NDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 12, 2011) – It’s all in the numbers. Statistics can be used to determine a lot of things, but not everyone turns out to be a believer. In World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series circles, winning races often comes down to percentages. With only four opportunities remaining to claim victory in the 2011 WoO season, Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz like their odds of returning to the winner’s circle before season’s end.
The next chance comes Saturday when the Outlaws return to Fremont (Ohio) Speedway for the first time since 1993. With the two TSR drivers almost assured of finishing second and third in the championship standings, each will look to continue a streaks of his own Saturday night around the 1/3-mile dirt oval.
Kinser, who competed in all four Outlaw events staged at Fremont from 1990 to 1993, will be behind the wheel of the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/JD Byrider Maxim seeking his first WoO victory at Fremont. The 20-time WoO champion has won at least one WoO A-Feature in the Buckeye State in 24 of his 31 seasons competing with the Outlaws and would need to win Saturday night in order for that number to reach 25.
The Bloomington, Ind., native scored his first career WoO triumph in Ohio back in 1978 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg. Kinser is a two-time winner at Fremont, scoring Ohio Speed Week triumphs in 1983 and 1984, the first two times he competed at the track. Those two wins aren’t included in the 56 WoO wins he has in Ohio. “The King of the Outlaws” would like nothing more than to make Fremont the ninth facility in Ohio where he’s earned a WoO A-Feature victory and the site of his 571st career triumph.
Schatz will be competing at the track for the first time eyeing a third Ohio WoO triumph in 2011. The four-time series champion will drive the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J looking to make Fremont the fifth dirt oval in Ohio where he’s been a WoO winner. In two of the previous three seasons, Schatz has won three times in Ohio. The Fargo, N.D., racer picked up his first of six A-Feature triumphs this season in the Buckeye State at Attica Raceway Park in May. Two months later, he earned his first Brad Doty Classic victory by racing to victory at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima. Eleven of his 111 career WoO A-Feature wins have been earned in Ohio.
The TSR tandem will both be utilizing new cars in Saturday’s competition. An unfortunate accident on the opening lap of last Saturday’s STP Shootout at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, N.Y., destroyed both the Nos. 11 and 15 machines. Schatz started sixth and spun in the middle of turns three and four while trying to advance into third position and ultimately collected Kinser. With both TSR cars parked in the pit area, WoO championship leader Jason Meyers went on to extend his lead over both TSR drivers. Kinser ranks second and trails Meyers by 245 points while Schatz is 257 out. Kinser’s nine A-Feature victories tie him for the series high, and he’s led a series-best 252 laps this year. Through 61 of 65 nights of racing, Schatz has earned six wins, 29 top-fives and 48 top-10s.
Saturday at Fremont, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 4 p.m. EDT. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at (419) 332-7600 or visit www.FremontOHSpeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend Saturday’s race can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Maxim:
“I get pretty excited about any win. When you get to this point of the season, there are only a few nights left, so you want to end the season on a good note if it all possible. We like racing in Ohio. Being from Indiana, it’s always been close for us to go there and race. We have won a lot of races at Eldora, but also have been pretty successful at other places, too. Whether it’s been Lima, Millstream, Sharon or even New Bremen earlier my career, we’ve gone pretty well over there. Ohio is a lot like Indiana in that the racing tradition goes pretty deep. I’m pretty happy to be part of that.”
Last weekend didn’t turn out quite like you had hoped. How hard is to go from almost winning one of the bigger races of the season to crashing out on the first lap?
“It’s not a lot of fun, I can tell you that. I really felt like we were going to win the National Open (at Williams Grove Speedway). I led the thing early and just messed up a little halfway through the race. The Bass Pro Shops team (Scott Gerkin, Gary DuBois and Mikey Kuemper) put a good car underneath me and we just got beat. We went up to Rolling Wheels and were starting a little deeper (10th) than we wanted, but I figured I’d be able to drive my way forward. All I know is I was on the bottom of turn three and, the next thing I know, Donny’s car is sitting right in front of me. There wasn’t anything I could do. I hit him a ton and destroyed both cars. It was just one of those racing deals, but you hate it for TSR that both cars got destroyed. I would have rather been battling it out for the win. Maybe that’ll be the case this weekend.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Saturday’s stop at Fremont will be your first race at the track. What is your approach to a race at a track for the first time?
“It’s kind of fun to go to a place for the first time. I actually made some laps there last year. Tony (Stewart) and I were guests of Frankie Kerr. He rented the track and we just kind of had some fun. I think it’ll be a fun place to race. Chances are they’ll have a really good field of cars. I know their weekly program is one of the strongest in the country, and I’m sure all the fans and regular drivers have been looking forward to this race all season. When we go to a place for the first time, we try to use our notes from other places that we think are similar. The track will change as the night goes on, so you have to keep up with it all night. The guys who run there all the time may know the track’s tendencies a little better, but we’ve got a strong team that’s been around for a long time.”
Two of your wins this year came in Ohio. Is there any strategy you used at Attica or Limaland earlier this year that you’ll try to duplicate Saturday night?
“A lot of it depends on what the surface is like. We like it when the track slows down and slicks off. When we won at Attica, it was that way. We were able to move all around the track that night. The surface for the Brad Doty Classic was really good, also. I think we had three grooves to race on. That’s all you can ask for. The STP crew (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) will give me a good car. I’ve got to make good decisions on the track. Those races come down to being able to maneuver through lapped traffic and being at the right place at the right time. Our luck hasn’t been the best, lately, but I’ve always said you make your own luck. We’re going to work hard and see if somehow we can put ourselves in position to win another race in Ohio.”
About Armored AutoGroup
Armored AutoGroup Inc., headquartered in Danbury, CT, is primarily comprised of the Armor All® and STP® brands. Armor All’s® current product line of protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care products, glass cleaners, leather care products and washes is designed to clean, shine and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces. STP’s® offering of oil and fuel additives, functional fluids and automotive appearance products has a broad customer base ranging from professional racers to car enthusiasts and ‘‘Do-it-Yourselfers’’. The company has a diversified geographic footprint with direct operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. and distributor relationships in approximately 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.armorall.com and www.stp.com.
About Bass Pro Shops Group
Bass Pro Shops – 56 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 109 million people annually, international catalog and internet retailing, American Rod & Gun wholesale division selling to over 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide, Outdoor World Incentives also selling Bass Pro Shops gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America and a restaurant division with 26 locations. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog call 1-800-BASS PRO.
Tracker Marine Group – Manufactures and sells Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako boats through Bass Pro Shops retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide.
Resort Group – Big Cedar Lodge and other resort properties including restaurants and golf course. Visit www.bigcedar.com for more information.
About J.D. Byrider
In business more than 20 years, J.D. Byrider is the nation’s leading franchised used car sales and finance business. The company was founded to serve customers with special auto financing needs and to ensure that they receive the same quality service in every J.D. Byrider dealership. With nearly 900,000 consumers matched to quality, affordable vehicles, the company continues its focus on reliability and customer satisfaction.
Headquartered near Indianapolis in Carmel, Ind., J.D. Byrider has 135franchised- and company-owned dealerships in 30 states. Visit www.jdbyrider.com to learn more.