By Tony Veneziano, World of Outlaws PR Director

Last season the World of Outlaws raced on seven different sizes of track, and Donny Schatz won on six of those. The only size track he did not visit the winner’s circle on in 2006 was a quarter-mile. He made sure on Friday night that he will have that column checked this season, as he won on the recently reconfigured high-banked quarter-mile at Houston Raceway Park.

 


(Click to hear Donny Schatz following his victory on Friday night at Houston Raceway Park.)

(Click for the complete MyLaps.com statistical breakdown from Friday night’s event.)

Schatz, the reigning World of Outlaws champion started the 35-lap event on the pole and led wire-to-wire, as he picked up his second consecutive win and third overall on the season. He nearly made a clean sweep of the night, as he won the third heat and the dash to earn the pole position for the A-Feature. He is the current championship point leader on the strength of seven Top-Five finishes in the first eight events of the year.

“It was a good start to the weekend,” said Schatz, driver of the Parker Store J&J. “The race car was good all night long. We thought it might get slicker than it did. The short track was pretty good. I’m just glad to get back to victory lane.”

Schatz charged to the lead in the first turn on the initial start, but a caution before that lap was completed led to a complete restart. On the second start, he again powered his way into the first turn, and began to quickly pull away from Daryn Pittman and Jason Solwold.

In the middle of the race, the native of Fargo, North Dakota had to battle heavy traffic and was steadily putting cars a lap down. While he was fast in open race track, his car seemed just as stout when weaving his way through the slower machines. A couple of late cautions bunched the field up, and under World of Outlaws rules for 2007, the lapped cars were placed at the rear of the field.

“When you take lapped traffic out, there is one guy that is going to lose everything that he gained, and that would be me leading the race,” said Schatz. “We had to keep passing guys. I passed some cars two and three times. That’s just part of the deal. It makes me a better racer and we like seeing that traffic. I feel like we have an advantage in traffic and we can’t wait to get to it.”

Daryn Pittman used a couple of strong restarts as the laps wound down, to keep Schatz in his sights. He used every bit of momentum he could find on the high side of the quarter-mile, as he looked for his second win of the season.

“We could run with him (Schatz) on the top for a lap or two at most,” said Pittman, driver of the Titan Garages Maxim. “I knew he was not going to make a mistake on the bottom, and I knew that if I wanted to get back him I would have to make the top work. We were close. We were within striking distance.”

For Schatz, it was his second consecutive win at Houston Raceway Park. He won in 2005, the last time the series raced at the state-of-the-art facility, when it was a 4/10-mile track. He was very pleased with the improvements that had recently been made to the track surface that put on a thrilling race for the fans, who he thanked from victory lane.

“It still very quick, even though they narrowed the corners a little bit,” said Schatz. “There are a lot of tracks around the country that should take awareness of what they did here to help make better racing. It was a great track tonight. It was big and wide and everyone could run everywhere. There was no rubber and that’s what we want to see.”

One of the most entertaining battles of the race came in the last five laps, as Craig Dollansky, Joey Saldana, and Steve Kinser all went after the third position. They traded that spot countless times, with Dollansky ultimately edging them out for the final podium position. Lap after lap the trio ran wheel to wheel and entered each corner as hard as they could seeking that one more spot.

“Considering where we started, I would have liked to have seen a few more laps at the end,” said Dollansky, driver of the Karavan Trailers Maxim. “A few breaks here or there and things could have turned out different for us, but all in all it was a pretty good run for us.”

Joey Saldana set fast time on the night and charged from the 9th starting spot to pick up his fifth Top-Five of the year, as he was fourth in the Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI. He is currently second in points and received five bonus points for setting quick time.

“I got up there to second and was probably good enough to get by (Daryn) Pittman,” said Saldana, a native of Brownsburg, Indiana. “We were racing pretty hard. We had that yellow and I started dialing on my shocks and wing, and I just dialed my car right out. I had a car good enough to at least run second. The yellows can sometimes help you and sometimes hurt you.”

Steve Kinser, charged from the 11th starting spot to pick up his second Top-Five of the campaign, as he was fifth in the Q Oil Maxim. The 20-time World of Outlaws Champion is the all-time win leader at Houston Raceway Park with five triumphs. After starting in the sixth row, it only took him one lap to crack the Top-10. On the 19th circuit, he found his way into the Top-Five.

The rest of the Top-10 was Jac Haudenschild in sixth in the Wright One Construction Maxim. Justin Henderson was seventh in the Dan Dan the Sonic Man Rocket. Jason Solwold was eighth in the City Wide Insulation Maxin. Jason Sides came home ninth in the Wetherington Tractor Services Maxim. Kerry Madsen was 10th in the Selma Shell Maxim.

The World of Outlaws return to action on Saturday night at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Mississippi.

HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK NOTEBOOK

• FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 32 cars that took time with a record setting AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked ¼-mile oval at 11.996 seconds at 75.025 mph. For his qualifying effort, Saldana earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Terry McCarl (4), Steve Kinser (3), Danny Lasoski (2), and Paul McMahan (1).

• DETERMINATION DOWN IN TEXAS: Tim Shaffer did not turn a single lap on the race track until the first lap of the B-Main on Friday night. His team sustained a problem to their truck and trailer on the way to the race track, about 100 miles out of Houston. Just before the B-Main was about to roll onto the track, the transporter arrived and the crew quickly got the car ready for Shaffer. He came up just a couple spots short of transferring from the B-Main and used a provisional to start the A-Feature, where he worked his way from the 26th starting spot to a very respectable 14th-place finish.

• QUALIFYING WINNERS:  Craig Dollansky, Jason Solwold, Donny Schatz, and Jason Sides won heat races… Sam Hafertepe Jr. won the B-Main… Donny Schatz won the dash. 

• FEATURE WINNERS: There have been eight World of Outlaws A-Feature events held in 2007. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (February 9 at Volusia Speedway Park, March 3 at Manzanita Speedway, and March 16 at Houston Raceway Park), Tim Kaeding (February 24 at Thunderbowl Raceway), Steve Kinser (March 2 at USA Race Park), Kerry Madsen (February 10 at Volusia Speedway Park), Daryn Pittman (February 11 at Volusia Speedway Park), and Joey Saldana (February 23 at Thunderbowl Raceway).

• ¼-MILE WINNERS: Houston Raceway Park is a high-banked 1/4-mile track. The World of Outlaws have raced one time this season on a track that size. The winner was
Donny Schatz.

• ON THE WEB: The Official World of Outlaws Web site is at http://www.worldofoutlaws.com. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases. Also, links to the Media Guide and 2007 Official Rulebook can be found at the bottom of the home page.

• LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the series, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws live on DIRTVision.com through the DIRT Radio Network. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.DIRTVision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]

• UP NEXT: A trip east to Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Mississippi on Saturday night.

• UPCOMING EVENTS: The series will make their inaugural visit to Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee on March 24, and will close out the month at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia on March 31.On April 5, the World of Outlaws return to Paducah International Speedway in Kentucky, followed by a stop at I-55 Raceway in Missouri the next night.

World of Outlaws Sprint Series Statistical Report; Houston Raceway Park; March 16, 2007
Qualifying
1) 9-Joey Saldana 11.996
2) 24-Terry McCarl 12.035
3) 11-Steve Kinser 12.039
4) 83-Danny Lasoski 12.041
5) 20-Paul McMahan 12.061
6) 11H-Kerry Madsen 12.095
7) 15-Donny Schatz 12.106
8) 11K-Tim Kaeding 12.188
9) 14-Jason Meyers 12.214
10) R19-Jason Solwold 12.242
11) 8K-Zach Chappell 12.244
12) 7S-Jason Sides 12.269
13) 7-Craig Dollansky 12.287
14) 35-Jac Haudenschild 12.289
15) 21-Daryn Pittman 12.316
16) D1-Justin Henderson 12.318
17) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr. 12.328
18) 11D-Dion Hindi 12.328
19) 5C-Chad Hillier 12.418
20) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 12.431
21) 36-Jason Martin 12.451
22) 18-Brian Carlson 12.473
23) 3X-Chad Kemenah 12.475
24) 1x-Randy Hannagan 12.546
25) 10C-Jeremy Campbell 12.563
26) 55-Billy Alley 12.764
27) B4-Eric Baldaccini 12.839
28) 12M-James Mosher 12.845
29) 2-Brooke Tatnell 13.050
30) 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek 13.132
31) 51-Wes Miller 13.537
32) 55R-Rooster Boone 15.631
33) 50-Rich Schallert -.—
34) 6-Tim Shaffer -.— 

Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 7-Craig Dollansky
2) 20-Paul McMahan
3) 9-Joey Saldana
4) 14-Jason Meyers
5) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr
6) 2-Brooke Tatnell
7) 10C-Jeremy Campbell
8) 36-Jason Martin 

Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) R19-Jason Solwold
2) 35-Jac Haudenschild
3) 24-Terry McCarl
4) 11H-Kerry Madsen
5) 11D-Dion Hindi
6) 18-Brian Carlson
7) 55-Billy Alley
8) 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek 

Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 15-Donny Schatz
2) 21-Daryn Pittman
3) 11-Steve  Kinser
4) 3X-Chad Kemenah
5) 8K-Zach Chappell
6) 5C-Chad Hillier
7) B4-Eric Baldaccini
8) 51-Wes Miller 

Heat 4 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 7S-Jason Sides
2) D1-Justin Henderson
3) 11K-Tim Kaeding
4) 83-Danny Lasoski
5) 1X-Randy Hannagan
6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
7) 12M-James Mosher
8) 55R-Rooster Boone 

Dash 1 (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
1) 15-Donny Schatz
2) 21-Daryn Pittman
3) R19-Jason Solwold
4) D1-Justin Henderson
5) 7S-Jason Sides
6) 35-Jac Haudenschild
7) 20-Paul McMahan
8) 24-Terry McCarl
9) 9-Joey Saldana
10) 7-Craig Dollansky

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr 
2) 55-Billy Alley 
3) 5C-Chad Hillier 
4) 36-Jason Martin 
5) 12M-James Mosher [$0]6) 6-Tim Shaffer [$180]7) 2-Brooke Tatnell [$175]8) 10C-Jeremy Campbell [$160]9) 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek [$150]10) B4-Eric Baldaccini [$150]11) 51-Wes Miller [$150]12) 55R-Rooster Boone [$150]13) 18-Brian Carlson [$150] 

A-main (35 laps) – Starting Position [#]1) 15-Donny Schatz[1] [$10,000]2) 21-Daryn Pittman[2] [$5,500]3) 7-Craig Dollansky[10] [$3,200]4) 9-Joey Saldana[9] [$2,800]5) 11-Steve  Kinser[11] [$2,500]6) 35-Jac Haudenschild[6] [$2,300]7) D1-Justin Henderson[4] [$2,200]8) R19-Jason Solwold[3] [$2,100]9) 7S-Jason Sides[5] [$2,050]10) 11H-Kerry Madsen[13] [$2,000]11) 11K-Tim Kaeding[14] [$1,500]12) 2-Brooke Tatnell[25] [$400]13) 24-Terry McCarl[8] [$1,100]14) 6-Tim Shaffer[26] [$250]15) 14-Jason Meyers[15] [$1,000]16) 20-Paul McMahan[7] [$900]17) 5C-Chad Hillier[19] [$800]18) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr.[17] [$800]19) 1x-Randy Hannagan[23] [$800]20) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[20] [$800]21) 3X-Chad Kemenah[22] [$800]22) 11D-Dion Hindi[18] [$800]23) 12M-James Mosher[27] [$800]24) 36-Jason Martin[21] [$800]25) 55-Billy Alley[24] [$800]26) 83-Danny Lasoski[12] [$800] 
DNS—8K Zach Chappell [$200]Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-35
Note: Brooke Tatnell and Tim Shaffer used provisionals to start the A-Feature.

2007 STAT ATTACK
There have been 8 World of Outlaws A-Feature events this season.

A-Feature winners (6 different drivers) Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – #15 Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND – 3
2-  #11K Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA – 1
#11 Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN – 1
#11H Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s NSW – 1
#21 Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK – 1    
#9 Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN – 1

Lap leaders, including A-features and preliminary features Car, driver, hometown – Total laps led (10 different drivers have led a lap)
#15 Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 67 laps
#11K Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA – 40 laps
#21 Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK – 30 laps
#11 Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN – 24 laps
#9 Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN. – 24 laps
#35 Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH – 23 laps
#11H Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW – 21 laps
#D1 Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD – 14 laps
#7S Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN – 6 laps
#83 Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO – 4 laps

Time trial leaders (7 different drivers) Rank – Driver, Hometown – Quick times
1 – #9 Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN – 2
2 – #18T Tony Bruce Jr., Liberal, KS – 1
#89 Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA – 1
#7 Craig Dollansky- Elk River, MN – 1
#11H Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW – 1
#20 Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN – 1
#6T Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA – 1

Track records established during 2007 World of Outlaws events (3)
* Craig Dollansky, March 2, United Sports Arizona Race Park (3/8-mile), Tucson, Ariz., 12.624 seconds at 106.939 mph.
* Kerry Madsen, March 3, Manzanita Speedway (1/2-mile), Phoenix, Ariz., 15.255 seconds at 118.149 mph.
* Joey Saldana, March 16, Houston Raceway Park (1/4-mile) Baytown, Texas, 11.996 seconds at 75.025 mph.

Dash Winners (7 different winners) Rank – Driver, Hometown – Dash Wins
1-  #15 Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 2
2 – #15T Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX – 1
#35 Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH – 1
#20 Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN – 1
#14 Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA – 1
#21 Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK – 1           
#7S Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN – 1     

Pole Positions (7 different drivers) Rank – Driver, Hometown – Poles
1 – #15 Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND – 2
2 – #15T Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX – 1
#35 Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH – 1
#20 Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN – 1
#14 Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA – 1
#21 Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK – 1
#7S Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN – 1

B-main Winners (8 different winners) Rank – Driver, Hometown – “B” Wins
1 – #15H Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX -1
#1X Randy Hannagan, San Jose – 1
#11D Dion Hindi, Albuquerque, NM – 1
#11K Tim Kaeding, San Jose – 1
#11H Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s NSW – 1
#20 Paul McMahan- Nashville, TN – 1
#9 Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN – 1
#2 Brooke Tatnell, San Souci, NSW – 1