WOO: Donny Schatz wins Bristol prelim

WOO: Donny Schatz wins Bristol prelim

Post by pr.. » Mon, 11 Jun 2001 13:20:54

BRISTOL, TN - Donny Schatz circled the Channellock Challenge on his calendar
before the Pennzoil World of Outlaws season started. He wanted to be running
strong by early June and have a couple of victories under his belt. He had no
idea that when the Outlaws returned to Bristol Motor Speedway that he would
be the hottest driver on the circuit. On Friday night, the ParkerStores team
continued to show their strength as Schatz raced from 10th to first to win
the Channellock Challenge preliminary feature event.

"This is an incredible feeling," said Schatz, following his fourth victory of
the season. "I was pretty worried after we didn't get to run the Dash. The
bottom groove was so fast, but I knew we had to run around the top to pass
anyone. I told (Crew Chief) Kenny (Woodruff) that he'd won a lot of races at
Eldora by having the car right for the top and that's where we needed to be.
He got the car perfect. All I did was stand on the gas and drive forward."

After qualifying fifth and transferring through his heat race, Schatz went
out for the Channellock Dash. A broken spark plug caused the motor miss, so
he pulled back into the pit area. The team tried to change it and return to
the race, but they weren't able to rejoin the field.

In the 25-lap feature, Schatz started on the outside of the fifth row and
passed three cars on the start by going to the top of the super-fast
half-mile. He was in sixth on the next circuit before a red flag stopped the
race for a first turn accident. As the race resumed, Schatz continued to run
his J&J sprint car on the high-side and kept getting closer to the front. He
passed Craig Dollansky for third during the middle stages of the race, and by
lap fif*** he was chasing down Jeff Shepard for second. The "Minot Missile"
dove underneath Shepard in turn four and set his sights on race leader James
Chesson. He took the lead with a similar low move on the 20th lap and drove
the final five laps unchallenged for fourth win in his last 11 starts.

"We've been running well lately, and I wanted to keep our momentum going,"
continued Schatz. "I've got great sponsors in ParkerStores and Featherlite
Coaches that help us out here. Jack Elam builds great racecars and Ron Shaver
has a really strong motor program. The Goodyear tires have been great, too.
My hat goes off to the crew. This is a tough business, but everyone just
keeps working hard and making my job easy."

"I figured it was going to be tough coming from tenth, but I knew early that
I had a great car under me," said Schatz. "Now, we're locked in for
Saturday's show and that's a big advantage. We'll just have to keep an eye on
the track and do our best to make it two for two."

The victory is the 11th overall WoO victory. He has four preliminary
victories and seven "A" Features. His 11 wins have come at nine different
tracks.

-DSM

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