TRUCKIN’: Donny Schatz Carries Extra Pride for Sprint Car Community in NASCAR Trucks Debut

10x Nationals Champion Drives DGR, Ford #17 at Knoxville Raceway on Friday

Since 1997, Donny Schatz has committed his entire life to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

In return, the Fargo, ND driver has been rewarded with one of the most iconic careers in the history of Sprint Car racing – 10 World of Outlaws championships, 300 Series wins, 10 Knoxville Nationals titles, six National Open wins and five Kings Royal crowns. All numbers that guarantee a spot in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame one day.

His chapter with The Greatest Show on Dirt is far from over as his quest for an 11th title continues Saturday, July 10, during the Badger 40 at Wilmot (WI) Raceway, where he’s won in 2019.

However, the day prior, he’ll tackle a new challenge – his NASCAR Truck Series debut at Knoxville Raceway.

“My priority has and always will be with the World of Outlaws,” Schatz noted. “I’m saying this is probably a one-time only shot at this because of our schedules. This situation worked because I didn’t have to choose. I’m not missing a race with the World of Outlaws to go do something like this. It’s not something I was setting out to do, but the opportunity arose, and we jumped at it.

“I’m not looking for a career change or looking to do this on the regular. If it wasn’t on dirt, if it wasn’t at Knoxville, if it wasn’t on this day, I can tell you this wouldn’t be happening. The stars just happened to line up.”

Driving the David Gilliland Racing #17, Schatz will have to adjust from a 900+ horsepower Sprint Car to the big and heavy Ford Truck on the legendary black zook clay this weekend.

“I don’t know how you put expectations on it having never driven a Truck,” Schatz said. “It’s going to be slower than what I’m used to with a Sprint Car, but anytime you’re slower it seems you have more control. I’m curious to see how that feels in the driver’s seat. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Schatz joins fellow Knoxville and World of Outlaws winners Brian Brown and Parker Price-Miller in defending the dirt against the NASCAR boys, before they turn their attention to the elusive 60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway, Aug. 11-14.

“I take a lot of pride representing the Sprint Car community this weekend,” Schatz admitted. “Knoxville is one of my favorite places. I’ve had lots of great runs there. I wouldn’t be considering this if it was Richmond or something completely out of my element. This is a place that I absolutely love, and it’s a perfect fit. That’s why we’re lined up with a great team like David Gilliland Racing.”

A one-hour practice session kicks things off tonight, Thursday, July 8, at the Knoxville, Iowa 1/2-mile. The Corn Belt 150 officially takes the green flag on Friday, July 9.

Following the checkered flag at Knoxville, Schatz will hop on the plane and jet towards Wisconsin where he’ll race with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars on Saturday at Wilmot Raceway.

“I see this as a great opportunity for myself to represent our sport,” Schatz said proudly. “A chance to represent the World of Outlaws, the great drivers we race with in Sprint Cars, our loyal fans, too. I hope it’s a stellar event and brings new fans to all disciplines of racing.”

Following this weekend, Schatz will turn his attention to the “Month of Money.” A 30-day span where the World of Outlaws compete for the biggest paydays in Sprint Car racing.

Schatz and his Tony Stewart Racing #15 team have topped every single race over the stretch before and look to do it again as they race into the second half of the 2021 season.

  • $175,000-to-win Kings Royal at Eldora (OH) Speedway – July 15
  • $175,000-to-win Kings Royal at Eldora (OH) Speedway – July 17
  • $25,000-to-win Silver Cup at Lernerville (PA) Speedway – July 20
  • $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals at Williams Grove (PA) Speedway – July 24
  • $20,000-to-win Ironman 55 at I-55 (MO) Raceway – Aug. 7
  • Potentially $200,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville (IA) Raceway – Aug. 14


CLICK HERE for tickets to those events.

Fans unable to make it to the track can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.

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