Tony Stewart Racing Teams Gunning for Victories in Dodge City
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INDIANAPOLIS (June 30, 2010) – It’s a familiar scene in the Old West films. The tumbleweed blown by the hot summer air and the sound of a stiff breeze that echoes. The focal point soon turns to a showdown between good and evil. That scenario regularly rings true for many nights on the rugged stage of the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car series. There are plenty of good guys and perceived villains in this band of characters who compete on dirt tracks all across North America. Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz have played both roles to perfection … reaching hero status after thrilling victories and being booed when they win too much. They’ll both be gunning for more glory this weekend when the traveling Outlaw stars make a two-night stop in the famous Old West crossroads of Dodge City, Kansas, for the annual Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City Raceway Park.

Kinser, a 20-time WoO champion, is one of the original Outlaws and his dominance in the sport through the past four decades has made him a wanted man at numerous dirt ovals across the country. This weekend, Kinser will jump in the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Maxim and try to snap a seven-year winless drought at the 3/8-mile dirt oval on Friday and Saturday nights. “The King of the Outlaws” hasn’t been to victory lane at the state-of-the-art facility since the Outlaws’ inaugural visit to Dodge City back in June 2004. He leads all Outlaws in career wins with 566 A-Feature triumphs and also leads the tour this year with five. In his 14 appearances at Dodge City, he has seven top-five WoO finishes. Twice, he has earned the fast qualifier award at the track and, last season, he posted finishes of eighth and fourth.

Schatz, TSR’s other gunslinger, rode to the top of the mountain in the sport when he won four consecutive WoO championships from 2006 to 2009. After finishing second in last year’s title chase, the driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J is making a stand to reclaim his crown. The Fargo, N.D., racer is the current points leader and the series’ most recent winner. He has 11 career starts at Dodge City and claimed his only win at the track in June 2008. He established the track record at the facility in the fall of 2005 and has two other fast qualifier awards. Last season, he qualified third and second in the two events there, respectively, and finished seventh and 14th, respectively, in the A-Features.

The TSR teammates are making their second stop in Kansas this season. In early June, Kinser won at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, while Schatz scored seventh and sixth-place finishes at the Belleville (Kan.) Highbanks and Lakeside, respectively.

Schatz won last Saturday’s 40-lap A-Feature at Princeton (Minn.) Speedway. The win was his 107th career A-Feature victory, tying him for fourth all-time with Sprint car legend Doug Wolfgang. Kinser charged from 10th to finish third in the Princeton A-Feature to give him 19 top-10s this season. The Bloomington, Ind., racer began the season by winning three of the first four races and has scored consecutive third-place finishes at the last two events.

Through 29 of the 69 WoO race nights scheduled, Schatz has built a 29-point lead in 2011 WoO championship standings. After a slow start to the season, Schatz has used consistency to overcome a 100-point deficit early in the year. Kinser ranks fourth in the standings 70 points behind Schatz.

On Friday and Saturday at Dodge City Raceway Park, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. CDT, with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details, contact the track at (620) 225-3277, or visit the official Web site of Dodge City Raceway Park at www.dodgecityraceway.com.

Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Sprint Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. 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:

You started June in Kansas and now you’ll start the month of July in Kansas. It’s just a coincidence, but do you think about those types of things while you are out on the road?

“I can say that I haven’t ever looked at it that closely. I think, as a racer, you are always just focused on what it’s going to take to win that next race. Unfortunately, the last time we won was at the start of June, so I guess maybe we should look at it like, ‘We’re back here in the same state, maybe we can get another win.’ If I can have a car as nice as I had at Lakeside (on June 4), I think our chances will be really good. The Bass Pro Shops guys have been working really hard and we seem to be getting better. It’s another opportunity to run at a track two straight nights and that always helps the better teams. You can take a shot at it on the first night and then fine-tune things the second night. We did that in Grand Forks. We finished fourth the first night and got better the second night and had a shot at the win. That’s all you can ask for.”

Dodge City Raceway Park has been one of those tracks where you haven’t quite been in the hunt for wins the last couple of seasons. Is there any particular reason?

“I’d say if we knew exactly what was going on there that we’d probably have fixed it by now. But, no, we have been OK there – just not good enough. It’s a 3/8-mile track and we’ve worked hard to get our program for those-sized tracks a little better. I’ve felt really good about our bigger track program and we’ve seen our short-track stuff start to get a little better. Dodge City is one of those places where you have to be good at the end of the night. The dirt can be really abrasive and, a lot of times, they’ll rework the track before we run our feature. It gets pretty fast, then, and makes it tough to pass. We like it when there are a couple of grooves where you can race guys two- or three-wide. These cars are so equal, and you can’t have the track locked down, whether that’s being too wet or rubbered up. Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to be there at the end and see if we get another win there.”

Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:

After winning your second A-Feature of the season last weekend, you and your team have to be coming into Dodge City with some momentum. How do you try to carry things from one week until the next?

 

“Honestly, I’m a believer in leaving what happened at the last race at the track. When we show up in Kansas, we need to be focused on exactly what it’s going to take for us to have a chance to win. Princeton is a completely different place than Dodge City, so you have to move on. I will say winning helps keep you pushing to get better. This STP team thrives on winning and our goal is to get as many as we can. It’s nearly July and we just won our second race of the year, so we feel like we have a lot of work ahead of us. July is going to be an important month. We have 14 opportunities to win races and we have to do everything we can to get more wins.”

 

You established the track record at Dodge City Raceway Park back in 2005 and still continue to be fast at the track. Are there certain characteristics about the track that make you so fast there?

“It’s usually pretty hot and the track normally dries out pretty quickly in qualifying. Our program is at its best when we get to run on slick racetracks. (Engine builder) Ron Shaver builds really good motors and the crew (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) does a great job giving me a car that uses all the horsepower. We’ve qualified pretty well but only have one win there. That tells you we still have a lot of work to do. Last year, we were kind of out to lunch, falling from third to seventh in the first race and, the second night, we spun early in the feature and never really were a factor. That can’t happen this year. We have to again qualify well and then keep getting our car better and better as the night goes on. That’s a challenge at a track like Dodge City that can change so much in one night. From locked-down wet to slick and abrasive and then back to sticky again, it’s a tough test for everyone.”

 

Tony Stewart Racing’s Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz: Career Results at Dodge City Raceway Park

Year

Date

Steve Kinser

Qualifying

Start

Finish

Donny Schatz

Qualifying

Start

Finish

2010

6/14

World of Outlaws

8

7

8

World of Outlaws

2

8

14

6/12

World of Outlaws

11

7

4

World of Outlaws

3

3

7

2009

6/13

World of Outlaws

8

12

World of Outlaws

2

1

2

6/12

World of Outlaws

5

7

4

World of Outlaws

6

13

13

2008

6/21

World of Outlaws

1

8

5

World of Outlaws

7

6

1

6/20

World of Outlaws

3

10

9

World of Outlaws

1

3

7

2007

6/23

World of Outlaws

1

5

5

World of Outlaws

9

3

10

6/22

World of Outlaws

2

9

8

World of Outlaws

1

1

2

2006

5/20

National Sprint Tour

2

DNC

5/19

National Sprint Tour

2

DNC

2005

10/8

World of Outlaws

3

2

World of Outlaws

2

4

4

10/7

World of Outlaws

4

8

4

World of Outlaws

1

3

23

2004

6/22

World of Outlaws

11

10

1

World of Outlaws

6

3

5

= WOO PRELIMINARY EVENT DNC = Did not compete 

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.
Visit www.trackerboats.com

Resort Group – Big Cedar Lodge and other resort properties including restaurants and golf course. Visit www.bigcedar.com for more information.

-www.TonyStewartRacing.com-