For the second consecutive year, World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz has been nominated as one of the 10 finalists for the Economaki Champion of Champions which is awarded by National Speed Sport News.
For the past three seasons, NSSN has awarded the Economaki Champion of Champions to the driver of the year. The award is named after the longtime Editor and Publisher Emeritus of the paper, the legendary Chris Economaki.
Schatz graced the cover of the famed publication a number of times in 2007, including after winning his second consecutive Knoxville Nationals title and his first Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. He won a total of 19 A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws en route to claiming his second straight title. He became the first driver in sprint car racing history to win the Knoxville Nationals, the Kings Royal, the National Open, the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and the Williams Grove Summer Nationals all in the same season.
Schatz led the World of Outlaws in several statistical categories in 2007, including Top-10 finishes with 71, Top-Five finishes with 53, laps led with 467, money earned with $470,450, wins in the Crane Cams Dash with 12 and pole positions with 12 as well.
Schatz also is the only driver this season that was in the NSSN “Power Rankings” each and every week. He finished the season ranked second, only to NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson. In the 75 A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws this season, Schatz finished in the Top-10 in all but four.
For drivers to earn a nomination for the Economaki Champion of Champions Award, they must have won a title in North America during the 2007 season. Schatz is one of 10 finalists for the award, which will be presented by Economaki himself on Thursday December 5, at the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, held in Orlando, Florida, and will be featured in the December 19, season ending issue of NSSN.
Other finalists include: Sebastien Bourdais, who won the Champ Car World Series title, Jerry Coons Jr., who won the USAC National Midget title, Dario Franchitti, who won the Indy Racing League title, Steve Francis, who won the World of Outlaws Late Model Series title, Jon Fogarty/Alex Gurney, who won a title with the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Ron Hornaday, who won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title, Jimmie Johnson, who won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series title, Joey Logano, who won the NASCAR Busch East Series title and Tony Schumacher, who won the NHRA Top Fuel title.
Steve Kinser, who has won a record 20 World of Outlaws titles and 543 A-Feature events, was awarded the Economaki Champion of Champions Award in 2004.