Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz has been nearly unstoppable in World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series action since late July, and the driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J continued his record-setting season this past weekend by winning both Friday at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway and Saturday’s WoO inaugural race at Berlin Speedway in Marne, Michigan. The five-time WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion tied his previous career-best of 23 wins in a season Friday and established a new record of 24 with Saturday’s triumph.
“We have an awesome race team,” said Schatz, who continues to chase a sixth WoO title. “Awesome racecar. This has been such great effort by everyone associated with this team. We’re in attack mode and want to win every night. Sweeping the weekend and getting to 24 wins is just a testament to the dedication these STP guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson, Eric Prutzman) have to being the best. The competition is really tough out here, but night in and night out they are doing a phenomenal job with the car. We’ve been able to surpass what we did in wins last year and we’re still focused on getting that championship. We’ve got seven more races and that’s seven more opportunities to win races.”
TSR’s Steve Kinser made his final appearance as a full-time driver with the Outlaws Friday night in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana behind the wheel of the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim. The 20-time WoO champion continued the WoO “Salute to the King Tour” with a pair of solid finishes by coming home sixth at Bloomington and fifth Saturday at Berlin.
Schatz and Kinser led the Outlaws back to Bloomington’s quarter-mile dirt oval Friday as former winners. Kinser was looking to score his ninth career WoO triumph at the track while Schatz was aiming for his second. Schatz got off to a strong start by qualifying second in the field of 38 competitors and racing to second in heat two. The Fargo, North Dakota racer advanced two spots in the dash to earn the fourth position on the starting grid of the 40-lap A-Feature. The 2011 WoO A-Feature winner at Bloomington quickly jumped into second and stalked early leader Christopher Bell for the first 20 laps before taking over the top spot halfway through the race. Schatz mastered lapped traffic the rest of the way to score his 23rd A-Feature victory of the season and fourth in a row in the state of Indiana. Kinser, who won the Outlaws’ first race at Bloomington in 1978, qualified 13th and won the opening heat to transfer into the dash. The 20-time WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion finished eighth in the dash and raced from eighth to sixth in the A-Feature.
The Outlaws were welcomed to Berlin Raceway by a standing-room-only crowd Saturday as the Outlaws made their debut at the facility, and Schatz had the crowd on its feet in qualifying as he blistered around the track like he had raced there for years and went to the top of the board. He finished third in the opening heat before racing from sixth to second in the dash. In the feature, he shared the front row with Bell and took the lead on lap two of the 30-lap contest. Schatz pulled away from Bell and set a torrid pace on the dry, slick track. He would lead the rest of the race and capture the win to up his career high for wins in a season with 24. The victory also enabled him to sweep the Outlaws’ two races in Michigan this season – he also won May 31 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa. Kinser was looking to end the season with consistency and, for the second consecutive night, he qualified inside the inversion and went on to win the opening heat. He started the feature seventh and finished fifth.
After 82 nights of action in the 2014 WoO STP Sprint Car Series campaign, Schatz continues to set the pace with the top numbers in a number of the categories including: points with 11,559, which puts him 288 ahead of second-place Daryn Pittman; wins with 24, top-fives with 58, top-10s with 75, and KSE Hard Charger Awards with 13. Kinser ranks eighth overall in the championship standings with 10,160 points and his two finishes last weekend increased his top-10 total to 39.
The TSR teams will spend the week in Indiana before traveling to Pennsylvania for their final battle versus the Pennsylvania Posse Friday and Saturday in the Morgan Hughes National Open at Williams Grove Speedway. Schatz and Kinser are the winningest drivers in the prestigious event with five and four wins, respectively.