Schatz rebounds to pick up World of Outlaws win at Skagit Speedway


ALGER ¯ Donny Schatz quickly ended any hopes the rest of the World of Outlaws might have had that he was cooling off after he finished 11th on the first night of the series’ visit to Skagit Speedway on Friday, Aug. 30.

One night later on the same one-sixth-mile, high-banked clay oval, Schatz not only turned in the fastest time in quali-fying, but he worked his way up from fourth to claim his fourth victory in six races.

“Last night was a complete failure, but you’re going to have them,” Schatz said. “We came back tonight and got things where they needed to be and got quick time. We’re standing here at the end of the night, so it feels good.”

It actually took Schatz 14 laps to start working magic and get by Joey Saldana for third place, as he repeatedly worked lower than Saldana, but couldn’t get the drive up off the corner until Saldana slipped a little in coming off Turn 2.

With Saldana in his rear view, it was like Schatz was shot out of a cannon.

“You have to be able to move around the track,” Schatz said. “It was a really fun race. I could go anywhere. I could run around the top; I could run middle; I could go around the bottom. That’s just the accolades of this STP team. They work hard to make this car go where other people can’t. It’s fun to be able to drive a car like that.”

It got even more fun three laps latter when he used lapped traffic to work under Paul McMahan for second place coming off Turn 4.

One lap later on Lap 18, it was leader Kerry Madsen who fell victim to Schatz coming out of Turn 4.

“The dash we felt really good, but we knew we were going to need the traffic to get by those guys,” Schatz said. “We got it, and it was a great run.”

With the lead, Schatz had no trouble working his way through traffic and building an advantage of more than a straightaway over Madsen, McMahan and Saldana.

Only the race’s first caution on Lap 34, when Trey Starks came to a stop along the wall at the exit of Turn 2, brought the field back to Schatz, but he survived the green-white-checker to claim his 18th victory of the year and his first at Skagit Speedway.

Madsen, who won the Friday night event when the series visited Alger in 2012, finished second for a second straight night.

“Obviously I’m just bitterly disappointed,” Madsen said. “We had a great run, but Donny just took off and left us in traffic.”

McMahan finished in third, Cody Darrah fourth, Saldana fifth and Craig Dollansky sixth to round out lead-lap cars in a race that took only 10 minutes to run.

Points leader Daryn Pittman finished seventh to maintain his shrinking advantage over the hard-charging Schatz, who now has 17 top-three finishes in the past 22 races.

The series takes a day off before heading to Elma for the second stop on its Gold Rush Tour, which will take the top sprint drivers in the nation on a 10-day, nine-race, seven-city late-summer tour.

Austen Wheatley made the outside of the front row work at the start of the race and on three ensuing restarts to lead all 12 laps of the B-Main. Bellingham’s Jonathan Jorgenson finished seventh, one spot out of the final transfer spot to the feature but one spot ahead of the event winner from last year, Travis Jacobson.


Saturday’s results at Skagit Speedway

A-Main (35 laps): 1. (15) Donny Schatz, 2. (29) Kerry Madsen, 3. (51) Paul McMahan, 4. (4) Cody Darrah, 5. (71M) Joey Saldana, 6. (7) Craig Dollansky, 7. (9) Daryn Pittman, 8. (7S) Jason Sides, 9. (83) Tim Kaeding, 10. (77) Shane Stewart, 11. (11K) Kraig Kinser, 12. (26) Sam Hafertepe Jr., 13. (11) Steve Kinser, 14. (63) Chad Kemenah, 15. (1) Sammy Swindell, 16. (49) Brad Sweet, 17. (9W) Brandon Wimmer, 18. (39C) Travis Rilat, 19. (44W) Austen Wheatley, 20. (5R) Robby Vaughn, 21. (6) Bill Rose, 22. (88) Jesse Whitney, 23. (55) Trey Starks, 24. (0) Jonathan Allard.

B-Main (12 laps, top 6 advance): 1. (44W) Austen Wheatley, 2. (6) Bill Rose, 3. (0) Jonathan Allard, 4. (5R) Robb Vaughn, 5. (55) Trey Starks, 6. (88) Jesse Whitney, 7. (2J) Jonathan Jorgenson, 8. (18) Travis Jacobson, 9. (7X) Kevin Smith, 10. (TI164) Alex Pettas, 11. (5D) Josh DeWitt.

Top qualifier: (15) Donny Schatz 10.942 seconds. Heat 1 winner: (77) Shane Stewart. Heat 2 winner: (7S) Jason Sides. Heat 3 winner: (7) Craig Dollansky. Dash winner: (29) Kerry Madsen.

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