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Donny Schatz Wins Third Consecutive Kings Royal to Become King Donny the 35th
ROSSBURG, OH – July 14, 2018 – Donny Schatz started fourth, took the lead on Lap 15 and never looked back, leading the rest of the way to win his 15th World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Feature of 2018 and third consecutive Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway, worth $50,000. Brad Sweet surged late and came within a half of a car-length at the checkered flag, finishing behind Schatz by just 0.189 seconds. Cory Eliason, in his first career Kings Royal start, completed the podium.
With the unique Kings Royal format, the six Heat Race winners occupied the first three rows for the 40-lap Feature. Trey Starks won Heat 6, earning the pole in his first Kings Royal start alongside Heat 5 winner, Paul McMahan. A caution on the initial start involving Hunter Schuerenburg, Sheldon Haudenschild and Brock Zearfoss brought out the only stoppage of the event.
The complete restart saw Starks shoot to the lead, in search of his first career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Feature victory in a big way. Schatz and McMahan battled for second with Schatz taking the position on Lap 3 and setting his sights on Starks. Schatz took a look underneath Starks on Lap 14 and completed the pass for the lead one lap later down the backstretch.
Cory Eliason, who started sixth after winning Heat 1, established himself as a threat moving by Starks into second on Lap 16. Eliason actually slid Schatz for position, but was never able to maintain momentum and stay in front of the Tony Stewart Racing No.15.
Brad Sweet maneuvered into third on Lap 17 and showed a lot of speed pounding the cushion. As Sweet closed in on Eliason for second, Donny Schatz extended his margin out front. Sweet would get by Eliason for second on Lap 27 and begin cutting into Schatz’ sizable advantage.
As Schatz searched for grip the last 10 laps, Sweet really closed in. Sweet got hung up behind Daryn Pittman in lapped traffic and finally cleared him with five to go, setting up one last charge at Schatz. And charge he did.
On the absolute cushion of the racing surface, Sweet closed in on Schatz, setting up a hectic finish. Sweet cut the gap to five car-lengths down the backstretch on the final lap and ended up just half a car-length short from his second career Kings Royal triumph.
Schatz acknowledged that he was searching for speed the last 10 laps, “I knew someone had to be coming. I was hanging the last 10 laps, I could not get stuck anywhere. I’m lucky it wasn’t 41 laps tonight, because obviously, the No.49 was coming there at the end,” Schatz said in Victory Lane.
“Lapped traffic was tough tonight, it was tricky and slick. I feel like I completely failed in Qualifying going 21st quick, but the way format works tonight it put us in the right position,” Schatz said before thanking all the fans, even the ones that boo him, for coming out and praising the track crew given the high temperatures all weekend.
Brad Sweet was obviously disappointed but was pleased with the speed he showed.
“I came up one lap short, some of those lapped cars didn’t cut me a break. Coming to the checkered, I was cussing because I wanted it to be the White Flag,” Sweet said with a smirk.
“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best and the way [Schatz] shows up at these big money events, is why he’ll down in history as one of, if not the best of all time. This NAPA racing team has nothing to be ashamed of tonight, I just wish it was one more lap tonight,” Sweet added before encouraging the huge crowd to come to the pits and introduce themselves.
Cory Eliason was extremely pleased with his third-place run, “That was a great learning experience. I got to follow and watch Donny and Brad tonight and they are the two best out here right now. There is a huge learning curve coming to these tracks and to go out and be competitive is awesome.”
“After not making the first two shows of the weekend, to finish third behind Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet, feels like a win for this team,” Eliason added in good spirits after the race.
Lee Jacobs represented the Buckeye State coming from 16th to finish fourth with Kraig Kinser coming from 13th to complete the top five.
12th-starting Jacob Allen finished sixth with Paul McMahan coming home seventh. 16th-starting David Gravel finished eighth with Rico Abreu coming from 24th to ninth, earning KSE Hard Charger Honors. Outlaw rookie Ian Madsen completed the top ten, coming from 23rd.
Christopher Bell set Quick Time over the 51-car field and was running in the top five when he pulled pit side with 14 laps remaining. After the caution on the initial start, the race went non-stop.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series continues its 40th Anniversary Season and Month of Money with the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway, which will pay $25,000 to the winner. Following that the Outlaws will head to Central Pennsylvania to take on the Pennsylvania Posse at Lincoln and Williams Grove Speedway. If you can’t make it to the track, be sure to watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.com.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$50,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [$20,000]; 3. 83-Cory Eliason [$15,000]; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs [$12,500]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$10,000]; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen [$7,500]; 7. 13-Paul McMahan [$6,500]; 8. 5-David Gravel [$6,000]; 9. 24-Rico Abreu [$5,500]; 10. 18-Ian Madsen [$5,000]; 11. 44-Trey Starks [$4,750]; 12. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$4,500]; 13. W20-Greg Wilson [$4,000]; 14. 94-Ryan Smith [$3,750]; 15. 2-Shane Stewart [$3,500]; 16. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$3,450]; 17. 4-Parker Price-Miller [$3,400]; 18. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg [$3,350]; 19. 9-Daryn Pittman [$3,300]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides [$3,250]; 21. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$3,200]; 22. 17B-Bill Balog [$3,150]; 23. 14-Christopher Bell [$3,100]; 24. 49X-Tim Shaffer [$3,000]; Lap Leaders: Trey Starks 1-14, Donny Schatz 15-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 24-Rico Abreu[+15]
Qualifying: 1. 14-Christopher Bell, 13.144; 2. 5-David Gravel, 13.195; 3. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.207; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.214; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer, 13.219; 6. 18-Ian Madsen, 13.25; 7. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 13.27; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.325; 9. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.331; 10. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg, 13.332; 11. 71-Giovanni Scelzi, 13.333; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.347; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.354; 14. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.364; 15. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 13.387; 16. 4-Parker Price-Miller, 13.416; 17. 24-Rico Abreu, 13.421; 18. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.427; 19. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.431; 20. 94-Ryan Smith, 13.446; 21. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.45; 22. 81-Lee Jacobs, 13.45; 23. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.467; 24. 44-Trey Starks, 13.474; 25. 83-Cory Eliason, 13.483; 26. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.508; 27. 91-Cale Thomas, 13.51; 28. 17B-Bill Balog, 13.525; 29. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.541; 30. 5T-Travis Philo, 13.543; 31. 71M-Randy Hannagan, 13.550; 32. 19-Brent Marks, 13.552; 33. 83H-Justin Henderson, 13.557; 34. 12N-Cole Duncan, 13.578; 35. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 13.618; 36. A79-Brandon Wimmer, 13.632; 37. 3-Jac Haudenschild, 13.653; 38. 21-Brian Brown, 13.673; 39. 17C-Caleb Helms, 13.681; 40. 70-Dave Blaney, 13.682; 41. 26-Joey Saldana, 13.683; 42. 11N-Cap Henry, 13.734; 43. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 13.803; 44. 71H-Ryan Ruhl, 13.806; 45. 97W-Mitch Wormall, 13.858; 46. 28-Brian Paulus, 13.927; 47. 45T-Trevor Baker, 13.938; 48. 22M-Dan McCarron, 13.981; 49. 8J-Jess Stiger, 14.148; 50. 83C-Adam Cruea, 14.993; 51. 3G-Carson Macedo, 13.665For full results from Eldora Speedway – Kings Royal – July 14, 2018, click here
Donny Schatz Wins Knight Before Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway
ROSSBURG, OH – July 13, 2018 – Donny Schatz passed Brian Brown on Lap 10 and never looked back en route to his Knight Before the Kings Royal victory at Eldora Speedway. It was Schatz’ 275th career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory. Greg Wilson charged from 14th to finish second, with Sheldon Haudenschild completing the podium in the non-stop Feature.
Brian Brown won the first Sears Craftsman Dash to earn the pole for the 30-Lap Feature, alongside Hunter Schuerenburg, who won the second Dash. Brown, in search of his fifth career Outlaw victory, set the pace out front of the field as Schuerenburg remained within striking distance.
Donny Schatz, who started third, recovered from his start and got by Tim Shaffer for third on Lap 5, but not without making heavy contact with the outside retaining wall in turn two. The contact didn’t faze Schatz at all as he began chasing down Schuerenburg and Brown for the lead.
On Lap 9, Schatz ducked underneath Schuerenburg for second and one lap later, using the same line, Schatz took the lead from Brown. From there, Schatz began to work through lapped traffic in an attempt to extend his lead while all eyes were on Greg Wilson.
Wilson, a former Outlaw Eldora winner, was charging forward from his 14th-starting spot. Wilson took third from Schuerenburg on Lap 21 and surpassed Brown a lap later for the runner-up position. Wilson, glued to the extreme bottom of the racing surface, then set his sights on Schatz. Sheldon Haudenschild was in hot pursuit of Wilson running the polar opposite line, banging down the cushion. Haudenschild worked by Schuerenburg and Brown on Lap 23 to move into third. Wilson closed slightly in traffic, but Schatz had built too much of an advantage and went on to win his 14th Feature of the season by 2.273 seconds.
“It got real slick,” Schatz said after the race. “I think my car was best in the middle and it’s not exactly my bag of tea to bounce off the cushion every lap,” Schatz added with a smile. “Greg [Wilson] is really good when the track gets like that. I know if I do everything right, there’s not many people that will pass this 15 car, but Greg is one of them. We’ve got to a get a little bit better tomorrow for 10 more laps or Greg will kick all our asses,” Schatz said in good spirits.
Wilson had high praise for Schatz following his personal season-best finish. “That 15 car man, he’s the best out here and the cleanest race car driver I have ever raced with,” Wilson said before thanking the Eldora Speedway track crew for providing an excellent dry-slick racing surface.
Sheldon Haudenschild was pleased with his third-place finish and looks forward to Saturday’s King’s Royal.
“My crew has done a phenomenal job and I think we’ll be right there tomorrow. I can’t thank the fans for being great all weekend,” Sheldon said.
Early race leader Brian Brown fell to fourth at the checkered flag with Dave Blaney charging from 22nd to complete the top five and earn KSE Hard Charger Honors. Heading into Saturday’s Kings Royal event, Shane Stewart and Donny Schatz, with their wins on the first two nights of the weekend, have earned the right to go out in Qualifying wherever they please during Saturday’s $50,000 to win program.
With the unique Kings Royal format being utilized, Saturday’s event will be show up points only for the World of Outlaws regulars. If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com as the 35th Annual Kings Royal crowns a champion.
Feature: 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$12,000]; 2. W20-Greg Wilson [$5,700]; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$3,500]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [$3,000]; 5. 70-Dave Blaney [$2,600]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman [$2,400]; 7. 3G-Carson Macedo [$2,300]; 8. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg [$2,200]; 9. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,150]; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel [$2,100]; 11. 49-Brad Sweet [$1,600]; 12. 49X-Tim Shaffer [$1,350]; 13. 5-David Gravel [$1,300]; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$1,200]; 15. 18-Ian Madsen [$300]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$200]; 17. 24-Rico Abreu [$900]; 18. 10H-Chad Kemenah [$850]; 19. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$800]; 20. 12N-Cole Duncan [$800]; 21. 4-Parker Price-Miller [$800]; 22. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$800]; 23. 2-Shane Stewart [$800]; 24. 44-Trey Starks [$800]; 25. 26-Joey Saldana [$800]; 26. 13-Paul McMahan [$800]; Lap Leaders: Brian Brown 1-9, Donny Schatz 10-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 70-Dave Blaney[+17]
Qualifying Flight-A: 1. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.863; 2. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.906; 3. 21-Brian Brown, 14.031; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 14.057; 5. 44-Trey Starks, 14.164; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman, 14.297; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen, 14.306; 8. 26-Joey Saldana, 14.313; 9. 28-Brian Paulus, 14.373; 10. 18-Ian Madsen, 14.382; 11. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.487; 12. 7S-Jason Sides, 14.539; 13. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 14.579; 14. 3-Jac Haudenschild, 14.596; 15. 2-Shane Stewart, 14.604; 16. 19-Brent Marks, 14.62; 17. 81-Lee Jacobs, 14.765; 18. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 14.865; 19. 83H-Justin Henderson, 14.928; 20. 71-Giovanni Scelzi, 15.034; 21. 17B-Bill Balog, 15.161; 22. 94-Ryan Smith, 15.373; 23. 8J-Jess Stiger, 15.614; 24. 83C-Adam Cruea, 16.122; 25. 3S-Sammy Swindell, 14.181
Qualifying Flight-B: 1. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.461; 2. 4-Parker Price-Miller, 14.624; 3. 13-Paul McMahan, 14.641; 4. 49X-Tim Shaffer, 14.717; 5. 12N-Cole Duncan, 14.726; 6. 5-David Gravel, 14.729; 7. 3G-Carson Macedo, 14.747; 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 14.774; 9. 24-Rico Abreu, 14.783; 10. 5T-Travis Philo, 14.874; 11. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 14.881; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 14.952; 13. 70-Dave Blaney, 15.021; 14. 91-Cale Thomas, 15.036; 15. 83-Cory Eliason, 15.114; 16. G1-Justin Peck, 15.118; 17. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg, 15.273; 18. 17C-Caleb Helms, 15.313; 19. 11N-Cap Henry, 15.354; 20. A79-Brandon Wimmer, 15.373; 21. 19P-Paige Polyak, 15.449; 22. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 15.49; 23. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.514; 24. 97W-Mitch Wormall, 15.571; 25. 71M-Randy Hannagan, 15.596; 26. 45T-Trevor Baker, 15.934For full results from The Knight Before The Kings Royal, click here.