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Schatz looks to continue World of Outlaws groove at Big Sky Speedway Saturday

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Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 18:58:42-04

(Editor's note: World of Outlaws release)

RAPID CITY, SD – Ten-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz has found his groove again.

With a dominating win in his home state last week and reclaiming the points lead, the reigning champion is looking to ride the momentum and continue his hunt for an 11th championship on Friday, Aug. 23, at Black Hills Speedway and Saturday, Aug. 24, at Big Sky Speedway.

As the North Dakota-native stated, he put a “whopping” on the field at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. – leading 24 of the 40 laps and lapping up to ninth-place en route to his eighth victory of year. That makes him the second winningest driver of the 16 that have won, so far, this year. However, Schatz feels like he should already have several more wins.

He’s used to seasons with 20 or 30-plus wins. Schatz acknowledge it can be hard to live up to those statistics. But after a couple of years of not doing so, he said it’s started to weigh on him.

“You could say I’ve had a mental block for two and a half years,” Schatz said.

Every race he and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing are “digging,” he’s said. In Grand Forks they hit on something. For Schatz it wasn’t just with the car either. He felt like his mental block was finally gone.

“I feel like that’s over,” Schatz said. “I can go back to doing my job and doing what I do.”

His win also helped him reclaim the points lead over Brad Sweet – now 24 points ahead of the Kasey Kahne Racing driver. With less than 30 races to go in the Series’ schedule, there’s one main focus for Schatz; the championship. “It’s always been the focus,” he said.

The best way to achieve it is with consecutive good finishes – which he’s had, finishing outside the top-10 only four times – and wins.

Sweet won at Black Hills Speedway last year. He’ll be hungry for another win there after losing the points lead to Schatz, while he searches for his first Series championship. Schatz has won at the South Dakota speedway three time in-a-row, though. Schatz will also be looking to give his crew chief, Steve Swenson, a home state win at the track.

With NOS Energy Drink coming on board to sponsor the event and adding an additional $10,000 to the winner’s purse, there will now be $20,000 on the line, as well.

A wild card race in Schatz and Sweet’s battle for the points lead will be The Brawl at Big Sky Speedway in Billings, Mont. Neither have won at the 3/8-mile track. However, three of Sweet’s 12 wins this year have come on 3/8-mile tracks – making him the winningest driver, so far, this year on tracks that size.

Schatz has yet to win at a 3/8-mile track this year. He’s been no stranger to first time wins this year, though. He won the inaugural race at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and won at Wilmot Raceway for the first time in his career in July.

With the mental block gone and the championship in view, Schatz is poised to repeat his River Cities performance his weekend.

NEWS AND NOTES

  • Three-time Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg, who drivers the NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z drift car, will be signing autographs in the midway at Black Hills Speedway with his car from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. His car will also be used as the pace car for the World of Outlaws Feature.

THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE

1/2 and 3/8-MILE WINNERS THIS YEAR
There have been 18 races on a 1/2-mille track, so far, this year.
-Volusia Speedway: Daryn Pittman won on Feb. 8 and 9
-The Dirt Track at Las Vegas: Tim Shaffer won on Feb. 27 and Donny Schatz won on Feb. 28
-Perris Auto Speedway: Aaron Reutzel won on March 30
-Devil’s Bowl Speedway: Logan Schuchart won on April 12
-Eldora Speedway: Donny Schatz won on May 10, July 17 and July 19, and Brad Sweet won on July 18 and July 20
-Williams Grove Speedway: David Gravel won on May 17; Lance Dewease won on May 18; Tim Shaffer won on July 26; and Donny Schatz won on July 27
-Knoxville Raceway: Brian Brown won on June 14; Brad Sweet won on June 15; David Gravel on Aug. 10

There have been eight races on a 3/8-mile track, so far, this year.
Stockton Dirt Track: Logan Schuchart won on March 16
Keller Auto Speedway: David Gravel won on March 29
USA Raceway: Brad Sweet won on April 5
Lincoln Speedway: Lance Dewease won on May 15
Lawrenceburg Speedway: Kyle Larson won on May 27
Granite City Speedway: Brad Sweet won on June 8
Cedar Lake Speedway: Sheldon Haudenschild and Brad Sweet won on July 6
Hartford Speedway: David Gravel on July 12

BIG SKY SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2018 – Daryn Pittman on Aug. 25
2017 – Daryn Pittman on Aug. 24
2008 – Joey Saldana on Aug.19
2005 – Steve Kinser on Aug.19, Daryn Pittman on Aug.20
2004 – Steve Kinser on Aug.20, Steve Kinser on Aug.21

DRIVER INFO
Follow World of Outlaws full-time drivers on Twitter:
Brad Sweet – @BradSweet49
Brent Marks – @bmracing19
Carson Macedo – @carson_macedo
Daryn Pittman – @darynpittman
David Gravel – @DavidGravel
Donny Schatz – @donnyschatz
Ian Madsen – @IanMadsen
Jacob Allen – @JacobAllen1A
Jason Sides – @SidesMotorsport
Kraig Kinser – @KraigKinser11k
Logan Schuchart – @Lschuchart1s
Shane Stewart – @shanestewart_5
Sheldon Haudenschild – @Haudenschild_17

2019 STATS - 48 EVENTS

FEATURE WINNERS (16 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 12
2– Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 8
3 – David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 6
4 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 4
5 – Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 2
– Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 2
– Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif. – 2
– Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 2
– Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 2
– Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 2
6 – Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 1
– Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 1
– Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, Pa. – 1
– Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 1
– Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 1
– Brian Brown, Higginsville, Mo. – 1

DRYDENE HEAT RACE WINNERS (39 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 20
2 – Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 18
3– David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 15
4 – Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 13
5 – Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 11
6 – Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 9
– Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 9
7– Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 8
8 – Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 7
9 – Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 6
10 – Brian Brown, Higginsville, Mo. – 5
11 – Jacob Allen, Hanover, Pa. – 4
– Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 4
– Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 4
– Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif. – 4
12 – Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 3
– Jason Sides, Bartlett, Tenn. – 3
– Cory Eliason, Visalia, Calif. – 3
– Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 3
13 – Rico Abreu, St. Helena, Calif. – 2
– Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Calif. – 2
– Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, Pa. – 2
– Brent Marks, Myerstown, Pa. – 2
– Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, Ind. – 2
– Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, Iowa – 2
14 – Spencer Bayston, Lebanon, Ind. – 1
– Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla. – 1
– Willie Croft, Roseville, Calif. – 1
– Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, Pa. – 1
– Ryan Smith, Kunkletown, Pa. – 1
– Scotty Thiel, Sheboygan, Wis. – 1
– Tony Stewart, Columbus, Ind. – 1
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 1
– Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, S.D. – 1
– Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, Ind. – 1
– Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 1
– Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn. – 1
– Brian Montieth, Phoenixville, Pa. – 1
– Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, Mo. – 1

DIRTVISION FAST PASS DASH WINNERS (21 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 8
2 – Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 4
– Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 4
– Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 4
– David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 4
3 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 3
– Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 3
– Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 3
4 – Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla. – 2
– Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 2
– Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 2
5 – Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 1
– Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 1
– Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. – 1
– Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, Pa. – 1
– Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif. – 1
– Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 1
– Bill Balog, Hartland, Wis. – 1
– Jeff Swindell, Memphis, Tenn. – 1
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 1
– Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, Mo. – 1

LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINNERS (30 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 3
– Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 3
2 – Rico Abreu, St. Helena, Calif. – 2
– Jason Sides, Bartlett, Tenn. – 2
– Brent Marks, Myerstown, Pa. – 2
– Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Calif. – 2
– Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 2
– Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. – 2
3 – Cale Conley, Vienna, W.Va. – 1
– Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 1
– Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, Wash. – 1
– David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 1
– Terry McCarl, Altoona, Iowa – 1
– Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn. – 1
– Carson Short, Marion, Ill. – 1
– T.J. Stutts, Liverpool, Pa. – 1
– Cory Haas, York, Pa. – 1
– Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 1
– Cale Thomas, Fairland, Ind. – 1
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 1
– Jim Stinson, Vandalia, Ohio – 1
– Spencer Bayston, Lebanon, Ind. – 1
– Dominic Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 1
– Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 1
– Russel Borland, Kewaskum, Wis. – 1
– Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 1
– Cory Eliason, Santa Cruz, Calif. – 1
– Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 1
– Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 1
– Marcus Dumesny, Sydney, NSW, Australia – 1

C-MAIN WINNERS (13 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 1
– Brent Marks, Myerstown, Pa. – 1
– Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, Pa. – 1
– Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, Pa. – 1
– Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 1
– Jim Stinson, Vandalia, Ohio – 1
– Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Australia
– Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, Iowa – 1
– Lee Jacobs, Dalton, Ohio – 1
– Chad Kemenah, Alveda, Ohio – 1
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 1
– Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Calif. – 1
– Jacob Allen, Hanover, Pa. – 1

D-MAIN WINNERS (2 drivers)
1 – Justin Peck, Monrovia, Ind. – 1
– Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, Mo. – 1

PODIUM FINISHES (25 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – # of podiums
1– Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 23
2 – Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 21
3 – David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 19
4 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 15
5 – Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 13
6 – Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 6
7 – Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 5
8 – Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 4
– Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif. – 4
9 – Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 3
– Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, Pa. – 3
– Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 3
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 3
10 – Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla. – 2
– Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Calif. – 2
– Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 2
– Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 2
– Brent Marks, Myerstown, Pa. – 2
– Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 2
11 – Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 1
– Rico Abreu, St. Helena, Calif. – 1
– Jacob Allen, Hanover, Pa. – 1
– Ryan Smith, Kunkletown, Pa. – 1
– Bill Balog, Hartland, Wis. – 1
– Brian Brown, Higginsville, Mo. – 1

HARD CHARGER AWARD (24 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – H.C. Awards
1 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 6
2 – Brent Marks, Myerstown, Pa. – 5
3 – Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 4
4 – Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 3
– Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. – 3
5 – Cory Eliason, Santa Cruz, Calif. – 2
– Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 2
– Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 2
– Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Ind. – 2
– Rico Abreu, St. Helena, Calif. – 2
– Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 2
– Dominic Scelzi – Fresno, Calif. – 2
6 – David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 1
– Chad Kemenah, Alveda, Ohio – 1
– Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 1
– Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, Ind. – 1
– Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, Mo. – 1
– Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 1
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 1
– Derek Hagar, Marion, Ark. – 1
– Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 1
– Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 1
– Jacob Allen, Hanover, Pa. – 1
– Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Pa. – 1
– Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 1

TOTAL LAPS LED (24 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Laps
1 – Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 284
2 – Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 224
3 – David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 198
4 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 121
5 – Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 96
6 – Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 62
7– Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 61
8 – Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 55
9 – Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 53
10 – Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla. – 52
– Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif. – 52
11 – Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 51
12 – Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 48
13 – Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 41
14 – Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, Pa. – 34
15 – James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 31
16 – Brian Brown, Higginsville, Mo. – 25
17 – Bill Balog, Hartland, Wis. – 22
18 – Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. – 19
19 – Jacob Allen, Hanover, Pa. – 10
– Brent Marks, Myerstown, Pa. – 10
– Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Ind. – 10
20 – Giovanni Scelzi, Fresno, Calif. – 6
21 – Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, Ind. – 2

QUALIFYING QUICK TIME (19 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – QTs
1 – David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 12
2 – Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 7
3 – Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 5
4 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 3
5 – Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 2
– Jacob Allen, Hanover, Pa. – 2
– Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. – 2
– Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 2
6 – Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, Ind. – 1
– Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 1
– Carson Macedo, Lemoore, Calif. – 1
– Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 1
– Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Pa. – 1
– Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, Pa. – 1
– Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 1
– Jason Sides, Bartlett, Tenn. – 1
– Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Calif. – 1
– Sye Lynch, Apollo, Pa. – 1
– Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 1

FASTEST IN PRACTICE (17 drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – # of times fastest
1 – David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 8
2 – Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D. – 7*
3 – Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif. – 6
4 – Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla. – 5
5 – Logan Schuchart, Hanover, Pa. – 4
– Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia – 4*
6 – Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, Pa. – 3
7 – Aaron Reutzel, Clute, Texas – 2
– Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. – 2
8 – Brian Brown, Higginsville, Mo. – 1
– Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, Ohio – 1
– Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, Pa. – 1
– Jason Sides, Bartlett, Tenn. – 1
– James McFadden, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia – 1
– Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Calif. – 1
– Shane Stewart, Bixby, Okla. – 1
– Logan Wagner, Harrisonville, Pa. – 1
*A fastest time came during a second set of Hot Laps