Dodge City, KS (July 6, 2013) - Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz was just nine laps away from completing his second World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series weekend sweep of the season Saturday at Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway Park. The driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J didn’t even lead a quarter of a lap in Friday’s victory as he raced past Jason Sides at the finish line to earn his eighth win of the season, but he had to forfeit the lead Saturday when a cut right-rear tire forced him to the pit area. He returned to the track and finished ninth.
TSR’s Steve Kinser, winner at Dodge City Raceway Park last season, came home 11th and eighth aboard the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim.
Extremely warm temperatures and strong winds took their toll on the 3/8-mile dirt surface Friday. Schatz qualified seventh in the field of 24 drivers before winning the opening heat. The victory earned him a spot in the dash, where he started second. Sides slipped under both Schatz and Chad Kemenah in the dash to earn the pole for the 30-lap feature.
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With only a handful of laps completed, it became clear that rubber was coming in on the bottom groove and a majority of the field jumped in line and raced single file. With all the cars running the same line, passing was at a minimum and the surface continued to become more destructive to the rear tires.
As the race progressed, numerous drivers popped right-rear tires. Schatz had worked his way into second midway through the race and began pacing himself in order to conserve his tires and stay within striking distance of Sides. His only opportunity came on the final lap when Sides couldn’t run low enough coming out of turn four and opened the door for Schatz. The five-time and reigning series champion took advantage and narrowly beat Sides to steal the win. It was his eighth victory of 2013, second at Dodge City and 132nd WoO A-Feature of his career.
Kinser got his night off to a solid start by qualifying 11th and finishing second in heat two. The 20-time WoO champion started the main event in row five and followed the rest of the top-10 into to the bottom groove. He managed his tire usage throughout the race and held on to finish 11th.
After Friday’s race, the Dodge City Raceway Park staff worked extra hard to provide a more competitive racing surface for Saturday. Despite the temperature eclipsing 100 degrees earlier in the day, the Outlaw competitors had a surface that held moisture throughout the event. Schatz qualified seventh for the second consecutive night and Kinser was 10th. Kinser won the opening heat and Schatz finished in second. Both drivers advanced to the dash and the luck of the draw put Schatz on the pole. He led every lap of the dash to earn starting position number one for the 30-lap A-Feature. The Fargo, N.D., racer paced the field as the race went non-stop for the first 21 laps before a caution slowed the action. It was at this point when Schatz realized his right rear was losing air quickly. He tried to spin the tire to increase air pressure, but after a few failed attempts, he relinquished the lead and his STP crew replaced the right rear. Restarting 18th, Schatz charged back into the top-10 and battled Kinser, who started eighth, during the final laps.
Daryn Pittman assumed the lead and led the final laps to take the victory. The win allowed him to increase his lead over Schatz in the championship standings through 41 races. Schatz ranks third with 5,619 points and trails Pittman by 176 markers and Paul McMahan by 37 points. Kinser continues to hold the 9th position with 5,123 points.
The WoO STP Sprint Car Series will begin Sprint Car racing’s “Month of Money” Wednesday with the 25th annual Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio. The TSR drivers return to Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Friday and Saturday for two nights of racing culminating with Saturday’s 30th annual Kings Royal, which pays $50,000 to the winner.