SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Donny Schatz has won at some of the most historic tracks in sprint car racing over the course of his 20 seasons on the road with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
The seven-time and defending series champion added the legendary Angell Park Speedway to that list on Sunday night as he picked up the win in the Sun Prairie Sprint Car Classic, featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Car Series in a co-sanctioned event.
For Schatz, it was his series-leading 18th win of the season, adding to his points lead as he chases his eighth series title. He has now won at 79 different tracks in his career with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
In five starts in the state of Wisconsin this year, Schatz finished on the podium in all five, including picking up a pair of wins.
“This place has a ton of history and is very unique,” said Schatz. “It threw us for a loop with gear and everything. This race team is unreal with what they do with this race car when they unload every night. It was fast right out of the box and got us qualified well and we normally don’t qualify that well. It feels good to finally have your name on a track record.”
Schatz started second and battled Daryn Pittman in the early going, nearly taking the lead a couple of times. Schatz got by Pittman on the back straightaway on lap 17, but Pittman re-took the top spot before that lap was official.
On the following circuit, Schatz used a strong restart following a red flag to power his way to the lead, making the pass on the low side of the track exiting turn two. He would pace the remainder of the 40-lap contest.
“The car worked better on the bottom,” he noted. “The top, I would get rolled over and a little bit too tight. I’ve been driving a late model the last three nights and I think that gave me a heads up on what rolling on the right rear feels like. The top was tricky. In (turns) one and two it was right up against the fence and you had to hit it just right to be able to keep your speed. The race track was just awesome. We had a good race with Daryn (Pittman). He had a good pace early and I wasn’t sure if we would be able to keep up with him. The longer we went, the better the car got.”
The 40-lap main event got off to a slow start, with a caution flag flying on the second lap, followed by a red flag, after a restart on that same circuit. Pittman led from the pole on the initial start as well as the ensuing two restarts.
Schatz, who started third, moved into second on the opening lap and kept pace with Pittman, as the leaders encountered lapped traffic just five laps into the race.