ROSSBURG, Ohio — official series release — Tony Stewart Racing photo —
Donny Schatz went six years between wins at Eldora Speedway but proved Saturday night that past is not always prologue as he swept the two-day ‘Mother of All Sprint Car Weekends’ and took home his eighth World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
“Great race team, they do a phenomenal job every time we get to the track,” Schatz said of his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team. “Tonight, thank you fans for sticking with us. I didn’t know if we were going to get that in. Hats off to everyone who worked their tails off all day.”
Rain dominated much of the day and threatened the night’s event. By mid-afternoon though the rain clouds gave way and the track prep began. A slightly delayed event got underway with Rico Abreu scoring his second quick time of the season.
Schatz started on the feature pole with his No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies car and held off Jamie Veal in the opening laps. The first of two cautions in the feature came out on lap five. It proved pivotal for Gary Taylor, who started the night in fourth with his Fausey Farms 1ST team.
Taylor battled past Veal to take over the second position and then held tight to Schatz through the next three laps as he tried to make a run at the lead. Schatz eventually pulled away and by lap 11 he had caught the tail end of the field.
By lap 20 he had steadily built up a sizable lead over Taylor and third place Shane Stewart. While Schatz worked his way through traffic Taylor made up some ground.
Then disaster struck for Stewart and nearly for Taylor. With just two laps to go, Stewart and Logan Schuchart had tires go flat. The caution flag flew. As the field came around, Taylor hit something on track.
“I didn’t even notice it happened until all of a sudden I heard a clink and I felt something on the floor pan and I thought, ‘oh man!'” Taylor said. “Here we are with a great run going and then we come around the next lap and I see the piece of metal sitting there. We just lucked out I didn’t get a tire.”
Taylor came into the pits for a check. He was able to retake his position.
With Stewart relegated to the back following his tire change, Paul McMahan shifted forward to third in his No. 51 CJB Motorsports car.
On the single file restart, Taylor tried to take advantage but was not able to close the gap on Schatz.
“To not have the wins at Eldora, we love to win at Eldora — to get two here this weekend is awesome,” Schatz said. “The track was so good. It could carry so much speed. The times were way down there. I don’t remember the last time you could run around that quick at Eldora in the whole feature.”
Schatz extended his championship points lead over Stewart to 55 points.
Taylor’s second place finish is, to date, his best ever Outlaws performance.
“I’ve got to thank my car owner and all the people who make it happen,” Taylor said. “We’re kind of a small team so to come here and run in the hunt with these guys is a really, really good feeling.”
With his third place finish, McMahan capped off a good weekend for his team that saw a fourth place finish the night before. McMahan is currently fourth in the championship points standings, 143 points out of the lead.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action Wednesday night, May 13, at Lincoln Speedway for the Gettysburg Clash as the Outlaws take on the Posse for the first night in the lead up to the Morgan Cup.
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Eldora Speedway; Rossburg, Ohio; May 9, 2015
A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz  [$10,000]; 2. 1ST-Gary Taylor  [$5,000]; 3. 51-Paul McMahan  [$3,000]; 4. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$2,700]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$2,500]; 6. 7S-Jason Sides  [$2,200]; 7. 24-Rico Abreu  [$2,000]; 8. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$1,800]; 9. 41-Jamie Veal  [$1,600]; 10. 67-Christopher Bell  [$1,450]; 11. 2-Shane Stewart  [$1,300]; 12. 49-Brad Sweet  [$1,200]; 13. 89-Cody Darrah  [$1,100]; 14. 83-Craig Dollansky  [$1,000]; 15. 5T-Travis Philo  [$950]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$900]; 17. 59-Danny Holtgraver  [$850]; 18. 21-D.J. Foos  [$750]; 19. 1-Dale Blaney  [$725]; 20. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$700]; 21. 99-Brady Bacon  [$700]; 22. 63-Kody Swanson  [$700]; 23. 7-David Gravel  [$700]; 24. W20-Greg Wilson  [$700].
Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-30.
KSE Hard Charger Award: 49-Brad Sweet [+9]
Qualifying – 1. 24-Rico Abreu, 12.989; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.006; 3. 1-Dale Blaney, 13.029; 4. 1ST-Gary Taylor, 13.032; 5. 71M-Joey Saldana
CREDIT: World of Outlaws