Donny Schatz charges from third to first in closing laps to win sixth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature in eight races

By Gary Thomas

Tulare, CA – March 18, 2017…Fargo, North Dakota’s Donny Schatz found more late-race magic on Saturday night getting around Kasey Kahne Racing teammates Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman with just a few laps left en route to his sixth victory of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series season.

The triumph for Schatz was his first at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare since the 2007 season and came aboard the familiar Tony Stewart Racing/ Arctic Cat No. 15 machine. The eight-time World of Outlaws champion was settled in the third spot as the laps wound down, until making a thrilling move around the outside of the speedway to thread his way by the leaders in heavy lapped traffic.

“It feels really good to finally say we won in Tulare again,” Schatz said emphatically on the front stretch. “I didn’t think the track would take rubber so it kind of caught me by surprise. I really tried to save my tires and when we got to traffic late in the race the pace slowed down a lot. I decided I might as well try something and luckily it worked. I get all the credit, but it’s really all about my team. We have an incredible group of people that work on this race car and that makes it so much fun. I can’t thank all our sponsors enough for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to win races.”

The 35-lap feature started out with a three-wide battle for the lead that saw Pittman get the better of it to motor out into the lead over Sweet and pole sitter Shane Stewart.

Early on in the feature the racing was fantastic throughout the field, as the slick surface made for some tremendous action. Caution periods kept the leaders out of traffic however, as Pittman held command out front. Once the midway point of the feature approached rubber began to come down on the surface and made passing opportunities limited. Sweet had kept Pittman in his sights though and hounded the rear bumper of the Great Clips No. 9 for much of the distance.

When the five to go signal was given the top-three bunched up as Schatz looked to make his move. With 32-laps in the record books the current World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series point leader blasted to the high-side to drive around Sweet for the second spot. He then stayed up high and charged around Pittman for the lead coming down to complete lap 33. After that Schatz pulled away to take the checkered flag by 1.951 seconds back to runner up Pittman.

Even though he was disappointed in the outcome Pittman kept an upbeat attitude following the race saying, “This is basically a new team this year with our crew chief change so hopefully it will be a momentum boost for us. I did everything I could tonight, but our engine just wouldn’t run right in the feature. I definitely didn’t want to see the rubber because our car wouldn’t pull forward in it. Tulare is a tough track for me so I’m happy to be on the podium. It’s a long season and the wins will come. I’m definitely happy with the effort that our whole has put forth.”

Sweet crossed the stripe in third to earn another podium finish in the Kasey Kahne Racing/ Napa Auto Parts No. 49 Sprinter. “I was nervous that it would take rubber and Donny pretty much showed why he is the best tonight. He was able to make his line work the best and kind of schooled us, so we’ll keep plugging away to try and get better. We have some good tracks for us coming up so that has me excited. We’ll move on to Stockton and hopefully get a win next week.”

Wooster, Ohio’s Sheldon Haudenschild capped a strong weekend by finishing in the fourth spot, while Rutherford’s Rico Abreu rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 were Shane Stewart; Eunice, Louisiana’s Jason Johnson; San Jose’s Tim Kaeding; Lemoore’s Carson Macedo and Watertown, Connecticut’s David Gravel. Hanover, Pennsylvania’s Logan Schuchart earned the KSE Hard Charger Award by coming from 25th to 13th in the feature.

Australian Ian Madsen won the night’s Last Chance Showdown, with Shane Stewart taking home the Craftsman Club Dash. The four 10-lap heat races were picked off by Jason Johnson, Sheldon Haudenschild, Donny Schatz and Rico Abreu. Shane Stewart kicked-off the night by setting fast time in the 36-car field with a lap of 13.392 around the one-third mile clay oval.

The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to action this coming Friday and Saturday at the Stockton Dirt Track for the FVP Western Spring Shootout.

 

 

Thunderbowl Raceway Notebook

Race Notes: Donny Schatz used lap traffic with two laps remaining to slip by Daryn Pittman for his sixth win of the 2017 season. Sweet secures second podium finish of weekend at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.

SEASON WINNERS: Donny Schatz - 5 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19, Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19, LoneStar Speedway on March 3, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 10, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 18 ); Jason Johnson - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17); David Gravel - 1 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 17)

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report, Thunderbowl Raceway, CA, March 18, 2017

Feature - (35 Laps) 1. 15-Donny Schatz [3] [$10,000]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [2] [$5,000]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [4] [$3,000]; 4. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild [8] [$2,700]; 5. 24-Rico Abreu [5] [$2,500]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [1] [$2,200]; 7. 41-Jason Johnson [7] [$2,000]; 8. 83JR-Tim Kaeding [16] [$1,800]; 9. 21X-Carson Macedo [19] [$1,600]; 10. 5-David Gravel [10] [$1,450]; 11. 17-Joey Saldana [9] [$1,300]; 12. 18-Ian Madsen [21] [$1,200]; 13. 1S-Logan Schuchart [25] [$400]; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser [14] [$1,000]; 15. 19-Brent Marks [17] [$950]; 16. 18S-Jason Solwold [13] [$900]; 17. 4-Paul McMahan [18] [$850]; 18. 7S-Jason Sides [26] [$50]; 19. W20-Greg Wilson [23] [$725]; 20. 51-James McFadden [12] [$700]; 21. 21-Brian Brown [24] [$700]; 22. 3C-DJ Netto [6] [$700]; 23. 88-Terry McCarl [20] [$700]; 24. 20-Cory Eliason [11] [$700]; 25. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [15] [$700]; 26. 83-Kyle Hirst [22] [$700] Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1-32, Donny Schatz 33-35 KSE Hard Charger Award: 1S-Logan Schuchart[+12]

Qualifying - 1. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.392; 2. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.448; 3. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.451; 4. 3C-DJ Netto, 13.498; 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.512; 6. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.568; 7. 20-Cory Eliason, 13.646; 8. 24-Rico Abreu, 13.662; 9. 17-Joey Saldana, 13.672; 10. 5-David Gravel, 13.708; 11. 18-Ian Madsen, 13.799; 12. 51-James McFadden, 13.807; 13. 19-Brent Marks, 13.828; 14. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.830; 15. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.832; 16. 88-Terry McCarl, 13.835; 17. 83-Kyle Hirst, 13.893; 18. 4-Paul McMahan, 13.894; 19. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 13.994; 20. 21-Brian Brown, 14.072; 21. 18S-Jason Solwold, 14.131; 22. 13-Clyde Knipp, 14.213; 23. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.241; 24. 83JR-Tim Kaeding, 14.318; 25. 37-Mitchell Faccinto, 14.323; 26. 2X-Parker Price-Miller, 14.395; 27. 21X-Carson Macedo, 14.442; 28. 1A-Jacob Allen, 14.446; 29. 82-Kevin Thomas Jr, 14.460; 30. 22-Cori Andrews, 14.461; 31. 98-Sean Watts, 14.513; 32. 29-Willie Croft, 14.581; 33. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 14.611; 34. 68-Chase Johnson, 14.681; 35. 7S-Jason Sides, 14.760; 36. O-Bud Kaeding, 14.850

Heat 1 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 41-Jason Johnson[2] ; 2. 2-Shane Stewart[1] ; 3. 17-Joey Saldana[3] ; 4. 18S-Jason Solwold[6] ; 5. 19-Brent Marks[4] ; 6. 83-Kyle Hirst[5] ; 7. 82-Kevin Thomas Jr[8] ; 8. 37-Mitchell Faccinto[7] ; 9. 1S-Logan Schuchart[9]

Heat 2 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[2] ; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman[4] ; 3. 5-David Gravel[3] ; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser[1] ; 5. 4-Paul McMahan[5] ; 6. 68-Chase Johnson[9] ; 7. 2X-Parker Price-Miller[7] ; 8. 13-Clyde Knipp[6] ; 9. 22-Cori Andrews[8]

Heat 3 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 15-Donny Schatz[1] ; 2. 49-Brad Sweet[4] ; 3. 20-Cory Eliason[2] ; 4. 41S-Dominic Scelzi[5] ; 5. 21X-Carson Macedo[7] ; 6. W20-Greg Wilson[6] ; 7. 7S-Jason Sides[9] ; 8. 98-Sean Watts[8] ; 9. 18-Ian Madsen[3]

Heat 4 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 24-Rico Abreu[2] ; 2. 3C-DJ Netto[1] ; 3. 51-James McFadden[3] ; 4. 83JR-Tim Kaeding[6] ; 5. 88-Terry McCarl[4] ; 6. 21-Brian Brown[5] ; 7. 29-Willie Croft[8] ; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen[7] ; 9. O-Bud Kaeding[9]

Craftsman Club® Dash - (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of Feature)

1. 2-Shane Stewart[2] ; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman[1] ; 3. 15-Donny Schatz[4] ; 4. 49-Brad Sweet[7] ; 5. 24-Rico Abreu[3] ; 6. 3C-DJ Netto[8] ; 7. 41-Jason Johnson[6] ; 8. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]

Last Chance Showdown - (12 Laps - Top 4 finishers transfer to the Feature)

1. 18-Ian Madsen[1] [-]; 2. 83-Kyle Hirst[2] [-]; 3. W20-Greg Wilson[5] [-]; 4. 21-Brian Brown[3] [-]; 5. 29-Willie Croft[12] [$300]; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart[13] [$250]; 7. 68-Chase Johnson[14] [$225]; 8. 7S-Jason Sides[15] [$200]; 9. O-Bud Kaeding[16] [$200]; 10. 37-Mitchell Faccinto[6] [$200]; 11. 13-Clyde Knipp[4] [$200]; 12. 2X-Parker Price-Miller[7] [$200]; 13. 82-Kevin Thomas Jr[9] [$200]; 14. 98-Sean Watts[11] [$200]; 15. 22-Cori Andrews[10] [$200]; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen[8] [$200]

Pos. Car Driver Total Diff Wins Top 5's Top 10's
1 15 Donny Schatz 1158 0 6 6 7
3 49 Brad Sweet 1086 -72 0 4 6
2 5 David Gravel 1064 -94 1 4 6
4 41 Jason Johnson 1048 -110 1 4 5
5 2 Shane Stewart 1048 -110 0 2 6
6 9 Daryn Pittman 1044 -114 0 3 5
7 18 Ian Madsen 1034 -124 0 0 4
8 1S Logan Schuchart 1000 -158 0 2 4
9 93 Sheldon Haudenschild 990 -168 0 3 4
10 17 Joey Saldana 978 -180 0 1 1
11 4 Paul McMahan 962 -196 0 0 3
12 19 Brent Marks 946 -212 0 0 1
13 11k Kraig Kinser 940 -218 0 0 1
14 24R Rico Abreu 882 -276 0 3 4
15 7S Jason Sides 878 -280 0 0 1
16 21 Brian Brown 870 -288 0 4 4
17 W20 Greg Wilson 864 -294 0 0 0
18 1A Jacob Allen 782 -376 0 0 0
19 13 Clyde Knipp 776 -382 0 0 0
20 2X Parker Price-Miller 754 -404 0 0 0



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