Schatz Makes History At Willams Grove

[media-credit name=”Chris Dollack World of Outlaws” align=”alignright” width=”215″][/media-credit]They say that history is fluid. They say it has ebbs and tides just like the ocean. If that is true then Donny Schatz is hitting high tide at the perfect time of the year, the end. But Donny Schatz has more than that in common with history. He now holds a place in it. Tonight the World of Outlaws points leader became the only 5 time winner of the Open Nationals at Willams Grove. Not even teammate Steve Kinser or the wily Sammy Swindell have been able to win it 5 times. Although, Schatz stated, “You will never equal a Steve Kinser or Sammy maybe this is a record that I can capture.” And capture it he did in a spray of oil and plume of smoke, Schatz held off PA Posse member Brian Leppo to take the win.

The night started out with a much faster track than the Outlaws had yesterday evening. Hot lap times were running in the low 16 second bracket with only .526 seconds separating the fastest time from the 20th fastest time. With 54 cars signed in qualifying would be more important than normal. The dash all by itself would start half of the starting field of the A Main.

Qualifying would show a steady hold on the speed of the track. Unlike the previous night where the track slowed dramatically making it a huge disadvantage to have a high qualifying draw. As a matter of fact quick time on the night would be set by the very last car to go out. Paul McMahan turned a lap of 16.366 seconds to take the Quick Time honor from his team mate Brian Leppo. McMahan who won the A Main in the Night Before the Open on Friday was one of the few drivers in the field who could honestly claim he was neither Outlaw or Posse. If not one or the other what was he? “I’m just a kid from California making a living,” he said. The remainder of the top 5 were Sammy Swindell, Lucas Wolfe and Danny Lasoski.

American Muscle

The 54 car field would require 5 heat races. The first heat would be won by Friday nights quick time holder, Stevie Smith. Smith held off a hard charging Craig Dollansky, Greg Hodnett and Danny Deitrich. In a radical change of fortune the winner of the night before’s A Main would have to run the B main Paul McMahan would miss the dash finishing 5th in the heat.

The second heat was all Posse. Well except for Bill Rose who started 5th and finished 9th. And the Posse showed their colors and their skills. With Lance Dewease and Brian Leppo setting the pace for Chad Layton and Cory Haas.

The third heat would be a driving clinic put on by Jac Haudenschild and he didn’t even win. As a matter of fact he didn’t even transfer to the A main. But Jac Haudenschild who started 9th put on a show of skills and intestinal fortitude that was a sight to behold. Haudenschild drove from 9th to 6th on a track that was difficult to pass on to say the least. Track position was everything at The Grove unless you were Jac Haudenschild. Known as the Wild Child, Haudenschild drove above the cushion and on the very bottom passing cars where they weren’t. Unfortunately he needed a caution to get the last two positions to transfer to the A Main that caution would never come. The heat was won by Sam Hafertepe who held off Dale Blaney, Daryn Pittman and Sammy Swindell.

The fourth heat was all Kasey Kahne Racing. With Cody Darrah taking the win over teammate Joey Saldana, Jason Sides and Lucas Wolfe. This heat race would illustrate how quickly fortunes can change in a sprint car race. Brian Montieth who held the final transfer spot all the way to the final corner would clip the wall and finish 9th all in the span of a corner.

The 5th heat race was a barn burner affair that brought David Gravel home in the first spot with points leader Donny Schatz coming in a very close 2nd followed by Ryan Taylor and Danny Lasoski who had his hands full with a hard charging Kerry Madsen.

Perhaps the most surprising of races was the C main. Surprising because of the names that were in it. Fred Rahmer, Danny Holtgraver, Jac Haudenschild, Kyle Larson, and 20 time World of Outlaws champion, Steve Kinser. Kinser would struggle to a 6th place spot and miss the B main by 4 spots. The B would be won by Jac Haudenschild who passed 5 cars in 2 corners before taking the lead and holding off Tim Shaffer.

The Dash would be a very fast paced affair that saw Donny Schatz start on the pole after an inversion of 8 was drawn. Schatz never lead a lap in the dash as Cody Darrah jumped out to the lead off turn 1 and never looked back. But Schatz stayed strong in second to start on the outside of the front row.

The B Main would transfer 4 to the A. Those 4 would be the top two starting rows of Paul McMahan, Brian Montieth, Don Kreitz Jr., and Alan Krimes. The rest of the field would going to the trailer. Well with the exception of 2 Willams Grove provisional holders and 2 World of Outlaws provisional holders. Going into the A on Outlaws provisionals were Steve Kinser and Kraig Kinser. Going in on Willams Grove provisionals were Brent Marks and Doug Esh.

The A main would be snake bitten from the drop of the green all 6 of them. In fact the field was under red with a car upside down before a lap was ever posted to the board. Danny Lasoski jumped the start and was penalized a row. Pole sitter Cody Darrah jumped the start and was penalized a row. When the race finally did get under way Craig Dollansky was the pole sitter. Starting right next to his rival in the points Donny Schatz. Dollansky got an early run and took the lead out of two on the first lap. He lead despite numerous charges by Schatz until on the 24th lap a lapped car spun right in front of him leaving him no where to go and collected the leader. The misfortune for Dollansky was a nightmare but for 2nd place running Donny Schatz it was a stroke of luck. Schatz would lead for the remainder of the A Main even though on the final two laps his car was smoking out of the corners. In victory lane the oil on the side panels was evident the checkers had fallen just in time to beat Schatz’s rapidly expiring engine. Brian Leppo would come home 2nd and Cody Darrah 3rd.

The victory was more than a victory for Schatz. It was history making. With that win Donny Schatz became the first driver to ever win 5 Open Nationals in his career. Something that at the beginning of the year no one would have believed possible. But like the tides change and ebb so does lady luck and so does the drive of a champion. Schatz never had any intention of becoming an also ran. He never had any plans to give up the chase. He and his Tony Stewart Racing STP team dug a little deeper. Worked a little harder. Searched a little further until finally things came together and when they did, Schatz went on a terror, logging 11 top 5 finishes in a row and 9 top 3 finishes. Schatz took the point lead and has never looked back.

Tonight Donny Schatz stretched that points lead out yet again and now leads Craig Dollansky by 158 points going into the last 5 races of the year. But it’s not over not by a long shot. Things happen quickly in Sprint Car racing. Almost as quickly as the weather changes. With no provisionals remaining at his disposal Schatz must race his way into every one of those 5 remaining races. With 150 points awarded to the winner of the A Main every night and 75 to any driver who does not advance to the A. Schatz’s lead could evaporate in one bad night. Schatz knows this and he is not slowing down. Dollansky knows it too. It’s why his team repaired the car in the A and put him back out on the track to finish 16th. Every point counts. Nothing is a given. Nothing can be taken for granted. Nothing can be overlooked. This is a game for the championship. Schatz’s 5th and Dollansky’s 1st. And both know without a doubt that the tide can turn. Dollansky is betting it will and that he will be close enough to capitalize when it does. Schatz is betting it won’t turn soon enough if it turns at all.  Who is right? We have 5 more races to run to find out.

Qualifying –
1. 51-Paul McMahan, 16.366; 2. 51B-Brian Leppo, 16.473; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell, 16.523; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 16.534; 5. 1Z-Danny Lasoski, 16.549; 6. 39-Greg Hodnett, 16.551; 7. 7L-Chad Layton, 16.560; 8. 27-Daryn Pittman, 16.574; 9. 9-Joey Saldana, 16.582; 10. 21-Brian Montieth, 16.614; 11. 7-Craig Dollansky, 16.624; 12. 69K-Don Kreitz Jr, 16.639; 13. 2-Dale Blaney, 16.648; 14. 4-Cody Darrah, 16.649; 15. 15-Donny Schatz, 16.665; 16. 19-Stevie Smith, 16.669; 17. 30C-Lance Dewease, 16.680; 18. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, 16.690; 19. 87-Alan Krimes, 16.692; 20. 89G-David Gravel, 16.706; 21. 19M-Brent Marks, 16.711; 22. 6-Bill Rose, 16.773; 23. 2L-Ed Lynch Jr., 16.795; 24. 7S-Jason Sides, 16.800; 25. 29-Kerry Madsen, 16.801; 26. 48-Danny Dietrich, 16.804; 27. 15A-Adam Wilt, 16.807; 28. 17B-Steve Buckwalter, 16.808; 29. 63-Chad Kemenah, 16.832; 30. 20-Ryan Taylor, 16.846; 31. 30-Doug Esh, 16.847; 32. 11C-Cory Haas, 16.852; 33. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 16.864; 34. 20S-Derek Sell, 16.916; 35. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 16.928; 36. 35-Jessica Zemken, 16.930; 37. 69T-Tim Glatfelter, 16.944; 38. 83-Tim Shaffer, 16.946; 39. 77-Fred Rahmer, 16.966; 40. 8R-Michael Ruttkamp, 16.966; 41. D4-Danny Holtgraver, 16.968; 42. 75-Nicole Bower, 16.984; 43. 59-Jac Haudenschild, 16.990; 44. 71X-Bill Stine, 16.991; 45. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 17.020; 46. 13-Kyle Larson, 17.022; 47. 69-Ryan Smith, 17.121; 48. 11E-Mike Erdley, 17.141; 49. 44W-Rodney Westhafer, 17.185; 50. 5G-Curt Michael, 17.265; 51. 11-Steve Kinser, 17.353; 52. 12W-Troy Fraker, 17.619; 53. 3B-Randy Baughman, 17.764

Heat 1 –  (8 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 19-Stevie Smith[1] ; 2. 7-Craig Dollansky[2] ; 3. 39-Greg Hodnett[3] ; 4. 48-Danny Dietrich[6] ; 5. 51-Paul McMahan[4] ; 6. 19M-Brent Marks[5] ; 7. 30-Doug Esh[7] ; 8. 35-Jessica Zemken[8] ; 9. 13-Kyle Larson[10] ; 10. D4-Danny Holtgraver[9] ; 11. 11-Steve Kinser[11]

Heat 2 –  (8 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 30C-Lance Dewease[1] ; 2. 51B-Brian Leppo[4] ; 3. 7L-Chad Layton[3] ; 4. 11C-Cory Haas[7] ; 5. 69K-Don Kreitz Jr[2] ; 6. 69T-Tim Glatfelter[8] ; 7. 75-Nicole Bower[9] ; 8. 12W-Troy Fraker[11] ; 9. 6-Bill Rose[5] ; 10. 15A-Adam Wilt[6]

Heat 3 –  (8 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[1] ; 2. 2-Dale Blaney[2] ; 3. 27-Daryn Pittman[3] ; 4. 1-Sammy Swindell[4] ; 5. 83-Tim Shaffer[8] ; 6. 59-Jac Haudenschild[9] ; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser[7] ; 8. 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.[5] ; 9. 11E-Mike Erdley[10] ; 10. 3B-Randy Baughman[11] ; 11. 17B-Steve Buckwalter[6]

Heat 4 –  (8 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 4-Cody Darrah[2] ; 2. 9-Joey Saldana[3] ; 3. 7S-Jason Sides[5] ; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe[4] ; 5. 87-Alan Krimes[1] ; 6. 20S-Derek Sell[7] ; 7. 63-Chad Kemenah[6] ; 8. 77-Fred Rahmer[8] ; 9. 71X-Bill Stine[9] ; 10. 44W-Rodney Westhafer[10]

Heat 5 –  (8 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 89G-David Gravel[1] ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz[2] ; 3. 20-Ryan Taylor[6] ; 4. 1Z-Danny Lasoski[4] ; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen[5] ; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart[7] ; 7. 8R-Michael Ruttkamp[8] ; 8. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[9] ; 9. 21-Brian Montieth[3] ; 10. 5G-Curt Michael[10]

Dash –  (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 12 starting positions of A-feature
1. 4-Cody Darrah[2] ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz[1] ; 3. 2-Dale Blaney[3] ; 4. 9-Joey Saldana[5] ; 5. 7-Craig Dollansky[4] ; 6. 51B-Brian Leppo[8] ; 7. 5W-Lucas Wolfe[6] ; 8. 19-Stevie Smith[9] ; 9. 1-Sammy Swindell[7] ; 10. 30C-Lance Dewease[10] ; 11. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[11] ; 12. 89G-David Gravel[12]

C-Main –  (10 Laps – Top 2 finishers transfer to the B-feature)
1. 59-Jac Haudenschild[7] [-]; 2. 83-Tim Shaffer[2] [-]; 3. 77-Fred Rahmer[3] [$125]; 4. D4-Danny Holtgraver[5] [$125]; 5. 69T-Tim Glatfelter[1] [$125]; 6. 11-Steve Kinser[14] [$100]; 7. 11E-Mike Erdley[11] [$100]; 8. 8R-Michael Ruttkamp[4] [$100]; 9. 75-Nicole Bower[6] [$100]; 10. 3B-Randy Baughman[16] [$100]; 11. 12W-Troy Fraker[15] [$100]; 12. 44W-Rodney Westhafer[12] [$100]; 13. 71X-Bill Stine[8] [$100]; 14. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[9] [$100]; 15. 13-Kyle Larson[10] [$100]; 16. 5G-Curt Michael[13] [$100]; 17. 69-Ryan Smith[17] [$100]

B-Main –  (12 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 51-Paul McMahan[1] [-]; 2. 21-Brian Montieth[2] [-]; 3. 69K-Don Kreitz Jr[3] [-]; 4. 87-Alan Krimes[4] [-]; 5. 19M-Brent Marks[5] [$200]; 6. 29-Kerry Madsen[8] [$180]; 7. 59-Jac Haudenschild[17] [$175]; 8. 17B-Steve Buckwalter[10] [$160]; 9. 30-Doug Esh[12] [$150]; 10. 15A-Adam Wilt[9] [$150]; 11. 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.[7] [$150]; 12. 63-Chad Kemenah[11] [$150]; 13. 83-Tim Shaffer[18] [$150]; 14. 6-Bill Rose[6] [$150]; 15. 20S-Derek Sell[14] [$150]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser[13] [$150]; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart[15] [$150]; 18. 35-Jessica Zemken[16] [$150]

A-Main –  (40 Laps)
1. 15-Donny Schatz[2][$50,000]; 2. 51B-Brian Leppo[6][$12,000]; 3. 4-Cody Darrah[1][$7,500]; 4. 27-Daryn Pittman[17][$4,000]; 5. 51-Paul McMahan[13][$3,500]; 6. 19-Stevie Smith[8][$3,000]; 7. 5W-Lucas Wolfe[7][$2,700]; 8. 30C-Lance Dewease[10][$2,500]; 9. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[11][$2,200]; 10. 39-Greg Hodnett[15][$2,100]; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell[9][$2,000]; 12. 48-Danny Dietrich[22][$1,650]; 13. 21-Brian Montieth[18][$1,550]; 14. 19M-Brent Marks[26][$300]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides[21][$1,100]; 16. 7-Craig Dollansky[5][$1,050]; 17. 89G-David Gravel[12][$1,000]; 18. 30-Doug Esh[28][$50]; 19. 11-Steve Kinser[25][$50]; 20. 11K-Kraig Kinser[27][$50]; 21. 7L-Chad Layton[16][$900]; 22. 20-Ryan Taylor[23][$900]; 23. 9-Joey Saldana[4][$900]; 24. 87-Alan Krimes[20][$900]; 25. 69K-Don Kreitz Jr[19][$900]; 26. 11C-Cory Haas[24][$900]; 27. 1Z-Danny Lasoski[14][$900]; 28. 2-Dale Blaney[3][$900]

Lap Leaders: Craig Dollansky 1-13, 15-24; Donny Schatz 14, 25-40
KSE Hard Charger Award: 27-Daryn Pittman[+13]

Final Points following the race are not available at the time of publishing.

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  1. Donny may not be a Steve Kinser, but he should has been on a run the last few weeks. Awesome that he was able to win it again. Wow 54 cars were in the field, that is unusual.

    That was ashame that Craig was in the wreck. would have been nice yo watch Donny and Craig fight it out. CONGRATS to Donny. Hope he stays on that roll.

    Thanks for the stats of the night


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