Donny Schatz Receives AP Dakota Award
MINOT, ND (July 2) - Donny Schatz, the Pennzoil World of
Outlaws Series 1997 Rookie of the Year, received another
prestigious honor recently - the Associated Press Dakota Award.
The Dakota Award, presented by the North Dakota Sportswriters
and Sportscasters Association, recognizes an athlete's
achievements outside North Dakota.
"I was really pleased with the way things went for me last
year as a rookie," Schatz said. This year, things have been a
little inconsistent for me. I started off really well, then I
struggled for a while and now I think we're starting to get it
back together again."
Schatz, who drives his family's #15 Blue Beacon Gambler,
currently ranks 14th in the World of Outlaws' point standings. He
finished 12th last season, edging Paul McMahan by 197 points in
the Rookie of the Year rankings. He took off quickly this season,
finishing fourth in the Carquest Cavalcade of Sprints at
Manzanita Speedway. He also finished second in the Preliminary
Feature on opening night of the 25th Annual Spring Nationals at
Devil's Bowl Speedway. His third-place run at Canandaigua
Speedway June 4th is his best ever in a World of Outlaws main
Although he's only one of two drivers less than 21 years of
age, Schatz says he doesn't give that much thought.
"To be honest, the age thing doesn't come up that often," he
said. "I don't think the other drivers look at me as a kid. We
all just look at each other as competitors and don't really think
"Experience is a huge factor in the World of Outlaws though,
so everything is a lot better this year. I've been to all these
places once now and I'm a lot more comfortable around the other
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' Duel in the Dakotas
event scheduled for July 9-11 at Red River Valley Speedway in
West Fargo, ND, will be one of the highlights of Schatz' season.
"I raced weekly in Fargo for a couple of years and the fans
there always treat me really well," Schatz said. "I want to do
well everywhere I race, but I really look to Fargo and do
everything I can to win there."
TNN: The Nashville Network will televise the July 10th race
live from Red River Valley Speedway. WoO