Schatz Wins Return to Route 66

Donny Schatz

Schatz celebrates his 12th win of the season and the 241st of his career. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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JOLIET, Ill. (June 27) - Donny Schatz won Tuesday night's World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to The Dirt Oval at Route 66 Raceway.

Schatz, who also won in the series' last trip to Route 66 in 2005, started eighth and was able to take the lead from Kraig Kinser on lap 26 and then held off Brad Sweet to the checkered flag in the 30-lap feature.

"I didn’t think we would catch Kraig," Schatz said. "He was pretty good on the bottom and it seemed like the longer we went he got in more trouble and we seemed to get a little better. Brad got up there on a restart and it was a good race."  

Donny SchatzSchatz's win was his 12th of the season and 241st of his career.

The race featured three leaders and heated battles around the track, which was changed since the last time the series raced on the Joliet dirt.

"We heard the track was shortened, but when you don't come to a place for 12 years...I remember how to get here but that's about it," Schatz said. “They did a great job with the racetrack. Anytime you make the racetrack shorter it makes it exciting. That feature was pretty crazy." 

Daryn Pittman, who finished third, also applauded the changes.

"It seems like all the changes they made were right," Pittman said. "The size is really good and really wide. That A-Main was really good I don’t think we can ask for a much better race track than that. The lead changed quite a bit and guys were driving through the field."

Sweet charged from the 13th starting position and got up to third just past halfway and had a good battle with Schatz for second after a restart with 13 laps to go.

"I thought we had a pretty good shot to win," Sweet said. "It just didn’t seem like we had enough at the very end. I might have used up my stuff a little bit getting there. I just went as hard as I could and got up there. It’s nothing to be really ashamed of to run second to Donny."

Brad SweetSweet's finish was his 14th straight top five and he now trails Schatz by 54 in the standings.

"These are the important months and we need to get wins and keep applying pressure in the points," Sweet said. "It's a long season and we've got a lot of momentum on our side."

Pittman began the night by setting Quick Time with a lap of 13.637 seconds. He's still winless on the season, but has now finished in the top 10 in the last three races, including two top fives.

Route 66"It's pretty sad to say that's a streak for us, but unfortunately it is," Pittman said. "I think we are going the right direction hopefully. It's still early and I can't say we've turned the corner yet. It feels good to be competitive and at least running towards the right end of the field."

David Gravel and Jason Sides, who led the opening four laps from the pole, rounded out the top five. Shane Stewart, who won the last two races coming into tonight, finished sixth. Kinser wound up eighth after leading 21 laps from the 11th starting position.

The FVP Outlaws Clay Classic was held in the backyard of series sponsor Sears-Craftsman, this time being held in a new venue following last year's event at Rockford Speedway where Schatz also went to Victory Lane.

Schatz will return to action on Wednesday night at Route 66, racing in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series.

"The Late Model is something I like to do for fun," Schatz said. "We'll stick it out tomorrow and see what happens. I don’t know if we come into tomorrow with expectations of winning. I think we can run good but it’s going to take a lot to win with those guys. We are going to do our best."    

 


 

Related Topics:

World of Outlaws, Donny Schatz

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