Podium Streak Continues for Schatz

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The World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series staged the two-night Ironman event at Federated Auto Parts Racing at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri Friday and Saturday and, for the third consecutive season, Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz finished second in the season’s longest race. Schatz wheeled the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J to his seventh and eighth consecutive podium finishes with Friday’s third-place run and Saturday’s runner-up effort. TSR’s Steve Kinser had a strong run going Saturday in the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim before a broken rear end ended his night 28 laps into the 55-lap marathon.

Schatz led the Outlaws to the high-banked, one-third mile dirt oval located just south of St. Louis on the heels of a three-race sweep in Canada. The five-time WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion qualified seventh in the field of 27 cars in Friday’s opener and earned a position in the dash by winning the opening heat. He started the dash sixth and finished fifth. He advanced to fourth early in the 30-lap A-Feature and passed Daryn Pittman midway through the race to grab third. He would follow Paul McMahan and Kerry Madsen to the finish. The Fargo, North Dakota racer opened Saturday’s program by turning the second-best lap in qualifying. He would follow that by finishing fourth in both his heat and the dash. In the 55-lap A-Feature, he started the STP machine fourth but had a tremendous start and grabbed the top spot on lap two. Schatz would build and maintain a solid lead through the first 20 circuits. A restart on lap 20 opened the door for Madsen, who was able to overtake Schatz on the restart. Schatz spent the next 20 laps tracking Madsen and, during the final five laps, closed in on the reigning Kings Royal champion. Schatz made a final bid for the lead coming to the checkered flag but came up just short of capturing his first Ironman victory.

Kinser continued the 2014 World of Outlaws “Salute to the King Tour” with a pair of strong qualifying efforts. The 20-time champion was ninth Friday and third Saturday. “The King of the Outlaws” started 10th and finished 10th in Friday’s 30-lap A-Feature and looked solid for most of the night Saturday. After qualifying third, he transferred into the dash by finishing fifth in heat three despite a fuel-line malfunction. He finished fifth in the dash and was running inside the top-five before stopping with what he felt was a right-rear tire issue. The Bad Boy Buggies crew replaced it and he returned to the track. As it turned out, the problem was something with the rear end, and Kinser pulled off the track after 28 laps.

The results from Pevely continued a remarkably consistent 2014 campaign for Schatz, who built his lead to 118 points in the WoO championship standings. He now has 8,359 points and his stat line includes a series-best 12 wins, 40 top-fives and 53 top10s. Kinser’s 10th-place finish Friday was his 29th of the season, and he continues to rank eighth in the standings, with 7,465 markers, 894 behind Schatz.

Following the Ironman doubleheader, the TSR teams traveled to Iowa for the sport’s signature event this week. Schatz and Kinser, the two winningest drivers in the storied Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals, will hit the track Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, for their qualifying night with a goal of earning enough points to grab one of the 24 starting spots in Saturday’s 50-lap A-Feature that pays $150,000 to the winner.

Dates: Friday-Saturday – August 1-2, 2014
Series: World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series
Location: Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri
Winners: Friday – Paul McMahan of CJB Motorsports
Saturday – Kerry Madsen of Keneric Racing
TSR Results: Friday – Schatz (Started 5th, Finished 3rd)
Kinser (Started 10th, Finished 10th)
Saturday – Schatz (Started 4th, Finished 2nd)
Kinser (Started 5th, Finished 22nd)
TSR Points: Schatz (1st with 8,359 points)
Kinser (8th with 7,465 points, 894 out of first)

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