The World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series July run through Pennsylvania and New York resulted in another competitive week of action for the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teams, and the highlight came when team owner Tony Stewart scored his second career WoO A-Feature triumph. Stewart competed with the WoO in two of their three races last week beginning Tuesday night at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., where he drove the TSR No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1/ Coca-Cola J&J to victory in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup.
Steve Kinser put a pair of top-10s on the board behind the wheel of the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Maxim and continues to lead the chase for the 2012 WoO championship. He finished fourth in the first 30-lap A-Feature at Lernerville and charged from 23rd to seventh in Saturday’s Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Donny Schatz competed in all four WoO A-Features last week and raced the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J to a pair of top-six finishes. He chased Stewart to the finish line Tuesday and charged from 13th to sixth on Sunday at Lebanon (N.Y.) Valley Speedway.
The Don Martin Memorial event at Lernerville provides the WoO competitors the opportunity to compete in two 30-lap A-Features on the same night. The lineup for the first main event was determined by the regular WoO format.
Schatz carried the TSR torch from qualifying through the dash on Tuesday. He qualified third in the field of 40 cars, finished second in heat three and second in the dash. After starting next to Craig Dollansky in the 30-lap A-Feature, Schatz raced inside the top-four during the first 17 laps, but had to relinquish the spot when his STP machine shut off heading down the backstretch. The four-time WoO champion rejoined the field and charged back to 13th before contact with Brad Sweet sent him to the pit area for repairs once again. Schatz would finish 18th.
Stewart qualified 10th at Lernerville and finished third in the second heat. He started 14th in the main event and was collected in a late-race accident before finishing 19th. Kinser qualified 20th but raced his way into the dash by moving from fifth to second in heat four. A blown engine during the dash relegated him to start 10th in the 30-lap feature. “The King of the Outlaws” methodically worked his way forward during the race and finished fourth.
Dollansky led all 30 laps to win the first A-Feature and earn his fourth victory of the season.
The challenge of the Don Martin Memorial is that a second 30-lap main event is contested minutes after the conclusion of the first one with the cars being lined up to start based on their finish in the first race. All cars on the lead lap were inverted, so it put 20th-place finisher Greg Hodnett on the pole with Stewart and Schatz in positions two and three. Kinser started 17th, but with the event paying only prize money and the outcome not impacting the championship standings, he made only a few laps before pulling off the track.
Stewart chased Hodnett for the first 16 laps before taking the lead. The three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion paced the field from there and had to deal with Schatz during the final 10 laps of the race. Schatz stalked Stewart from lap 20 through 25 when a caution flag slowed the action. The caution took the leaders out of traffic. Stewart was able to race away following the restart and earn his second career WoO A-Feature triumph.
The action resumed Saturday at Williams Grove, where Kinser returned as the Outlaws’ most recent winner at the historic half-mile dirt oval. Qualifying didn’t go as planned for Kinser as he timed in 23rd of the 45 competitors, but he was able finish fifth in the third heat to secure a starting position in the 30-lap A-Feature. It was another classic run through the field for Kinser during the first 19 laps of the race. He worked his way past Stewart for seventh just prior to a caution on lap 19. During the final 10 laps, he maintained his position inside the top-10 and finished seventh.
Stewart qualified 14th before finishing second in heat three and eighth in the dash. He was consistent in his first career WoO A-Feature event at Williams Grove and finished eighth. Schatz was plagued once again in qualifying when he timed in 35th. He made a valiant effort in heat three to gain a transfer spot, but he couldn’t get past Kinser. He finished second in the C-Feature and then used a provisional starting position in the 30-lap A-Feature. Schatz was also on the charge early in the race, following Kinser through the field. He had just passed Don Krietz Jr., for eighth when the caution flag flew on lap 19. Schatz was put back to ninth for the restart and was held up by Krietz, allowing a pair of competitors to race by him. He would finish 11th.
Cody Darrah started second and led every lap of the 30-lap A-Feature to score his first win of 2012.
The weekend concluded with the Outlaws’ annual stop at Lebanon Valley. Schatz, a two-time WoO winner at the track, qualified 13th and finished fifth in the opening heat. He started 13th in the 25-lap main event and found himself in 12th when a caution on lap 21 slowed the action. During the final four laps of the race, he found the low groove to his liking and charged up to finish sixth. Kinser qualified 14th, finished fifth in heat two and started next to Schatz in the A-Feature. Kinser was able to climb up to ninth before having trouble on the final lap. The Bass Pro Shops machine slowed during his final time around the half-mile track and Kinser finished 15th.
Dollansky made it two wins on the week by passing early leader Joey Saldana en route to his third win at Lebanon Valley in the last four years.
Following the week of action, Kinser continues to lead the WoO championship standings. With his recent success, Dollansky has moved into second and trails Kinser by 11 points. Schatz ranks third in the chase, trailing Kinser by 23 markers.
The TSR teams will spend this week preparing for their annual run through eastern Canada, which includes four races in five nights. The WoO will make their debut at Autodrome Granby (Quebec) Friday before racing Saturday at Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, Quebec. Cornwall (Ontario) Motor Speedway will host the Outlaws Sunday and the Canadian tour closes Tuesday at Ohsweken (Ontario) Speedway.