Missouri State Fair Speedway holds a special place in the hart of Donny Schatz for 8th time and defending World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series champ. He first start with this series back in 1993 as a teenager at this historic track.
Returning to this half-mile track yesterday,for the first time since 2012 and were the victors in the current Sedalia Show-Me State Showdown to win his career 3rd at Missouri State Fair Speedway and his 7th of this season aboard the current Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J for Tony Stewart Racing.
Donny Schatz said "This is extra special, with this being the first place I ran at, We had Mark Miller from Artic Cat here and this is kind of his home track. He had a premonition that we were going to have a good night and I'm glad he had that premonition."
Schatz started 3rd and in the 7th lap he got around Joey Saldana to take 2nd. Beginning to close on leader Daryn Pittman as they negotiated lapped traffic, Schatz made his low side move off the back straight away to move into 1st on lap-11.
Now in front, Schatz pull away. After the white flag, the only caution of this 25-lap race. Schatz was in 1st and Kerry Madsen was 2nd. Schatz took advantage of a strong restart to pull away for the win.
Schatz said about the only caution, "I was actually looking for the car that was stopped, but it wasn't stopped, That's the way it goes sometimes and those breaks sometimes go your way. Our car was awesome. April really didn't show it, but April is over. That's what racing is about. You'll have some good days and you are going to have a lot of bad ones. Today was one of the good ones. We just keep digging and finding ways to make the race car faster. Hats off to them, they are on their game and they got us a win tonight."
This win for Schatz broke a more then a month win drought. His last win was on March 18th at Thunderbowl Raceway in California. He mastered traffic for his advantage and controlled tire wear as well to take home the 10k win.
Donny Schatz also said "You don't really ever bide your time, You have to be smart with your tires. This is a high speed track and it's pretty easy the fine line between stuck to the track and spinning your tires. When I rolled across the scales, I saw the other cars around me and I saw their tires were really blistered. Mine looked good, so I guess that means I did my job at the right parts of the race. Early on, when you have all that fuel, they are not a lot of fun to drive. You have to be cautious and search out the race track and see what happens."
Pittman led for the first 10 laps, after starting on the pole, he finished a season-best 2nd. Early open track, Pittman pulled away from Joey Saldana and had 2 second lead in the first 6 laps.
Pittman said, "It did feel good to run up front, These guys are really working hard. It's been a struggle this year and I have a great group of guys and I am really proud to be a part of this team. There is no doubt we'll get that win and we keep getting better. We made a lot of headway and had a pretty solid car all night long. If we are going to beat the 15 car and some of these guys consistently, we still have some work to do. We'll get this Great Clips car to victory lane and it will be fun when we do."
Kerry Madsen lined up 2nd for restart and ended up in 3rd.
Kerry Madsen said about the restart, "I was going for the win, I tried that low-middle there and feed off Donny's right rear on the restart. I should have done the opposite and fed off the left rear and gotten better grip. I went to attack and wasn't close enough to attack and got attacked. It was a fun race and our car was a rocket ship."
Joey Saldana, ran 2nd early on in this main event, but finished 4th. Brian Brown, from Grain Valley, Mo., was 5th and Jason Johnson, from Missouri was 6th. Brad Sweet finished 7th, Danny Lasoski, also from Missouri was 8th, David Gravel 9th and Kraig Kinser rounded out the 10th.
World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to action on Sat., May 6 at 81 Speedway in Park City, Kansas.