INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 1, 2011) – Everyone wants to go out a winner. Any competitor will say that being the year’s final winner is one of the best ways to conclude a season and build momentum toward the next. That’s the mindset Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz and a huge field of entrants will carry to The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the World of Outlaws (WoO) season-ending Lowes Foods World Finals presented by Tom’s Snacks, Coca-Cola and Natures Own.

 

The chance to close the season with a win may take some of the sting out of the fact neither TSR driver has a chance to catch Jason Meyers for the 2011 WoO championship. Since 2002, Kinser or Schatz has entered the final Outlaw event of the season with a shot at winning the WoO championship. Ironically, 2001 was the year Tony Stewart earned his first WoO title as a car-owner when Danny Lasoski carried “Smoke’s” No. 20 J.D. Byrider-backed machine to the title. 

Both Kinser and Schatz have more than a season-ending victory to race for this weekend. Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet J&J, currently ranks second in the standings and leads third-place Kinser, pilot of the TSR No. 11 Bass Pro Shops/J.D. Byrider/ Chevrolet Maxim, by seven points. Last year, the former champions entered the World Finals separated by three points and Schatz ended up edging Kinser by 23 points to clinch second place.

As previous World Finals winners, the battle for second between Kinser and Schatz will likely go down to the final laps of the season. Kinser led all 30 laps in the 2007 finale to capture his second career win at the 4/10-mile clay oval. His first win there came in October 2000 during the track’s first season of operation. Earlier this season at Charlotte, Kinser finished a close second to Paul McMahan, giving him seven career runner-up finishes at the track. The 20-time WoO champion has made 26 starts at the track and finished inside the top-10 24 times.

The Dirt Track has always been a good place for Schatz. He scored his first victory there in the fall of 2000 and has added three more wins at the track. He won a thriller in May 2007 by charging from 10th to first, and he dominated the 2008 season finale, leading all 30 laps en route to capturing his third WoO title. His most recent Charlotte triumph came in May 2010 when he out-dueled Joey Saldana for the victory. The four-time WoO champion charged from ninth to third earlier this year to score his 15th straight top-eight finish at the track.  

Kinser started his second season with TSR on a tear, winning the opening two WoO races. The Bloomington, Ind., resident had four wins by the seventh race, making it one of the best starts in his 32 Outlaw campaigns. Despite some bad luck through the middle of the season, including a broken hand in late May, “the King of Outlaws” continued to remain in the title hunt. A post-Knoxville Nationals surge beginning with back-to-back victories and concluding with his ninth win of 2011 and 570th of his career Sept. 17 at Deer Creek Speedway in Rochester, Minn., buoyed his title chances. An untimely crash with Schatz in the STP Shootout Oct. 8 while Meyers reeled off five consecutive wins foiled his shot at another WoO crown, however. Kinser finished fifth in his most recent race on Oct. 22 at the Talladega (Ala.) Short Track.

After closing 2010 with several podium finishes, Schatz was looking to regain the WoO championship in 2011.Things didn’t start smoothly for Schatz in the early going. His second-place finish in the second race of the year was his only top-10 in the season’s first five races. Things turned around with five consecutive top-fives and, in early May, a run from 18th to second in Oklahoma was a sign of things to come. The STP team won its first WoO A-Feature of 2011 at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park in late May and added three more quarter-mile wins in June, July and August. The highlight of the season came in the sport’s biggest event, the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals. Schatz won his fifth Nationals in the last six seasons by charging from 13th to victory in the 50-lap marathon Aug. 13. It was the 10th time in the last 12 Nationals that Schatz has finished either first or second. One week later, he and Kinser battled it out for the victory at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., exchanging the lead nine times in the final 10 laps. Kinser would finish first at Grand Forks but the roles were reversed four nights later, when Schatz led a one-two TSR finish at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D. Schatz’s recent second-place finish at Talladega was the ninth time in 2011 he’s finished in the runner-up spot.

 

The TSR drivers will open the World Finals festivities Thursday night with two rounds of qualifications. Those results will set the lineups for complete programs on both Friday and Saturday night. Each event will include heat races and a dash, and will conclude with a 30-lap feature. Saturday’s program will air live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT).

 

On Thursday, the pit gates will open at 11 a.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. The first round of WoO Sprint Car Series qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the pit gates will open at noon and the grandstands at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. For more details and ticket information, call the track at (800) 455-FANS or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. 

 

Race fans unable to attend the World Finals 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:

 

After starting the season with a two-race winning streak, how good would it feel to finish it with another two-race win streak?

 

“That would probably be about the best thing we could ask for. We’ve had some pretty good runs this year but, unfortunately, you remember the bad nights a little more than the good ones. The Bass Pro Shops team (Scott Gerkin, Gary DuBois and Mikey Kuemper) has worked really hard all season. It’s started last winter and I know they’ll be working hard again this winter to get us ready for next year. A good couple of nights to finish the year would be something we would all enjoy.”

This will be the fifth year the season ends with the World Finals in Charlotte. What are your thoughts on ending the year in Charlotte?

 

“I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and we’ve ended the year in a lot of places. We’ve finished in Ohio, California, Arizona, Texas, Iowa and Las Vegas over the years. I’d say Charlotte is one of the best places to finish a season. They have a great facility and the location seems to be a really good one to attract a lot of fans. The event has really grown from where it started five years ago. At first, I wasn’t sure the idea of having both Sprint cars and Late Models together at the end of the year would work. It just seemed like a weird idea to me but, after seeing both classes of cars together in the same event and getting to experience being part of it, I really think it’s one of the coolest things we do all year. The World Finals is a great atmosphere and having a variety of racing helps bring the fans out.”

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

The 2011 season is coming to an end. What are your thoughts heading into the World Finals?

“We’re looking at the World Finals weekend as one last chance, but it’s not the opportunity we’d like to have. We can’t change that now. All we can do is go down there and see if we can pick up a couple of wins to close the year. The STP team has worked hard all year and we’re in a battle for second instead of first. We’ve got to claw and scratch for everything we can these last two nights. We’ve learned some things the last few races. Our goal is to keep learning so that we can finish strong and carry some momentum into the winter. This team is not going to go away. We’ve got great marketing partners at TSR in STP, Armor All, Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops, and we’ll be back next year doing everything we can get back on top.”

 

The results you’ve put up at The Dirt Track over the years have been really solid. How important is it to continue that trend and close out the season with good results this weekend?

 

“As a competitor, you want to be at your best when it matters most. The goal is to beat the best there is and if you can win at Charlotte, you know you’ve accomplished something. We’ve been able to win a couple of times there in May during the Coca-Cola 600 weekends and those are big wins. A few years ago, we won the last race of the year there and that really gives your whole team something to be pumped up about all winter. If I remember right, we came back out in 2009 and won four of the first six shows. I don’t know if you can say winning that last race of 2008 made a difference or not, but we used it to our advantage. I know the guys on this team would like to end this year in victory lane and have something to feel good about heading into the 2012 season.”

 

 

Tony Stewart Racing’s Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz: Career Results at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway

Year 

Date 

Steve Kinser 

Qualifying 

Start 

Finish 

Donny Schatz 

Qualifying 

Start 

Finish 

2011 

5/24

World of Outlaws

8

2

2

World of Outlaws

11

9

3

2010 

11/6

World of Outlaws

3

5

13

World of Outlaws

1

9

7

11/5

World of Outlaws

5

12

7

World of Outlaws

15

8

4

5/29

World of Outlaws

13

7

4

World of Outlaws 

7 

2 

1 

2009 

11/7

World of Outlaws

25

4

4

World of Outlaws

1

5

6

11/6

World of Outlaws

4

7

17

World of Outlaws

1

3

2

5/22

World of Outlaws

3

6

5

World of Outlaws

2

1

3

2008 

11/1

World of Outlaws

8

14

6

World of Outlaws 

5 

1 

1 

10/31

World of Outlaws

3

8

4

World of Outlaws

10

3

2

5/23

World of Outlaws

15

15

7

World of Outlaws

5

7

6

2007 

11/3 

World of Outlaws 

7

1

1

World of Outlaws

2

8

4

11/2

World of Outlaws

11

4

4

World of Outlaws

1

2

2

5/25

World of Outlaws

14

14

5

World of Outlaws

4

5

1

2006

5/24

DNC

 

 

World of Outlaws

4

12

5

2003

5/24

World of Outlaws

2

10

9

World of Outlaws

5

17

8

2002

10/12

World of Outlaws

15

19

7

World of Outlaws

5

9

21

10/11

World of Outlaws

6

10

6

World of Outlaws

10

4

22

5/25

World of Outlaws

1

4

World of Outlaws

4

5

3

5/24

World of Outlaws

3

5

2

World of Outlaws

6

3

23

2001

10/6

World of Outlaws

1

1

World of Outlaws

3

2

10/5

World of Outlaws

1

3

2

World of Outlaws

5

9

3

5/26

World of Outlaws

1

4

World of Outlaws

2

10

3

5/25

World of Outlaws

6

8

2

World of Outlaws

1

3

6

2000

10/6

World of Outlaws

1

2

World of Outlaws

2

3

10/5

World of Outlaws

7

2

2

World of Outlaws

8

1

1

5/27

World of Outlaws

7

10

2

World of Outlaws

8

20

5/26

World of Outlaws

25

24

10

World of Outlaws

10

6

4

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.

 

 

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.