Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz put an exclamation point on the month of June with a dominant weekend in World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series action. The driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J won Friday night at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa, finished third Saturday at Beaver Dam (Wis.) Speedway and won Sunday’s A-Feature at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin. The weekend tripleheader concluded a month of June during which the five-time WoO champion finished on the podium six times in eight starts.
Twenty-time champion Steve Kinser continued the World of Outlaws “Salute to the King Tour” with his final stops as championship contender at the three dirt ovals. He earned a pair of heat-race victories in the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim and posted a pair of top-10 finishes.
The Outlaws’ fourth appearance at 34 Raceway opened the weekend Friday and the TSR teammates put on a show in heat three. Kinser qualified 15th in the field and started on the pole while Schatz was seventh overall and started right behind Kinser. Kinser took the lead on the opening lap and Schatz worked his way into second by lap three. Kinser hammered the cushion as Schatz tried to make the bottom groove work. The two were side-by-side during the final two laps and Kinser edged Schatz at the finish. A runner-up finish in the dash put “The King of the Outlaws” on the outside of the front row for the 30-lap A-Feature. Kerry Madsen got the jump at the start while Kinser battled inside the top-four during the first half of the race. Schatz started 10th and patiently worked his way to the cusp of the top-five, moving by Kinser on the way. Schatz continued his climb and restarted the race with 10 laps to go in the second position. He dove inside Madsen heading into turn three and came out leading lap 21. Schatz would lead the final 10 laps and score the seventh win of 2014 and the 154th of his career to move into third position all-time in WoO A-Feature wins. He trails only Kinser (577) and Sammy Swindell (293).
A trip from eastern Iowa to central Wisconsin was next for the traveling Outlaws. Both TSR cars qualified inside the top-10 with Schatz timing fifth and Kinser 10th. Kinser won the third heat and earned a spot in the dash for the third consecutive race. Schatz also made the dash after finishing third. The pill draw for the dash lineup didn’t quite work out for either driver as Schatz finished fifth and Kinser eighth in the six-lap race. The 40-lap A-Feature played out with several slide jobs for the lead between local favorite Billy Bialog, Cody Darrah and Brad Sweet. Sweet ultimately came out the victor, followed by Darrah and Schatz. Kinser finished 10th to give him three consecutive top-10s.
Sunday’s finale was at a familiar 3/8-mile, dirt oval where both Kinser and Schatz have turned many laps. Kinser won the first Outlaw race at the track back in 1983, the first of his five career WoO A-Feature triumphs there. Schatz raced at the track regularly as a teenager early in his career. Qualifying once again played a big role in the evening’s outcome. Kinser qualified 13th and finished sixth in the opening heat to transfer to the A-Feature. He started the main event 13th and finished in the same position. Schatz was third in time trials and finished second in heat three. He finished second in the dash and started the A-Feature on the outside of the front row. He took the lead at the start and led 34 of the 35 laps en route to his eighth career win at the track and eighth WoO A-Feature win of the season.
Through 42 of the scheduled 92 races in the 2014 WoO STP Sprint Car Series campaign complete, Schatz leads the championship standings. The Fargo, North Dakota racer has 5,979 points and has built a 93-point advantage over Daryn Pittman. Schatz also leads the series in wins with eight, top-fives with 28, and top-10s with 37. Kinser ranks eighth with 5,408 points.
The TSR teams will remain busy with a heavy schedule during the month of July. The first stop comes Wednesday at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota before the two-night Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway Park Friday and Saturday.