INDIANAPOLIS – It’s week two of five in California for the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series and reigning WoO champion Donny Schatz is hoping the old saying “third-time is a charm” holds true for him this weekend at the Stockton Dirt Track.
In the first two appearances by “The Greatest Show on Dirt” at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds facility, the driver of Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J has finished third and second. This weekend, he’ll make his third trip to the 3/8-mile, semi-banked dirt oval for a pair of races Saturday and Sunday in the FVP Western Spring Shootout with an eye on grabbing the top spot on the podium.
The six-time WoO champion is one of eight drivers to capture an Outlaws victory early in the 2015 WoO season. And he’s looking to become the season’s first repeat winner and third driver to score a WoO A-Feature triumph at Stockton in as many races. In 2013, he charged from the 13th-starting position all the way up to third. Last March, Schatz started eighth and was leading seven laps in the 30-lap A-Feature. A commanding lead was wiped away on lap 13, when a caution sidetracked his pursuit of victory. Schatz lost the top spot on the ensuing restart but chased leader Joey Saldana back down and took over the top spot with on lap 28. On the final lap, Schatz had to deal with lapped traffic coming to the checkered flag. That opened the door for Kerry Madsen to inch by and steal the win.
This weekend’s doubleheader continues the Outlaws’ run through the Golden State, which began last weekend with a pair of races at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. Schatz and his Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team battled through Friday’s accident-filled A-Feature and Saturday’s program to post finishes of eighth and fourth. Friday’s effort by the team showcased its never-quit attitude as Schatz was collected in an early race incident, but the TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman made repairs and enabled Schatz to continue on in the battle, racing back from 24th to finish eighth. Saturday night went much smoother with Schatz qualifying 10th, winning his heat and racing from eighth to fourth in the 35-lap A-Feature.
Schatz ranks second in the 2015 WoO championship standings with eight of the 88 scheduled nights of racing in the books. He has amassed 1,098 points and trails leader Shane Stewart by 21. Schatz has one victory, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s thus far.
For Saturday’s race, the pit gates will open at noon while the grandstands open at 4 p.m. PDT. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Sunday, the program will begin an hour earlier and the grandstands will open at 3 p.m. with qualifying set for 5 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.stocktondirttrack.com or call 209-466-9999.
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.
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
You’ve competed on numerous tracks throughout your 19-year World of Outlaws career. What makes Stockton different than the others?
“I can tell you there are no two dirt tracks the same, that’s for sure. We always enjoy having the opportunity to race at new tracks across the country and they’ve done a good job at Stockton. I guess the first thing that sticks out has been the incredible fan turnout we’ve had at Stockton. The first year, it was hard just getting back to my pit from the track with all the people. It’s great to have such a big following in an area where we hadn’t raced before. The track itself is a racy place. They built it with passing in mind. I know turns one and two can be a little treacherous as the night goes on and that’s what makes it exciting for the fans. Guys have to be able to move around to continue to stay fast. We found a couple of good grooves there last year and got to the lead but just narrowly missed winning. You hate to lose anything but, when they are that close, you really can’t wait to get back there. It’s a fun track and a place I’d certainly like to win at. That’s our goal this weekend.”
Last weekend at Thunderbowl Raceway produced some crazy results. Do you expect that kind of competitiveness to continue this weekend in Stockton?
“It’s certainly going to continue to be competitive. You pretty much expect the unexpected when you race in Tulare. I think that’s why so many fans pack the place. Leaders get caught up in crashes and end up flipping. Guys have to come through the field. Lapped cars racing the leaders in every corner. You just have to keep your head on straight every lap. Cars bouncing into you. It’s just that kind of place. This weekend, we’ll have a little more wiggle room at Stockton. It still comes down to being able to turn consistent laps and continuing to get better each lap. We brought out a new car for Saturday after trashing one Friday and it felt really good. There were 45 teams racing with us last week and I’m sure we’ll have another huge field in competition this weekend. I fully expect the competitiveness to remain just as high. I just hope there isn’t quite as much craziness.”
About Bad Boy Buggies®
Bad Boy Buggies® is a leader in off-road utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor lifestyles. Bad Boy Buggies pioneered the category of electrically powered four-wheel-drive vehicles, ideal for hunting and outdoor recreation due to their silent, odorless operation and environmentally friendly, emissions-free drivetrains.
Today, the Bad Boy Buggies product line ranges from four-wheel-drive electric hunting machines such as the Recoil®, a fully electric, four-wheel-drive vehicle with an innovative, highly efficient 72-volt AC electric drivetrain, to the Work Series of diesel- and gas-powered utility vehicles, including the Bad Boy Buggies XD, a versatile four-wheel-drive, diesel-powered utility vehicle with a total capacity of 1,600 pounds.
In 2010, the Bad Boy Buggies brand and product line were acquired by E-Z-GO®, a business unit of Textron Inc. Information on Bad Boy Buggies models can be found at: www.BadBoyBuggies.com.
– TSC –
- Krista K. Massey
Former Group Vice President, Director of Sponsorships and Event Marketing
SunTrust Banks, Inc.