INDIANAPOLIS – It’s round two of the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series versus the “Pennsylvania Posse” this weekend as the Outlaw teams continue Sprint car racing’s “Month of Money.” Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz leads the traveling group into central Pennsylvania coming off his fifth Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup victory Tuesday, while TSR’s Steve Kinser heads into competition looking to score another victory during the World of Outlaws “Salute to the King Tour.”
The TSR tandem will take on not only the regular Outlaws but arguably its toughest competition on tour during three nights of racing in the state of Pennsylvania starting Thursday at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, followed by two nights at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg that culminate with Saturday’s $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals 30-lap A-Feature. Sunday’s annual stop at Lebanon (N.Y.) Valley Speedway will make it a grueling four nights in a row for the travelling Outlaws.
For Kinser, the long weekend marks his second-to-last run through one of the most tradition-rich regions in all of Sprint car racing. The 20-time WoO champion has won 65 of his 577 career WoO A-Features in Pennsylvania and will once again be behind the wheel of the familiar TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim looking to score his 17th career win at Lincoln Speedway. The first time he was victorious at the 4/10-mile dirt oval was in May 1980. He finished 19th at Lincoln earlier this season. “The King of the Outlaws” has 38 career WoO A-Feature wins at Williams Grove and ranks ninth all-time in wins at the facility but is still searching for his first Summer Nationals triumph. In May, Kinser had a strong run going for the first 15 laps as he was solidly third before breaking a rear end and finishing 25th.
The annual July run through central Pennsylvania has been good for Schatz over the past decade. He is a four-time winner of the Summer Nationals – 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2013 – and is the current leader in the championship standings and tied for most WoO wins on the season with nine aboard the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J. The five-time WoO champion recently climbed past Mark Kinser for third all-time on the WoO win list and Tuesday’s victory at Lernerville was the 155th of his career. He’s still looking to win his first at Lincoln Speedway. He finished second in 2013 and fourth earlier this season at the track. He is an 18-time winner at Williams Grove and finished third and fifth in the previous stop at the legendary half-mile, dirt oval.
To close the weekend of action, the teams will travel northeast to Lebanon Valley Speedway in eastern New York. Sunday’s race will mark the 34th consecutive season the World of Outlaws will race at the high-banked, half-mile track. Kinser won the Outlaws’ debut at the track in June 1981 and has won eight more times there. His most recent win came in May 2005. Schatz won for the third time in his career at the track last July after winning in May 2001 and July 2006.
Following Tuesday’s Silver Cup at Lernerville, there have been 49 of the 92 scheduled race nights completed in the 2014 WoO STP campaign. Schatz leads the series championship with 6,911 points and has an 80-point lead over Daryn Pittman. He leads the series with 10 wins, 32 top-five finishes and 44 top-10s. Kinser currently ranks eighth and has earned one win to give him 577 career WoO A-Feature triumphs.
Thursday at Lincoln Speedway, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. More details are available by calling Lincoln Speedway at (717) 796-2001, or by visiting www.linconlspeedway.com.
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 events 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 STP Sprint Car 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 live results from the track.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim:
This week is the second of three trips through central Pennsylvania. What makes it so tough for the Outlaws to come out with wins when you race in that region?
“The group of drivers and owners they have out there is pretty tough. They race quite a few times and I’d say they really have a good idea of what it takes to win at those tracks. The equipment a lot of those teams use is just as a good as what we see out here with the Outlaws. It’s a healthy rivalry and I know they got us at Lincoln in May (Stevie Smith), but the Outlaws took both nights at Williams Grove (Daryn Pittman). We’re basically just trying to get our program back where we want to be. We’ve had some signs that things are turning around. We started sixth in the Kings Royal and then raced from 23rd to eighth Tuesday at Lernerville. If we can have a complete night with a good performance both early and in the feature, that would be something we could build. It’d be nice to do that at Lincoln and give ourselves a chance to be in the hunt Saturday at Williams Grove and carry that up to New York with us.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J:
For the second consecutive year, you are coming back to central Pennsylvania after winning the Silver Cup. How do you duplicate your performance last year where you won both the Summer Nationals and at Lebanon Valley?
“It starts with building on what we’ve learned the last few weeks. We’ve been focusing on getting our program better early in the night and that has helped. We had a run of wins there before we had a three-race slump but, since then, we’ve been going forward. We accomplished some great stuff last year and winning the Silver Cup, Summer Nationals and at Lebanon Valley was a pretty good week. We won the Silver Cup Tuesday, so that’s a start. We’ve got a couple more nights to race this week, so that’s a couple more chances to see what we can do. We’re always focused on winning but know this is the toughest area to race and win, as well. The STP guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Eric Prutzman) have been giving me a phenomenal car to drive this year and we’re going to do everything we can to keep battling for wins every night.”
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Armored AutoGroup Inc., headquartered in Danbury, Conn., is primarily comprised of the Armor All®, STP® and Tuff Stuff® brands. The current Armor All product line of protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care products, glass cleaners, leather care products and car washes are designed to clean, shine and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces. The STP product line of fuel and oil additives, functional fluids and automotive appearance products have a broad customer base ranging from professional racers to car enthusiasts and "Do-it-Yourselfers". Tuff Stuff cleaning products are formulated to tackle the toughest jobs.
Armored AutoGroup 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.
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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 4x4 vehicles, ideal for hunting and outdoor recreation due to their silent, odorless operation and environmentally friendly, emissions-free drivetrains.
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- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine