Schatz Scores Win 12 on Return to The Dirt Oval, Where He Won 12 Years Ago
Eight-time champion and current points leader Donny Schatz took the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 15 Arctic Cat machine through the checkers to win the FVP Outlaw Clay Classic at The Dirt Oval at Route 66 Raceway, stealing the lead from Kraig Kinser with only five laps to go. Although Kinser saw his best race of the season to date, Schatz rode him hard, and he ultimately landed in eighth with Kasey Kahne Racing teammates Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman following Schatz through the checkers.
"Kraig [Kinser] was really good at the start," said Schatz from Victory Lane. "He took off there on the bottom. I didn't quite know if the bottom or the top, the middle, what was going to happen. I just had to give a little time for the race car to come in and the tires to get warm. You kind of had to be all over really. It was a guessing game there for a while, and then we had to restart. Being on the outside I kind of felt like I was hung out to dry a little bit, and Brad [Sweet] got by. Obviously they were really good. I think he started a ways back."
Sweet, who walked away with the KSE Hard Charger Award, started in 13 and worked his way into second. A restart with 13 laps to go saw a three-wide battle for the lead between Kinser, Schatz and Sweet, in which Kinser prevailed, holding the lead for eight more laps, while Sweet and Schatz continued the battle for second with exchanges.
Throughout the race, another tough battle was playing out behind the leaders between Pittman and David Gravel, ending in Pittman's favor after several exchanges.
Pittman, who set Quick Time at 13.637 second, was the only one in Victory Lane who even ran the Craftsman Club Dash, which was led by Jason Sides and Paul McMahan.
Starting on the pole after winning the Dash, Sides led the first four laps of the Feature as Kinser charged up from midfield in position 11 in some of his finest racing this season.
By Lap 5, Kinser was leading, with Sides and Brian Brown behind him as Schatz and Sweet followed suit, diligently taking on car after car, working their way up, and McMahan was losing ground.
Overall, it an exciting return to the half-mile oval, which last saw true oval-track racing twelve years ago. And while the racing was certainly better this time around, one thing remained the same: the champion. Schatz won at the track on July 8, 2005 during the Series' last visit. Twelve years later, he scored win number 12 of the season.
The FVP Outlaw Clay Classic continues tomorrow with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series, while the Sprint Car Series heads for Spring Valley, MN for the Clash at the Creek at Deer Creek Speedway.
THE DIRT OVAL AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY ABBREVIATED RESULTS:
Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$10,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [$5,500]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman [$3,200]; 4. 5-David Gravel [$2,800]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides [$2,500]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,300]; 7. W20-Greg Wilson [$2,200]; 8. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$2,100]; 9. 41-Jason Johnson [$2,050]; 10. 99-Brady Bacon [$2,000]; 11. 19-Brent Marks [$1,500]; 12. 18-Ian Madsen [$1,200]; 13. 3-Tim Kaeding [$1,100]; 14. 17B-Bill Balog [$1,050]; 15. 24-Terry McCarl [$1,000]; 16. 59H-Justin Henderson [$900]; 17. 1A-Jacob Allen [$800]; 18. 27Z-Sean Zemunik [$800]; 19. 10V-Matt Vandervere [$800]; 20. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$800]; 21. 21-Brian Brown [$800]; 22. 4-Paul McMahan [$800]; 23. 17A-Austin McCarl [$800]; 24. 1M-Danny Lasoski [$800]; Lap Leaders: Jason Sides 1-4, Kraig Kinser 5-25, Donny Schatz 26-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 49-Brad Sweet[+11]
Qualifying - 1. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.637; 2. 5-David Gravel, 13.722; 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 13.726; 4. 4-Paul McMahan, 13.782; 5. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.782; 6. 59H-Justin Henderson, 13.819; 7. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.875; 8. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.887; 9. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.93; 10. 17B-Bill Balog, 13.958; 11. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.007; 12. 21-Brian Brown, 14.012; 13. 24-Terry McCarl, 14.076; 14. 1M-Danny Lasoski, 14.113; 15. 2-Shane Stewart, 14.122; 16. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 14.141; 17. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.166; 18. 18-Ian Madsen, 14.225; 19. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.278; 20. 10V-Matt Vandervere, 14.441; 21. 71-Max McGhee, 14.448; 22. 64-Scott Thiel, 14.466; 23. 17A-Austin McCarl, 14.467; 24. 19-Brent Marks, 14.524; 25. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 14.544; 26. 3-Tim Kaeding, 14.588; 27. 27Z-Sean Zemunik, 14.65; 28. 51B-Joe B, 14.713; 29. 13-Clyde Knipp, 14.747; 30. 23-Russel Borland, 14.758; 31. 7J-Joe Swanson, NT
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