November 9, 2013 — By Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Concord, N.C. — Donny Schatz refuses to let the 2013 World of Outlaws title fight die.
Like a dog with a bone, Schatz has exhibited the never-give-up attitude his Tony Stewart Racing team is known for, and he took that passion and drive all the way to Victory Lane during Friday night action at the World Finals at Charlotte.
Schatz, who started the feature fourth, took over the point from “Blackjack” Brian Brown, the polesitter, on Lap 13, and never looked back, though lap traffic over the final 10 laps would close the distance between the top two. Schatz, however, would work the traffic to perfection, and grab the checkered flag for his series-leading and personal-best 23rd win of the season, his 7th win at Charlotte (leads all drivers), and 147th career World of Outlaws sprint car triumph.
“The way we’re running right now we really don’t want this season to end,” said Schatz, of Fargo, N.D. “I’m not going to lie, if we can’t get the job done in the championship I’m going to be disappointed. We came and had a good night to win and we’re going to come back tomorrow night and try to do the same thing. We’re going to stay positive and try to do everything we can for tomorrow.”
Brian Brown, who finished second for the fifth time this season, once again came up one spot short in his quest for a maiden World of Outlaws victory.
“When there are 55 cars here and only one guy can win and we just ran second again,” said Brown, of Grain Valley, Missouri. “It’s better than third and we’ll take what we learned and come back tomorrow. I was able to win the dash pretty handily and felt we were pretty good in the feature but sometimes those restarts it’s a double-edged sword, if you go to the top they may drive around you on the bottom. The good news is we kept him in our sights and I really felt like at the end we would have a shot to sneak back by, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Joey Saldana, Shane Stewart and “Double Down” Jason Sides completed the top five at the finish.
Brown started on the pole by virtue of winning the dash, and shot out to the early lead ahead of Joey Saldana. Schatz, meanwhile, methodically worked his way forward, and was second by Lap 10 while his championship rival Daryn Pittman struggled just inside of the top ten. A pair of cautions for spins by Kerry Madsen and Dale Blaney on the frontstretch bunched the field back up and set up Donny Schatz’s winning pass as the final 18 laps ran green to checkered.
Daryn Pittman ultimately worked his way to 6th at the final flag and will carry a 32-point lead into the final feature event of the season on Saturday night, with Saturday’s qualifying bonus points for Donny Schatz factored in. All told, if Pittman finishes 15th or better, he will clinch his first-career World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship.
In Super DIRTcar Series action, Brett “the Jet” Hearn blasted out from pole position and denied all challengers on Friday night, darting away from a spirited battle for second between “Super” Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen and Ryan Godown that went three-wide at times to grab the win for the second year in a row at the World Finals.
Hearn led all 40 laps en route to the victory, his 4th of the Super DIRTcar Series season and tour-record 115th career win.
“I never saw anyone alongside me, but I knew I was under pressure,” said Hearn, who managed to fend off Sheppard’s advances and soon carve out a hefty lead. “I just kept my head down and kept on going as fast as I could go.”
“We were very good the first half of the race, but I was really struggling at the end. It’s never easy. We tried to make the right choices in tires and setup and stuff like that, and maybe we didn’t make the right choices tonight but the ones we made were good enough to win the race.”
Stewart Friesen, after a long battle with Matt Sheppard, finally powered through to claim the runner-up position, with Sheppard rounding out the podium.
“We were definitely a 40-lap car, maybe even a 50-lap car, so we came on strong there in the end. We learned some things, we’ll apply that for tomorrow,” Friesen said. “I’m really proud of my team, these guys work really hard.”
Dale Planck and Gary Tomkins completed the top five after the 40-lap main event.
The diciest moment of the DIRTcar main occured at halfway when, on Lap 20, Danny Johnson and Tim McCreadie got together in Turns 1 and 2, with McCreadie going around as part of a multi-car incident in Turn 2. Following the incident, McCreadie expressed his displeasure by running square into the back bumper of Danny Johnson on the backstretch, turning the Johnson machine under caution. McCreadie would be black-flagged for his actions and would end the night scored 26th.
Darrell Lanigan drove to victory lane in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature, leading all 50 laps en route to the victory while withstanding heavy pressure from Scott Bloomquist over the final 10 laps. While Lanigan scored his 12th win of the season and 53rd overall WoO LMS victory, Josh Richards would come home third and officially clinch his third career Late Model Series championship, following back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
Billy Moyer, the 2005 WoO LMS champion and three-time overall series champion, including two pre-modern era titles in 1988-89, saw his night end early with a hard crash on the opening lap of his heat race. Moyer, who had set quick time in both Thursday qualifying sessions, climbed from his car and walked slowly to the ambulance, but was later transported for evaluation to a local hospital after complaining of pain in his neck and left arm. Moyer was diagnosed with a possible slight concussion, but was cleared to return to the track and was back on the grounds to watch last night’s feature.
Saturday night concludes the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series 2013 season with the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte finale event. Hot laps for Saturday are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Late Model Series and Super DIRTcar Series all having heat race and feature action to conclude their 2013 campaigns.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/dirt/tickets/world_of_outlaws_world_finals/
Cover Photo Credit: Chris Seelman Photography
Results: World of Outlaws World Finals, Friday Night, Nov. 8, 2013
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series – 30L
1. 15-Donny Schatz  [$12,000]; 2. 21-Brian Brown  [$5,500]; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$3,200]; 4. 77-Shane Stewart  [$2,800]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides  [$2,500]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,300]; 7. 4-Cody Darrah  [$2,200]; 8. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr  [$2,100]; 9. 49-Jason Meyers  [$2,050]; 10. 51-Paul McMahan  [$2,000]; 11. W20-Greg Wilson  [$1,500]; 12. 55X-Tim Shaffer  [$1,200]; 13. 6-Bill Rose  [$1,100]; 14. 9W-Jac Haudenschild  [$1,050]; 15. 11-Steve Kinser  [$]; 16. 40-Caleb Helms  [$1,000]; 17. 5T-Travis Philo  [$1,000]; 18. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$1,000]; 19. 63-Chad Kemenah  [$1,000]; 20. 15A-Adam Wilt  [$1,000]; 21. 2-Dale Blaney  [$1,000]; 22. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$1,000]; 23. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$]; 24. 11N-Randy Hannagan  [$1,000]; 25. 94-Ryan Smith  [$1,000]; 26. 22-Cole Duncan  [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Brian Brown 1-12, Donny Schatz 13-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 11-Steve Kinser [+10]
Interview with race winner Donny Schatz:
Interview with runner-up Brian Brown:
Interview with 3rd place Joey Saldana:
World of Outlaws Late Model Series – 50L
1. (1) Darrell Lanigan/50 $12,150, 2. (3) Scott Bloomquist/50 $5,150, 3. (2) Josh Richards/50 $3,150, 4. (4) Don O’Neal/50 $3,000, 5. (5) Rick Eckert/50 $2,200, 6. (9) John Blankenship/50 $1,700, 7. (6) Tyler Reddick/50 $1,500, 8. (14) Billy Ogle Jr./50 $1,600, 9. (12) Billy Decker/50 $1,350, 10. (13) Jimmy Owens/50 $1,450, 11. (16) Earl Pearson Jr./50 $1,250, 12. (11) Chris Brown/50 $1,200, 13. (10) Dennis Erb Jr./50 $1,200, 14. (8) Ricky Elliott/50 $1,100, 15. (20) Clint Smith/50 $1,100, 16. (25) Shane Clanton/50 $1,050, 17. (7) Kenny Moreland/50 $1,050, 18. (19) Eric Wells/50 $1,300, 19. (22) Eric Jacobsen/50 $1,000, 20. (15) Steve Francis/50 $1,000, 21. (24) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,050, 22. (27) Chad Hollenbeck/49 $1,000, 23. (18) Tim Fuller/46 $1,050, 24. (26) Tim McCreadie/40 $1,150, 25. (17) Steve Shaver/28 $1,000, 26. (23) Austin Hubbard/22 $1,000, 27. (21) Ryan Gustin/17 $1,000
World of Outlaws Super DIRTcar Series – 40L
1. 20 Brett Hearn, 2. 1F Stewart Friesen, 3. 9s Matt Sheppard, 4. 7z Dale Planck, 5. 84 Gary Tomkins, 6. 98h Jimmy Phelps, 7. 49 Billy Dunn, 8. 747 Ryan Godown, 9. 91 Billy Decker, 10. 74M Matt Billings, 11. 21a Pete Britten, 12. 3h Justin Haers, 13. 14s Duane Howard, 14. 10v Billy VanInwegen, 15. 48too Dave Rauscher, 16. 63 Adam Roberts, 17. 6m Mat Williamson, 18. 83 Brian Swartzlander, 19. 10c Tim Currier, 20. 7x Rick Laubach, 21. 8 Rich Scagliotta, 22. 66x Carey Terrance, 23. 7J Danny Johnson, 24. 37md Jeremiah Shingledecker, 25. 74F Tim Fuller, 26. 4* Tim McCreadie, 27. 43 Keith Flach, 28. 42B Kevin Bates
Did not qualify: 8R Rob Bellinger, 3d Matt DeLorenzo, 115 Kenny Tremont, Jr., 19w Justin Wright, R40 Ryan Forte, 5H Chris Hile, T21 Roger Chrysler, 26 Rick Richner, 27T Travis Stacey, 323 Neal WIlliams, 21k Randy Chrysler, 4J Stephane LaFrance, 711 JaMike Sowle, 14g Brian Gleason, 47 Bob Sarkisian, M40 Mark Forte, 21m Bob McGannon, 29e Erik Martin, 7 Mike Maresca, 14m C.G. Morey, 29 Sammy Piazza (DQ)
Interview with race winner Brett Hearn by Editor-in-Chief Tom Baker: