Shane Stewart Kicks Off FVP Knoxville Nationals with Qualifying Night 1 Win

Donny Schatz leads the event standings after quick time and second place finish

KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Aug. 12, 2015 – Shane Stewart’s bid for his first ever FVP Knoxville Nationals title got off to a smashing start Wednesday night at Knoxville Raceway as he led wire-to-wire and held off Donny Schatz on a late restart to score the qualifying night victory.

Stewart, who came into the night with two straight wins, said he learned a lot at Sunday’s Capitani Classic at Knoxville. The experience helped as he maneuvered through traffic in the 25-lap feature.

“It’s all about momentum here and you’ve got to keep your speed up,” Stewart said. “Anytime you slow down it allows the guys behind you to catch up or the guy in front of you to pull away.”

 

As much as momentum and traffic were on his mind tonight, Schatz may have occupied a larger space.

“The 15 is coming,” is what Stewart said he was thinking on the final restart of the night with ten laps to go. The two drivers have spent much of the 2015 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season battling each other.

“I knew that my car was pretty good around the top and when you’re out leading here sometimes it’s the worst spot to be. Of course, when the caution comes out, you just try to hit your marks. It was a heated race, there were 10 laps left. These races, 25 laps, the laps click off pretty quick.”

All week at Knoxville, Stewart’s car is sporting a special paint scheme honoring retiring NASCAR star Jeff Gordon and his early sprint car career as well as the children’s cancer charity Kick-It which Gordon’s foundation is heavily involved in.

“Just really happy for everybody with Kick-It and really cool to have (Jeff Gordon) in the house and witness us winning it,” Stewart said. “Kick-It has been a big supporter of mine for a while.”

For his part, Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, jokingly said in victory lane that the No. 16 yellow and red paint scheme ran much better tonight than it did when he was driving it.

“I would have never run like that when I was running at Knoxville,” Gordon said.

Stewart started from the pole in his No. 16 Kick-It/Eneos car and out powered Daryn Pittman and Wayne Johnson in the early going. Sheldon Haudenschild charged early as he battled up to fourth at one point in the opening laps before he fell back.

It was Schatz and Gravel though who were on the move as the feature wore on. Schatz took over fourth in his No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance car on lap 7 after he started the night in eighth. Gravel, who started on Schatz’s inside, threw a couple of sliders on Ian Madsen to take over fifth just a lap after Schatz took the fourth position.

Stewart hit traffic on lap eight and he sliced and diced his way through, keeping that all important momentum going.

The crucial moment of the race came on lap 15 as the caution flag flew for the No. 18 of Madsen. On the restart, Johnson, then in second, tried a slider on Stewart that did not work. Schatz used the move to get around Johnson and then Gravel followed that up with a big move around Pittman and Johnson for third. Schatz began running down Stewart in the closing laps of the feature but he ran out of time.

“It was good – it gave us a chance to get with Shane there, keep pace with him and we really did,” Schatz said of the restart. “We kept trying to do some things different, move around on the race track, I just couldn’t seem to get any faster by moving around.”

“It’s a solid night, all you can ask for. We had an awesome racecar, drew a decent pill which is always very important when you come here with that many cars. Making it through that heat race here is ultimately important and we were able to get that.”

Following night one, Schatz leads the Knoxville points standings with 492 points over second place Gravel, who has 485 points. Paul McMahan, Sheldon Haudenschild and Shane Stewart round out the top five positions.

For Gravel, the night was a big momentum booster for his No. 7 Destiny Motorsports team. Gravel said they have struggled of late trying to get a good balance for the car.

“Sprint car racing is a tough sport,” Gravel said. “I haven’t run a full season in the same car in three years. It’s really hard for me. Right now we’re definitely gaining on things – motor program and car and I think we figured a couple of things out.”

He said they have a little work to do in the next couple of days as they prepare for Saturday’s final but he is happy with where they are at.

Stewart said as he looks toward Saturday and the finals of the Knoxville Nationals, the win tonight is what he and his team need as they face the prospect of running down a familiar foe in Saturday’s final.

“Anytime you can get a win at a big event like this it feels good,” Stewart said. “We’ve been chasing the 15 car all year long and it looks like we’re going to be chasing him come Saturday.”

The 55th FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores continues tomorrow night with the second qualifying race. To find out more information and to learn how to buy tickets, visit http://www.woosprint.com/knoxville-nationals.

Follow the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WorldofOutlaws, like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws, or check out the latest videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws.

2015 FVP Knoxville Nationals Notebook

RACE NOTES: Shane Stewart picked up his third straight victory Wednesday night with his win at Knoxville Raceway. Stewart won the Ironman 55 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 last Saturday and Knoxville’s Capitani Classic on Sunday… Donny Schatz, the reigning Knoxville Nationals winner, took home the quick time and finished in second… Donny Schatz leads David Gravel in the event championship standings, 492 to 485… Rico Abreu was the night’s Hard Charger, advancing from 23rd to eighth.

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Knoxville Raceway; Knoxville, Iowa; Aug. 12, 2015

A-Main – (25 Laps) – 1. Shane Stewart (1) ($12,000); 2. Donny Schatz (8); 3. David Gravel (7); 4. Paul McMahan (5); 5. Justin Henderson (10); 6. Wayne Johnson (3); 7. Daryn Pittman (2); 8. Rico Abreu (23); 9. Greg Hodnett (9); 10. Sheldon Haudenschild (6); 11. Bryan Clauson (24); 12. Davey Heskin (11); 13. Tasker Phillips (21); 14. Cody Darrah (22); 15. Kraig Kinser (18); 16. Tony Shilling (15); 17. Jamie Veal (12); 18. Tyler Courtney (14); 19. Lee Jacobs (16); 20. Dakota Hendrickson (20); 21. Willie Croft (13); 22. Jordyn Brazier (19); 23. Scott Bogucki (17); 24. Ian Madsen (4). Lap Leader: Shane Stewart 1-25. Hard Charger: Rico Abreu.

Qualifying – 1. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND (14), 14.953; 2. 7, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (10), 15.099; 3. 31C, Justyn Cox, Clarksburg, CA (1), 15.216; 4. 89, Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA (16), 15.255; 5. 93H, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (2), 15.263; 6. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (17), 15.279; 7. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (4), 15.316; 8. 51, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (46), 15.317; 9. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (5), 15.352; 10. 24R, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA (41), 15.359; 11. 18, Ian Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, Aust (35), 15.378; 12. O, Bud Kaeding, Campbell, CA (8), 15.390; 13. 7S, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (25), 15.393; 14. 12X, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (13), 15.410; 15. 9, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (54), 15.413; 16. 17W, Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN (40), 15.423; 17. 69, Mike Moore, Des Moines, IA (3), 15.439; 18. 16, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (51), 15.442; 19. 83, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (39), 15.454; 20. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (27), 15.455; 21. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (44), 15.502; 22. 27, Greg Hodnett, Spring Grove, PA (31), 15.531; 23. 1D, Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD (37), 15.542; 24. 56, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (26), 15.586; 25. 4R, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA (9), 15.600; 26. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (43), 15.612; 27. 17, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (45), 15.636; 28. 7D, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (21), 15.657; 29. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (22), 15.657; 30. 1A, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (29), 15.673; 31. 35AU, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (53), 15.677; 32. 29C, Willie Croft, Roseville, CA (24), 15.692; 33. 71X, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (49), 15.697; 34. 22, Tony Shilling, Knoxville, IA (18), 15.698; 35. 81X, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (19), 15.715; 36. 84, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (6), 15.718; 37. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (34), 15.731; 38. 5V, Colby Copeland, Roseville, CA (7), 15.739; 39. 21AU, Jordyn Brazier, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (15), 15.742; 40. 4, Dakota Hendrickson, Omaha, NE (47), 15.758; 41. 13X, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (36), 15.767; 42. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust (20), 15.795; 43. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (50), 15.800; 44. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (23), 15.820; 45. 2KS, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (52), 15.835; 46. 55W, Logan Wagner, Harrisonville, PA (12), 15.849; 47. 81, Austin Johnson, Pleasant Hill, IA (32), 15.857; 48. 2L, Logan Forler, Boise, ID (28), 15.899; 49. 23, Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA (11), 16.000; 50. 7X, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (33), 16.000; 51. 4S, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (38), 16.093; 52. O5, Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO (55), 16.424; 53. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (48), 16.999; 54. 96AU, Bruce White, Merrylands West, NSW, Aust. (30), 17.363; 55. 17M, Todd Mickelson, Minot, ND (42), 18.095.

Heat 1 – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. Jamie Veal (2); 2. Ian Madsen (6); 3. Donny Schatz (8); 4. Scott Bogucki (1) / 5. Josh Schneiderman (3); 6. Bryan Clauson (5); 7. Paige Polyak (4); 8. Tasker Phillips (7) / 9. Jac Haudenschild (9); 10. Logan Wagner (10)

Heat 2 – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. Willie Croft (2); 2. Greg Hodnett (4); 3. Kraig Kinser (1); 4. David Gravel (8) / 5. Josh Baughman (3); 6. Bud Kaeding (6); 7. Matt Covington (7); 8. Mike Moore (5) / 9. Austin Johnson (10); 10. Glen Saville (9)

Heat 3 – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. Tyler Courtney (2); 2. Justin Henderson (4); 3. Shane Stewart (5); 4. Paul McMahan (7) / 5. Dustin Selvage (3); 6. Jason Sides (6); 7. Colby Copeland (1); 8. Logan Forler (10) / 9. Justyn Cox (8); 10. Brady Bacon (9)

Heat 4 – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. Tony Shilling (2); 2. Davey Heskin (4); 3. Jordyn Brazier (1); 4. Wayne Johnson (6) / 5. Aaron Reutzel (5); 6. Austin McCarl (3); 7. Cody Darrah (8); 8. Bob Weuve (7) / 9. Jimmy Light (10); 10. AJ Moeller (9)

Heat 5 – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. Dakota Hendrickson (1); 2. Daryn Pittman (6); 3. Lee Jacobs (2); 4. Sheldon Haudenschild (8) / 5. Rico Abreu (7); 6. Lynton Jeffrey (5); 7. Jon Agan (4); 8. Jacob Allen (3) / 9. Craig Dollansky (9); 10. Kaley Gharst (10)

C Main – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the Last Chance Showdown) – 1. Jac Haudenschild (2); 2. Justyn Cox (1); 3. Logan Wagner (5); 4. Craig Dollansky (6) / 5. Brady Bacon (4); 6. Jimmy Light (7); 7. Austin Johnson (8); 8. Danny Smith (9); 9. Glen Saville (3); 10. Bruce White (12); 11. Todd Mickelson (11); 12. Kaley Gharst (10); DNS – AJ Moeller, Brad Loyet, Bronson Maeschen

Last Chance Showdown – (12 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. Tasker Phillips (2); 2. Cody Darrah (1); 3. Rico Abreu (5); 4. Bryan Clauson (8) / 5. Jason Sides (7); 6. Matt Covington (3); 7. Lynton Jeffrey (11); 8. Austin McCarl (17); 9. Jac Haudenschild (21); 10. Aaron Reutzel (10); 11. Bud Kaeding (6); 12. Paige Polyak (12); 13. Bob Weuve (4); 14. Josh Schneiderman (14); 15. Mike Moore (9); 16. Josh Baughman (15); 17. Logan Wagner (23); 18. Craig Dollansky (24); 19. Dustin Selvage (16); 20. Justyn Cox (22); 21. Jacob Allen (18); 22. Logan Forler (20); 23. Jon Agan (13); 24. Colby Copeland (19)

2015 FVP Knoxville World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship Standings

1 15 Donny Schatz 492
2 7 David Gravel 485
3 51 Paul McMahan 471
4 93H Sheldon Haudenschild 465
5 16 Shane Stewart 460
6 9 Daryn Pittman 457
7 24R Rico Abreu 456
8 12X Wayne Johnson 455
9 89 Cody Darrah 450
10 1D Justin Henderson 445
11 7TAZ Tasker Phillips 445
12 27 Greg Hodnett 439
13 17W Bryan Clauson 435
14 18 Ian Madsen 431
15 56 Davey Heskin 429
16 95 Matt Covington 410
17 35AU Jamie Veal 408
18 22 Tony Shilling 404
19 7S Jason Sides 403
20 71X Tyler Courtney 402
21 29C Willie Croft 398
22 11K Kraig Kinser 394
23 O Bud Kaeding 393
24 81X Lee Jacobs 390
25 19 Bob Weuve 389
26 12 Lynton Jeffrey 385
27 4 Dakota Hendrickson 384
28 83 Aaron Reutzel 384
29 31C Justyn Cox 384
30 84 Scott Bogucki 377
31 21AU Jordyn Brazier 376
32 19P Paige Polyak 370
33 69 Mike Moore 369
34 17A Austin McCarl 365
35 49J Josh Schneiderman 362
36 17 Josh Baughman 356
37 7D Dustin Selvage 348
38 4R Jon Agan 340
39 1A Jacob Allen 331
40 13X Jac Haudenschild 330
41 5V Colby Copeland 312
42 2KS Craig Dollansky 304
43 55W Logan Wagner 301
44 2L Logan Forler 293
45 99 Brady Bacon 281
46 75 Glen Saville 275
47 81 Austin Johnson 272
48 23 Jimmy Light 270
49 20 AJ Moeller 263
50 7X Kaley Gharst 253
51 4S Danny Smith 236
52 O5 Brad Loyet 219
53 96AU Bruce White 217
54 96 Bronson Maeschen 212
55 17M Todd Mickelson 210

 

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Lincoln Welders (Official Welder), Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, MSD, Penske Racing Shocks, Sweet Manufacturing, and Superflow Dynos; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: ButlerBuilt, Intercomp, Impact Race Products, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and TNT Rescue.