Donny Schatz Chasing Another Outlaw Title with Chevrolet
Iconic American Manufacturer Continues Successful Partnership with TSR
INDIANAPOLIS (April 1, 2016) – The second season of the partnership between Chevrolet Performance and Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing (TSR) is off to a fast start for Donny Schatz as he pursues an eighth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship and second with Chevrolet. With a dozen of this year’s 92 scheduled races complete, the driver of the TSR No. 15 Bad Boy/Chevrolet Performance J&J leads the series in victories with four and heads back into action this weekend at one of the America’s most historic dirt tracks.
Schatz and the rest of the Outlaws continue their annual spring California swing with races at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville tonight and the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico Saturday. “The Greatest Show on Dirt” has been racing in Chico since 1979, and last season Schatz won both the Mini Gold Cup in the spring and the Gold Cup Race of Champions at the quarter-mile dirt oval.
“We’re looking forward to another season with the premier sprint-car organization in the country,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports for Chevrolet. “This partnership connects us with short-track fans who are passionate about racing, performance vehicles and parts.”
The 2016 partnership continues a long and successful relationship between Chevrolet Performance and TSR. The winning legacy most recently featured last year’s WoO title by Schatz and began with the 2007 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint Car Series title earned by Levi Jones. TSR and Chevrolet won three more USAC Sprint Car Series championships with Jones in 2009, 2010 and 2011, as well as back-to-back titles with Bryan Clauson in 2012 and 2013. The partnership also included four consecutive USAC Silver Crown championships with Jones in 2010 and 2011, and Bobby East in 2012 and 2013.
In their first season as co-primary sponsor on the No. 15 machine, Chevrolet Performance was part of a historic season for Schatz and TSR. Those victories at Silver Dollar Speedway where two of a career-best 31 WoO A-Feature wins, the most an Outlaw driver has won in a season since 1992, when Steve Kinser tallied 31. The victories led to a seventh WoO championship for Schatz, sixth for TSR and a first for Chevrolet. The WoO championship was just one of several memorable highlights in 2015 for Chevy Racing.
In 2015, Chevy also won its 39th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturer championship, with the 2015 title being its 13th in a row. Scott Dixon claimed the drivers championship in dramatic fashion winning by the tie break ear the season finale. Chevrolet claimed its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Manufacturer Championship and Juan Pablo Montoya carried the Chevy Bow Tie to victory lane in the 99th Indianapolis 500 last May. Chevy scored its fourth consecutive manufacturer title in the IMSA SportsCar Championship in the Prototype division while Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa earned the Prototype driver championship. Corvette Racing earned Chevrolet sports car racing’s triple crown, winning the 2016 Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The victory in Le Mans was the eighth win for Corvette Racing in the French endurance classic. And Chevrolet earned its 21st NHRA manufacturer championship and Erica Enders-Stevens claimed the Pro Stock world title driving her Camaro SS.
“We had an incredible season last year, and to have Chevrolet Performance be such a big part of it was a huge honor,” said Schatz, who also claimed his ninth Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals victory last August. “Success comes from a total team effort here Tony Stewart Racing and that includes being surrounded by great people and great partners. The passion Chevrolet Performance has for success in motorsports is truly unique. We’re excited to continue this great partnership in 2016 and our goal is to continue being our best every time we hit the racetrack.”
The success for Chevy has carried over into 2016 with Schatz leading the way with his four wins. In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action, Chevy has won three of the first five races with Jimmie Johnson earning a pair and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick winning at Phoenix International Raceway. Juan Pablo Montoya won the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to open the 2016 Verizon IndyCar season. Corvette Racing repeated in the Rolex 24 and Sebring 12-hour while Jason Line, Greg Anderson, Robert Hight and Brittany Force have all scored Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series victories.
Schatz is coming off three strong runs, including a sweep of the FVP Western Spring Outlaw Shootout at the Stockton Dirt Track on March 18 and 19 and his first KSE Hard Charger performance of the season when he raced from 20th to eighth last Wednesday at Placerville Speedway. Last spring, Schatz led the first 15 laps and final 15 laps of the 40-lap Mini Gold Cup to earn his third victory of 2015 and fourth career win at Silver Dollar Speedway. In September, he raced past Joey Saldana on lap 28 and led the final 12 laps to capture his second career Gold Cup Race of Champions victory.
With 12 of 92 WoO events complete, Schatz’s four victories are among seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He ranks fourth in the championship with 1,581 points and trails leader Brad Sweet by 87 markers.
Friday at Ocean Speedway, the pit gates open at noon PDT and grandstands open at 3 p.m. Hot laps are schedule to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit woosprint.com or call 831-724-5671.
Saturday at Silver Dollar Speedway, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. and grandstands open at 5 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit silverdollarspeedway.com or call530-891-6535.
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 Craftsman 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.