FARGO, N.D. (February 8, 2021) – The 2021 World of Outlaws Sprint Car season got underway last weekend with the running of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 15 team rolled into Florida and proved they have found some speed over the short offseason.
Schatz’s 25th season with the World of Outlaws kicked off on Friday, but he found himself in a hole early after timing in 18th quick and finishing in the fifth and final transfer spot in his heat, putting him 18th on the grid for the 30-lapper.
Schatz quickly navigated his way to the front, cracking the top 10 by lap 10. The 10-time series champion took advantage of the lap 12 restart to move from ninth to seventh before working by Kasey Kahne for the sixth spot. At the halfway point, Schatz moved by both Jacob Allen and Carson Macedo in the same corner to take the fourth spot.
Schatz moved around the No. 2 of David Gravel and inherited the third position, which is where he went on to take the checkers and pick up the night’s KSE hard charger award.
“We were decent,” Schatz said, after the race. “The guys weren’t happy, I wasn’t happy, but all you can do is rally back. They made the car better and I felt like we had a chance there at the end. I zigged when I probably should’ve zagged in lap traffic, but that’s the way it goes somedays.”
Saturday night’s event was washed out when heavy rain doused the track while the first heat race was pushing off.
The Outlaws returned to Volusia on Sunday to close out their portion of the DIRTcar Nationals.
Schatz came to life in the dash, charging from the final starting position in sixth to take the win and earn the pole position for the feature.
It appeared as though Schatz had the field covered during the A-main as he was in search of his 300th career win. Schatz led from the green flag until two laps to go when an MSD box failed on the Ford-powered J&J. Schatz had a two-second lead on the rest of the field when his car slowed dramatically down the backstretch.
The crew was able to get the box changed in time for Schatz to rejoin the field for the restart. He was able to salvage a 15th place finish.
“It was just a defective ignition box. That thing was brand new on this engine tonight,” Schatz noted afterward. “I actually thought we cut a fuel line for a minute because I was getting wet, but it was the MSD. It is what it is.”
Schatz will go for career win No. 300 on Feb. 12th at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia. The Outlaws will then head to the Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Alabama on Feb. 13th.
Schatz currently sits eighth in the series standings, 32 markers behind leader Logan Schuchart.
In All Star Circuit of Champions action in Flordia, Schatz raced to his 20th career All Star win at East Bay Raceway Park on Feb. 2nd. A second-place run the following night at Volusia Speedway Park highlighted the two nights of All Star action at the four-tenths mile. He placed seventh on Feb. 3rd which was the prelude to the World of Outlaws opener.
2021 Sprint Car Results:
Top Fives: 6
Top Tens: 9
2021 World of Outlaws Results:
Top Fives: 1
Top Tens: 1
Photo Credit: Trent Gower