place. It’s important for us to continue racing at places with so much tradition and where there are so many fans who are so passionate about what we do.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Tuesday night, you raced with your boss Tony Stewart for the victory at Lernerville. Did you ever think you would be racing him for an Outlaw victory?
“I’ve said it many times that he is the most talent racer I’ve ever been around. I know he came up through the ranks in USAC and had dirt experience, but he never did much Winged Sprint car racing. A couple of years ago, he came to Australia with me and I could tell he was going to be a quick learner. He has really become a good Winged Sprint car driver and that was proven last year when he won at Ohsweken (Ontario) Speedway. Tuesday was fun. He got past (Greg) Hodnett and took the lead. I was behind both of them and was able to pass Greg and started closing in on Tony. I showed him the bottom and he went down there, which I thought was going to set me up for a run at the lead, but the yellow came out with five to go. I wish we could’ve raced the last five laps together through traffic. That would have been a lot of fun. I’m proud of him.”
The weekend offers another chance to change your recent luck at Williams Grove Speedway. What’s going to be the key to changing the outcome for you there?
“The biggest thing is qualifying. With how our races are going now, you just can’t pass cars like you used to. Look at Tuesday night – we qualified well (third overall), raced forward in our heat and dash and were right up there until we had our problem. You just have to start close to the front. With as many good cars that will be at Williams Grove, you can’t come from seventh or eighth in the heat and transfer through. That’s where we’ve been starting the past few times we’ve been there. If we can put a good lap on the board in qualifying, we’ll have a shot.”
About Armored AutoGroup
Armored AutoGroup Inc., headquartered in Danbury, CT, is primarily comprised of the Armor All® and STP® brands. Armor All’s® current product line of protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care products, glass cleaners, leather care products and washes is designed to clean, shine and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces. STP’s® offering of oil and fuel additives, functional fluids and automotive appearance products has a broad customer base ranging from professional racers to car enthusiasts and ‘‘Do-it-Yourselfers’’. The company has a diversified geographic footprint with direct operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. and distributor relationships in approximately 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.armorall.com and www.stp.com.
About Bass Pro Shops Group
Bass Pro Shops – 56 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 109 million people annually, international catalog and internet retailing, American Rod & Gun wholesale division selling to over 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide, Outdoor World Incentives also selling Bass Pro Shops gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America and a restaurant division with 26 locations. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog call 1-800-BASS PRO.
Tracker Marine Group – Manufactures and sells Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako boats through Bass Pro Shops retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide.
Resort Group – Big Cedar Lodge and other resort properties including restaurants and golf course. Visit www.bigcedar.com for more information