INDIANAPOLIS (Sept.12, 2012) – Just because the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series doesn’t end the year with a playoff format like NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup or the NHRA’s Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, don’t think the final dozen races will be without drama. The 2012 WoO season has been one of the most competitive in years with four different drivers leading the standings at one point or another and each also having gone through his share of bad luck. This weekend, the battle continues with Friday’s sixth annual Arnold Motor Supply Shootout at Clay County Fairgrounds in Spencer, Iowa, and Saturday’s FVP Clash at the Creek at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.
Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz made a case for his championship aspirations last week in California by racing the No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J to a pair of victories, two second-place finishes and a fourth in five races, which helped him erase Craig Dollansky’s 35-point lead and vaulted the four-time WoO champion into first place by a 72-point margin heading to Clay County.
TSR’s Steve Kinser is looking forward to returning to the Midwest and returning to Deer Creek as last year’s race winner aboard the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/ Chevrolet Maxim. Kinser’s ranks fifth in the championship chase and is hoping to break a winless streak of 33 races.
Both TSR drivers have been successful in the past at Clay County and Deer Creek. For each of the previous three years, the Outlaws have visited the tracks following their annual swing through western Canada, Washington, Oregon and California. The race at Clay County became a regular stop during the annual fair in northwest Iowa in 2007, when Schatz came away victorious. He followed that win with another one in September 2008. Both seasons, he would go on and win the WoO championship. Kinser’s best finish at Clay County was a second-place run in 2010. Earlier this season, the Outlaws competed in Spencer and both TSR drivers had to charge from the back of the pack. Kinser raced from 21st to seventh while Schatz drove from 22nd to finish eighth.
The TSR teammates finished first and second last September at Deer Creek. Schatz won the pole position, but it was Kinser who led all 35 laps en route to his 570th career WoO A-Feature triumph. In three WoO races at the 3/8-mile dirt oval, Kinser has finished inside the top-five all three times. Schatz has been just as consistent. In 2009, he led the first 28 laps before finishing second to Joey Saldana and, in 2010, he finished fourth in the A-Feature.
The weekend doubleheader begins the final stretch for the 2012 campaign. With only 12 races remaining, every night will be important in deciding the champion. On the strength of finishing inside the top-five 18 times in the last 20 races, Schatz has taken control of the points lead. With 63 of the 75 points races completed, Schatz has earned nine victories, 31 top-fives and a series-best 51 top-10s. Kinser is a three-time winner, has 24 top-fives and 43 top-10s.
For Friday’s race at Clay County Fair Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT, with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.CDR-Promotions.com.
Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT, with the grandstands opening at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.DeerCreekSpeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend these 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:
The final 12 races of the season provide you with an opportunity to finish the season inside the top-four and gain some momentum heading into 2013. What are some things you’d like to accomplish the rest of the year?
“We’d like to be more competitive and that starts with qualifying. We haven’t been able to qualify consistently and that’s made it tough. On the nights when we do qualify inside the top-10, it seems like we’re just a spot or two out of where we need to be. Either we’re not on the front row or can’t finish inside the top-two and make the dash. We have made some dashes, but starting position is so key right now. The competition to win races is up front and it’s hard to beat guys off the first couple of rows. I’d say our immediate goals are to get back to where we have a chance to compete for wins. We’re going to some places the rest of the year where we’ve been pretty good in the past. Maybe we’ll find a few things and can build on them.”
Last year, you led every lap at Deer Creek Speedway. Are you looking forward to getting back and trying to repeat?
“Absolutely. It’s a first-class facility and the equipment they have there to get a track surface ready is second to none. We had a really good Bass Pro Shops car there last year and pretty much had them covered. It was the kind of night we needed. Our West Coast deal was kind of hit-and-miss, and to come back to the Midwest and have a night like that was something we could build on. You always like going to places where you’ve won before.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J:
Things have really turned around since the first of August. What’s been the biggest difference that’s allowed you to be so consistent?
“Everybody worked hard, but we struggled through most of the year trying to find out where our problems were. In the beginning of August, we tried a few things with our motors and they’ve been running well since. You have to have motors that will run if you are going to be competitive. We’ve proven that, when we have something that will run, we can win races and be competitive every night. Our qualifying has improved and that’s what helps you win races. Earlier in the year, I was always starting in the middle or back of the field and having to work my way forward. Now, we’re starting closer to the front and racing for wins. These STP guys never gave up and kept plugging away. Right now, they are in attack mode and just trying to keep giving me the best car I can have every night.”
It’s back to the Midwest and to places where you’ve been good in the past. What are your expectations for the weekend?
“We’re expecting to continue doing what we’ve been doing and that’s competing for wins. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Spencer. It’s not too far from home and we’ve won a couple races there in the past. The fair provides a really cool atmosphere, but the biggest thing is it’s another opportunity for us to keep winning. Deer Creek is another tremendous place. I have been pretty good there, but not good enough to win. It’s another place not far from home and we’d sure like to get another Minnesota win. We have a lot of fans from Minnesota and it would be nice to give them a chance to see the STP car up front.”
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 – 58 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 113 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 150,000 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.