Finishing the Mission
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 15, 2015) – When a driver looks up and sees the flagman waving an open hand, he knows there’s still time in the race, but if there is a move to make, it’s now or never. The competitors in the grueling, coast-to-coast, bullring-to-big half-mile dirt oval, February-to-November World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series marathon are getting the “five-to-go” signal this week as they make their final Midwest stop of 2015.
The first driver seeing the signal is Tony Stewart-Curb Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz, and he’s been leading the way for most of the season. The 38-year-old North Dakota driver and his Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team are in the midst of the best single-season performance in more than 20 seasons. The team has already clinched the season points championship and looks to continue its storybook season Friday at Lawrenceburg (Indiana) Speedway, where they’ve won the 35-lap A-Feature at the 3/8-mile high-banked, dirt oval each of the previous two seasons.
Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J for TSR, is coming off his 31st WoO A-Feature win of the season last Saturday at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, New York. The victory tied Schatz with Steve Kinser’s 1992 total of 31 wins, which is third-most in a season. With five A-Feature races remaining, Schatz still has a shot at reaching Kinser’s 1991 mark of 36 wins, the second-best victory total in WoO history.
Being mentioned in the same sentence as “The King of the Outlaws” is an honor for Schatz, who is completing his 19th season with “The Greatest Show on Dirt” and eighth driving for TSR. The 2015 campaign is the third consecutive season in which Schatz has established a new career high in victories. Two seasons ago, he earned 23 WoO A-Feature triumphs and, last season, it stood in victory lane 26 times. Both of those win totals included a visit to victory lane at Lawrenceburg. In the 2013 main event, Schatz and Chad Kemenah swapped the lead several times before Schatz prevailed and, last May, he started fourth and took the lead from Sammy Swindell on lap 23 and led the final 12 laps to score the victory.
Winning has been a habit all season for the Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team and a big reason why has been its remarkable consistency. Schatz, along with his crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman, has been a factor in just about all 71 races this season. Schatz has finished first or second 47 times this season and 11 other nights finished inside the top-five. He’s only been out of the top-10 five times and has taken the checkered flag in the last 174 WoO races, a streak of races without a DNF (Did Not Finish) that dates back to September 2013.
Friday’s race at Lawrenceburg will be the fifth night the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance J&J will carry pink stripes in support of Chevrolet’s continued backing of TSR’s WoO programs. The team is joining the push to promote breast cancer awareness. Anyone interested in donating to Chevrolet’s 2015 pink initiative is encouraged to visit www.cancer.org/chevroletmsabc and follow the interactive steps to contribute. The TSR team is encouraging fans to join the cause and spread awareness through social media with images of the car and Schatz using the hashtag #IDriveFor.
Friday at Lawrenceburg Speedway, the pit gate opens at 2 p.m. EDT and the grandstands open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6. More details are available by calling Lawrenceburg Speedway at 812-539-4700, or by visiting lawrenceburgspeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this week’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:
The 2015 season is coming down to only a handful of races. With the season you and your Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team are having, would you like the season to continue?
“This season has been really good for so many reasons – winning a championship with our partners Bad Boy Buggies and Chevrolet Performance and taking them to victory lane 31 times has been great. The timeclock in your head tells you that the season is almost complete and you still are trying to win everything you can and, at the same time, get yourself ready for next year, too. We are really focused on the five races we still have in front of us. We set goals every year and put some pretty lofty ones out there. You have to challenge yourself and this Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team loves a challenge. We appreciate the opportunity that Tony Stewart has given us and we just want to finish the season as strong as we can.”
Last weekend, you won your third consecutive race at Rolling Wheels and, Friday night, you have the opportunity to win your third straight at Lawrenceburg. What’s the key to winning consistently at certain tracks?
“The biggest thing is being surrounded by a group of people who have a tremendous amount of experience. We’ve been together as a team for quite a few seasons and all of us collectively have been doing this for a long time. I’ve said it before, but no two dirt tracks are ever going to be the same, and I’m not talking about Rolling Wheels versus Lawrenceburg – I’m talking about Lawrenceburg versus Lawrenceburg. The temperature, the dirt, slick, heavy, abrasive – it’s always changing and that’s why experience matters. We’ve had a great combination with our J&J cars, Shaver motors and continued development of our shock packages that work in a variety of situations, and we’ve also adapted to tire changes and different wing rules, as well. It’s the team. They are always pushing to get better and their desire to win is what pushes us to be our best every night.”
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.
About Chevrolet Performance®
Driven by more than 100 years of motorsports heritage, Chevrolet Performance fuels the passions of automotive enthusiasts through high-performance vehicles, parts and racing. Performance cars include Camaro SS, SS 1LE, ZL1, Z/28 and the COPO Camaro. Chevrolet Performance parts include crate engines, transmissions, controllers and street-level components. Chevrolet competes in NASCAR, NHRA, IMSA, IndyCar and a variety of circle track racing series.
More information can be found at: www.chevrolet.com/performance
– TSC –
- Mike Zizzo
Director of Media Relations
Texas Motor Speedway