PEVELY, MO - After a three-week break in the 2006 World of Outlaws schedule, Donny Schatz was anxious to get back on the track this past weekend. The ParkerStore team was formidable from the start of qualifying Friday night through Saturday's feature event as Schatz scored feature wins at both Batesville Speedway and I-55 Raceway.
"This was the kind of weekend we were hoping for," said Schatz, who leads the series with three victories in 2006 and also is the point leader. "This team is really coming together. Ricky Warner is a heck of crew chief and I honestly feel like this is the best team of guys we've had."
"It was important for us to establish ourselves as the car to beat. We spent the past couple of weeks fine tuning everything and we just want to be fast every time we're on the track. I believe this weekend was a good start to that."
The #15 ParkerStore J&J with Shaver power was clearly a fast racecar all weekend.
On Friday night at Batesville Speedway, Schatz was the 36th of 39 cars to qualify and he turned the second fastest qualifying lap around the 3/8-mile oval. He charged from sixth to win his heat race and raced from fourth to second in the Dash event to earn the fourth starting position in the 30-lap feature.
In the feature, Schatz quickly made his way to the back bumper of leader Terry McCarl. On lap 18, the Fargo, ND racer took the lead and sailed on for the final 12 laps pounding the cushion and building a solid advantage. Schatz was forced to withstand several late restarts in order to capture his second WoO victory in 2006.
After the victory, Schatz and the ParkerStore team of Ricky Warner, Shane Bowers, Adam Alexander and Dillon Pendleton made the six-hour trek to the St. Louis area. Saturday's program at I-55 Raceway began with Schatz making a solid qualifying effort again turning the second fastest lap only this time the field included 55 competitors. He charged from sixth to third in the second heat race and earned the outside front row starting position for the 40-lap feature by winning the second dash event.
With I-55 being one of the most exciting tracks on the WoO tour, Schatz knew getting in the lead early and maneuvering through traffic was going to be the key. He got by Terry McCarl early in the race and could drive his #15 ParkerStore J&J anywhere on the track. Running high, low and through the middle to make his way through traffic. The race was slowed for a couple of cautions, but Schatz was in charge throughout and claimed his 37th career WoO "A" Feature and 52nd overall WoO win.
"I canít thank them enough for (reworking the track before the feature)," explained Schatz, following the win. "It made a great, slick surface. You could run the top, the bottom. It really made lapped traffic fun and made me utilize parts of the racetrack I never expected would happen here. I was able to split guys in the middle of the track when they were on top and bottom. When you can do that, you know youíre racecar is really good. Hopefully we can take this momentum to Eldora and be this way next weekend.Ē
The team will return to action next weekend with two nights of racing at the super-fast Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH.