Schatz Earns a Pair of Podiums at Eldora; Central Pennsylvania Up Next

Fargo, N.D. (May 4, 2024) – Donny Schatz continued his quest for an 11th World of Outlaws series championship last weekend with a pair of podium finishes at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio in the CarQuest/Ford Performance No. 15 during the annual #LetsRaceTwo event at the famous half-mile oval.

Schatz’s week started last Wednesday at the shortest track on the World of Outlaws schedule, the one-fourth mile Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Ill. Schatz went out late in his qualifying group and went on the offensive from there.

Schatz earned his feature spot by way of the Last Chance Showdown and worked his way forward through the field from the drop of the green. Late in the 35-lap race, Schatz was in the mix for a top ten finish while battling with Brad Sweet and Bill Balog in the closing laps. Schatz finished 11th as the KSE hard charger after starting in the 12th row.

When the series moved east to Eldora Speedway for two nights of the annual #LetsRaceTwo weekend, Schatz had one of the cars to beat starting with the third-best lap in qualifying on night one.

Schatz won his heat and finished third in the dash to set up a second row start in the first 30-lap main event of the weekend. Schatz went from fifth to second on a restart with ten laps remaining and began to chase down race-long leader Sheldon Haudenschild for the lead in traffic. Schatz finished third to score his 68th top five at the famed Eldora half-mile.

Schatz and crew carried their momentum into night two finishing fifth in qualifying and second in his heat setting up a fourth place finish in the dash and another second row starting spot in the final 30-lap main event of the weekend.

Schatz never ran lower than third in the main event, taking second from Buddy Kofoid on lap eight. From there, Schatz took his first lead of the race from fellow title contender David Gravel with a turn four pass on lap 14.

Schatz took the lead on lap 28 and looked to be in control before a red at the start of lap 29. Schatz led at the white flag on the restart but Gravel took the lead on the backstretch in the final lap and protected the bottom to steal the win with Schatz on his heels in second.

“There’s so many tools we can use,” Schatz said after his podium finish. “I think we just went too far. We weren’t really good on the starts. I was giving it everything I could and just couldn’t go, but once three or four laps happened we could go.

Schatz told the story of the last restart saying, “He [Gravel] ran away on that last start and drove by us but then we caught back up and got back by. If we wouldn’t have had a yellow or red it may have been a different story but we learned from it last night and tonight and we’ll try to get better.”

Schatz will continue his quest for an 11th series title this week in the first Central Pennsylvania swing of the season just 48 points back of David Gravel for the series lead.

Schatz heads into Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday with one win, six top fives, and eight top tens in 16 starts at the narrow three-eights mile oval. The series completes the weekend at the famed half-mile Williams Grove Speedway where Schatz has 21 career victories and will look for his 100th top ten in his 144th start at the track Friday night.

Schatz and the entire Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team would like to thank all of their great partners for their continued support – Carquest Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts, Curb Records, Ford Performance, Sage Fruit, Mobil 1, Absolute Automation & Security, J&J Auto Racing, Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts

2024 Stats:
Races: 18
Wins: 2
Top Fives: 8
Top Tens: 15

Leave a Reply