Schatz Thinking of Stewart
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin on August 6, 2013 | 7:51 P.M. EST
Donny Schatz was celebrating 20 years of racing in the Knoxville Nationals with his family and team members during a presentation Tuesday at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
KNOXVILLE, Iowa - Donny Schatz was celebrating 20 years of racing in the Knoxville Nationals with his family and team members during a presentation Tuesday at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame. But amidst all the old stories, Schatz was also thinking about his car owner, Tony Stewart, who was injured Monday night during a sprint car crash at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa.
"I'm going to go see him shortly," Schatz said following the press conference. "It can happen to any one of us. It's put him in a unique position for what's going on in his NASCAR world. It's an eye opener for all the dirt-track fans across the country. He loves this sport, obviously, and I don’t think it’s going to slow him down by any means. I hope it doesn’t."
Stewart suffered a broken tibia (shin bone) and fibula (outer bone) in his right leg, and underwent surgery after being taken from the track by ambulance. Stewart's injuries come on the heels of a tragic accident at Lincoln Speedway this past Saturday.
"Whatever we can do to make sure guys stay safe. We lost Kramer Williamson on the weekend and that's something that really hits home," Schatz said. "We have lost Jason Leffler, Kramer Williamson and Tony got hurt. There've been a lot of guys injured. Somewhere along the line, we have to figure out where to stop all this and I don’t know where it starts. It doesn’t matter who it is, it’s not fun to see anybody get injured or killed."
Schatz will be shooting for his seventh win in the prestigious Knoxville Nationals this weekend.
"It's going to be a somber weekend any way you look at it, but the show must go on," Schatz said. "We're going to do what we can to make sure we don't leave anything in harm’s way, and try and stay out of harm’s way is all you can do."
Tuesday's 20-year trip down memory lane also saw taped video messeages from Stewart and Mario Andretti.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for a feature on Schatz, including comments following his 20th Knoxville Nationals celebration.
Motor Racing Network's "Winged Nation" will be live at Knoxville Raceway with four special programs, streaming nightly Wednesday through Saturday from 6-7 p.m. (CT) at MotorRacingNetwork.com.