Photo Credit: Matthew Paul Photography
By Mike Spieker
BRISBANE, Queensland (January 9, 2019) – There’s no better way to finish a season than with a win. Donny Schatz and his Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 team accomplished that feat in November at the Dirt Track at Charlotte with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars. Last night, the nine-time Australian Sprintcar Open champion did it again as he concluded his 2018-19 season down under with a thrilling victory.
After setting Quick Time to start the night, Schatz lined up on the outside of the front row for the 35-lap World Series Sprintcar main event. At the drop of the green flag, Schatz rode around the semi-banked quarter-mile clay oval, finding his groove in the third position behind Luke Oldfield and Jamie Veal, respectively.
Within two laps, the top four cars ran within three car lengths as James McFadden entered the fray and briefly took the third spot from Schatz.
A caution on lap four allowed Schatz to get by Oldfield for second on the ensuing restart. From there, he set his sights on Veal for the lead. Schatz found a way around the No. V35 of Veal to take the point on lap seven before checking out to a comfortable lead.
In the closing laps, the low side of the speedway became the preferred groove, which stalled Schatz’s run as he encountered lapped traffic. Veal quickly closed the gap between himself and the 10-time World of Outlaws champion, reaching the rear nerf bar of the Raw Metal Corp No. 15 with six circuits remaining.
Coming to the white flag, Schatz hooked a rut exiting turn four which allowed Veal to pull alongside in turn one. The two nearly made contact as Schatz was forced to the top side, with Veal in the preferred groove down low. Still, Schatz had a half car length advantage heading into the final set of turns.
In a drag race to the checkers, Schatz edged out Veal by a car length and a half. The win for Schatz was his fourth in six Australia starts and the 27th of his career with the World Series Sprintcars.
Up next, Schatz will travel to Barberville, Florida to open the 2019 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series season February 8-10.
2018-19 Archerfield Speedway Stats:
Top Fives: 5
Top Tens: 5