INDIANAPOLIS – After ending his California winless streak last Saturday night, six-time and reigning World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz is ready to pocket more gold this weekend. The driver of the of Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J continues the California bullring battles Saturday and Sunday with the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico and at Antioch Speedway.
The competition has been fierce through the first two weekends of the California Spring Tour for the Outlaws. Schatz admitted after last Saturday’s triumph at the Stockton Dirt Track that he and his Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team have experienced just about everything early in the 2015 WoO campaign, and the 19-year WoO veteran knowns the challenges will continue this weekend.
Schatz returns to Silver Dollar Speedway with four career triumphs at the quarter-mile dirt oval. The track has been a staple on the WoO circuit since 1979 and Schatz has made numerous trips to the northern California track since his rookie season in 1997. His most notable weekend at Chico came in September 2004 when he won both his preliminary feature and the 40-lap Gold Cup Race of Champions. He returned to victory lane at the track in 2010 during the opening night of the Gold Cup program and won the Mini Gold Cup in the spring of 2011. His most recent victory at the track came in 2012, when he kicked off the three-night Gold Cup program with a victory. Last September, Schatz charged from 16th to sixth in the opening-night A-Feature and 19th to fifth in the Gold Cup finale.
Sunday’s stop at Antioch marks the fifth consecutive season the 3/8-mile, high-banked dirt oval has hosted the Outlaws. Schatz has a pair of top-four runs and two finishes outside the top-10. His best finish at the track came in September 2012, when he finished second. The race was a classic California battle to the end. Jonathan Allard led most of the way, but Schatz made a number of attempts to grab the top spot away. A late restart opened the door and Schatz took advantage, grabbing the lead with one lap to go, but his bid for victory came up just short when Tim Kaeding got around him in the final corner. Last September, Schatz qualified seventh, started fourth and finished fourth in the 30-lap A-Feature.
Schatz continues to rank second in the 2015 WoO championship standings after 10 of 88 scheduled nights of racing. Shane Stewart leads the standings with 1,399 points and Schatz is just 18 back with 1,381. His victory last Saturday at Stockton was his second of the season, his 178th career A-Feature win, and Stockton became the 70th different track where Schatz has earned an A-Feature triumph. He’ll be looking to make Antioch the 71st Sunday.
For Saturday’s Mini Gold Cup, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. while the grandstands open at 5 p.m. PDT. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530-350-7275.
Sunday at Antioch, 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. For tickets and more information, visit www.antiochspeedway.com or call 925-779-9220.
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:
After a roller-coaster weekend in Tulare, you and the Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team put a complete night together at Stockton Saturday. How good did it feel to get that win?
“It always feels good to win and my guys earned that. Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman – they are the best in the business and they’ve been through a lot already this year. We had some bad luck in Tulare and killed a car the first night and everybody just kept working. We unloaded at Stockton and were fast right away. Setting a track record and then being able to drive forward every time we hit the track was big. It had been a while since we won and that’s what we are out here to do – stacking wins. We were hoping to get another one Sunday but unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’re ready to get back to the track this weekend and see if we can get another win and build on that.”
This weekend offers a return to Silver Dollar Speedway and Antioch Speedway. What are the biggest challenges you’ll face at each
“They are both unique but, like most dirt tracks, you have to be able to drive forward. They are short tracks so, of course, getting through traffic is key. Silver Dollar doesn’t have a wall in the corners, so it gets a little tricky. Being able to get in and out of the corners and carrying speed is important. Antioch has more banking and a wall all the way around, so you don’t have as much forgiveness there. They are both racey places where qualifying is super important. It’s still early in the year, so we’re expecting the tracks to still have some moisture, too. They both are places where the races usually come down to the final laps. Fans love that and that’s what we are out here for … to put on a good show.”
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.
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine