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Schatz Claws Way To Knoxville Victory

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, August 11 2013

Donny Schatz won the Knoxville Nationals on Saturday night. (File photo)

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Donny Schatz, who started well back in the field, won the 53rd running of the Knoxville Nationals on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa.

After struggling during the Wednesday preliminary feature, Schatz was forced to start Saturday on the outside of the second row in the Last Chance Showdown, or B-main. He won that race to earn the 21st starting position in the $150,000-to-win, 50-lap A-main.

Nobody had ever won the Nationals from deeper than 14th and here was Schatz attempting to win from another area code in his STP Gas Booster J&J. Then, Schatz picked off car after car until finally, with nine laps to go, he caught and passed leader Brian Brown, who finished second to Schatz for the second consecutive year.

Justin Henderson, Paul McMahan and Chad Kemenah rounded out the top five finishers.

“It was a fun run,” said Schatz, of Fargo, N.D., who also turned 36 on Saturday. “We went where we had to, we go to the top, or the bottom, but we couldn’t really make the bottom work. I just can’t say enough for the STP Gas Booster guys. We tried to win the Speed Sport News World Challenge on Friday night, but we also tried something new with the car to see what we could find. We wanted to get locked in. It put a lot of doubt in a lot of minds because I usually run well on the World Challenge night, but when you’re not that good you have nothing to lose testing. I’d rather crash than run 20th or fifth.”

Schatz won the LCS on a last lap pass and followed it up by leading the final nine laps of the feature event on Saturday night after he raced under Brown as they exited turn two.

The victory in the LCS moved Schatz into the 21st starting position in the $150,000 finale, seven positions deeper than when Steve Kinser won in 1995 and when Jerry Richert Jr. won in 1962.

It didn’t make any difference to Schatz.

“We’re disappointed, that’s the biggest thing, but we don’t take a second place at the Knoxville Nationals for granted,” said Brown, the Grain Valley, Mo., native and driver of the FVP/Casey’s General Stores Maxim who collected $75,000 for his effort. “We could finish third, fourth or miss the show. My car went away at the end, our car went tight and then loose and I’m not sure if I used up my tires or what happened. Hats off to Donny Schatz his team they did a great job and he’s a true champion. We’ll keep plugging away and come back next year and either break his legs or beat him.”

Henderson found third position bittersweet with a second so close at hand.

“I’m a little bummed to run third,” said Henderson, of Sioux Falls, S.D., and a three-time feature starter in the nationals. “It’s awesome and it’s an honor, but if you would’ve told me coming in that I would run third coming into this place, I’d have thought that’s sweet. But when it’s right there as a driver, you want to win, especially when it’s $150,000. When it finally sinks in tomorrow when we’re on the drive home I’ll probably be cheering for myself. ”

World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; FVP Knoxville Nationals Night 4; Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway; Aug. 10, 2013

A-Main (50 laps): 1. Donny Schatz (21) ($150,000); 2. Brian Brown (2) ($75,000); 3. Justin Henderson (4)($37,500); 4. Paul McMahan (6)($26,000); 5. Chad Kemenah (19)($21,000); 6. Kyle Larson (17)($20,000); 7. Joey Saldana (1)($19,000); 8. Danny Lasoski (13)($18,000); 9. Steve Kinser (12)($17,000); 10. Cap Henry (18)($16,000); 11. Dusty Zomer (23)($15,000); 12. Greg Hodnett (16)($14,000); 13. Brad Sweet (5)($13,000); 14. Daryn Pittman (11)($12,000); 15. Cody Darrah (10)(11,000); 16. Kerry Madsen (8)(10,500); 17. Shane Stewart (3)($10,000); 18. Roger Crockett (15) ($10,000); 19. Brooke Tatnell (25) ($10,000); 20. Kevin Swindell (9) ($10,000); 21. Ian Madsen (24) ($10,000); 22. Lynton Jeffrey (22) ($10,000); 23. David Gravel (7) ($10,000); 24. Jac Haudenschild (20) ($9,500); 25. Stevie Smith (14) ($9,500).

B-Main (22 laps): 1. Donny Schatz (4)($1,000); 2. Lynton Jeffrey (1) ($1,000); 3. Dusty Zomer (9) ($1,000); 4. Ian Madsen (8) ($1,000); 5. Scott Winters (2) ($8,000); 6. Brandon Wimmer (11) ($7,000); 7. Wayne Johnson (13) ($6,000); 8. Jason Sides (3) ($5,000); 9. Bronson Maeschen (19) ($4,000); 10. Terry McCarl (7) ($3,500); 11. Craig Dollansky (6) ($3,000); 12. Davey Heskin (16)$2,500); 13. Mark Dobmeier ($2,250); 14. Randy Hannagan (14) ($2,000); 15. Jason Johnson (12) ($1,750); 16. Danny Dietrich (23) ($1,500); 17. Jeff Swindell (15) ($1,450); 18. Don Droud Jr. (17) ($1,400); 19. Josh Schneiderman (24) ($1,350); 20. Logan Schuchart (20) ($1,300); 21. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (21) ($1,250); 22. Tim Kaeding (5) ($1,200); 23. James McFadden (18) ($1,150); 24. Tim Shaffer (22) ($1,100).

C-Main (15 laps): 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (1); 2. Tim Shaffer (7); 3. Danny Dietrich (4); 4. Josh Schneiderman (2); 5. Kraig Kinser (16); 6. Brad Loyet (12); 7. Sammy Swindell (22); 8. R.J. Johnson (11); 9. Rager Phillips (6); 10. Brent Marks (19); 11. Ed Lynch Jr. (5); 12. Lance Dewease (13); 13. Cole Wood (10); 14. Sheldon Haudenschild (21); 15. Jimmy Light (18); 16. Johnny Herrera (15); 17. Kaley Gharst (23); 18. Skylar Prochaska (17); 19. Dustin Selvage (3); 20. Austin McCarl (8); 21. Rob Kubli (24); 22. Dale Blaney (20); 23. Danny Smith (14); 24. Tasker Phillips (9).

D-Main (12 laps): 1. Dale Blaney (3); 2. Sheldon Haudenschild (2); 3. Sammy Swindell (18); 4. Kaley Gharst (1); 5. Rob Kubli (4); 6. Tony Bruce Jr. (8); 7. Rico Abreu (10); 8. Bill Rose (7); 9. Mike Moore (6); 10. Jonathan Allard (15); 11. Chris Shirek (9); 12. Bill Balog (21); 13. Caleb Helms (5); 14. Josh Hodges (13); 15. Brady Bacon (17); 16. Jarrod Schneiderman (11); 17. Trey Gustin (16); 18. Bob Weuve (14); 19. Jacob Allen (12); 20. Paul Morris (22); 21. Kevin Ingle (24); 22. Thomas Kennedy (20); 23. Glen Saville (23); 24. AJ Moeller (19).

E-Main (10 laps): 1. Sammy Swindell (4); 2. AJ Moeller (2); 3. Thomas Kennedy (3); 4. Bill Balog (5); 5. Paul Morris (7); 6. Glen Saville (9); 7. Kevin Ingle (6); 8. TJ Peterson (8); 9. Ron Krysl (10); 10. Brian Paulus (11).

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, August 11 2013
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