INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 21, 2013) – Two of the hottest drivers on the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series tour lead Sprint car racing’s finest north of the border for the second time in 2013. The Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) tandem of Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser have combined to win the last four WoO A-Feature events, and both are aiming to keep that streak going in this weekend’s seventh annual Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta.
The TSR duo split the 2007 Oil City Cup by each scoring an A-Feature triumph, but neither has been able to return to victory lane since at the 3/8-mile clay oval. If recent results are any indication, this might be the year they break that streak. Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J, is the hottest Sprint car racer on the planet coming off a weekend sweep of WoO STP A-Feature triumphs in his home state of North Dakota and his seventh career victory at the FVP Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals, the 53rd edition of the sport’s biggest race, one week prior.
Kinser, pilot of the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim, has been the only other winner in the last four races. The 20-time WoO champion won the Aug. 13 Outlaws’ event at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., and led the first 30 laps of Sunday’s A-Feature at Nodak Speedway in Minot, N.D., before Schatz was able to get past him for the win.
Kinser was the first-ever WoO winner at Castrol back in August 2007 and has been one of the most consistent runners at the facility over the last six years. In a dozen starts, he has seven podium finishes, eight top-fives and nine top-10s. Last season, “The King of the Outlaws” finished third in the finale.
Schatz has put up slightly better numbers in his 12 starts at Castrol. The five-time and reigning WoO STP Sprint Car Series champion has earned seven podium finishes, nine top-fives and has finished inside the top-10 in all 12 races. His victory back in 2007 was his 65th WoO A-Feature triumph and, in six seasons since that win, he has won 75 more A-Features. Sunday’s triumph at Nodak Speedway was the 140th of his career and moves him to within 13 of Mark Kinser, who ranks third all-time in WoO A-Feature wins with 153.
Since July 5, Schatz has started 16 WoO A-Feature main events and has finished on the podium 14 times. He has won nine times, including the Outlaws’ most recent Canadian event at Ohsweken (Ontario) Speedway July 30, which has allowed him to climb closer to series points leader Daryn Pittman. Following the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Schatz trailed Pittman by 174 points in the standings. After his series-leading 16th A-Feature victory Sunday in Minot, the margin between the two is at 42.
The recent resurgence by Kinser began during his qualifying night at the Knoxville Nationals. Kinser qualified third in the field of 53 cars, raced from eighth to second in his heat and completed the weekend by finishing ninth in the 50-lap A-Main. Three nights later, he led 29 of the 30 laps to win his 576th career WoO A-Feature in Nebraska. He followed that with a sixth-place finish last Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., before coming home second Sunday.
Friday and Saturday at Castrol Raceway, the grandstands open at 4 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. More details are available by visiting www.castrolraceway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s events can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO STP Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including live results from the track.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim:
For most of the 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series season, it’s been tough finding consistency. The last two weeks, that hasn’t been a problem. How rewarding has it been for you and your Bad Boy Buggies team to rebound the way you have?
“These guys who work on this car (Scott Gerkin, Gary DuBois and Mark Angerett) have kept working through a lot of tough nights. We actually made some changes hoping to make our motors have a little more longevity and they’ve really responded. We’re doing some work on them out here on the road and, when we get back to our shop in mid-September, we can fine-tune them some more. It’s been a good couple of weeks and we just want to build on it. This trip to Canada is followed by a pretty intense nine-races-in-10-days run through Washington, Oregon and California. Our goal is to continue building on what we have accomplished these past couple of weeks and keep this Bad Boy Buggies car in contention night after night.”
You won the first race at Castrol back in 2007. Do you feel like this weekend is your best chance to score your second win there?
“If we can continue doing what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks, we should have a good chance. I don’t know if I’d say it’s our best chance. We’ve run second up there a few times and been close. In 2011, we won two races right after the (Knoxville) Nationals and we struggled the first night and finished third the second race. You just never know. They do a good job up there giving us a track that we can race on. It’s been a while since we’ve won there and I just hope we can put on a good show and be there at the end.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J:
Winning is a product of hard work and you’ve mentioned that your STP team isn’t satisfied. How important is it right now for you and your team to stay on top of your game?
“This is an incredibly competitive business and, if you start reading the headlines and thinking you’ve got this thing under control, you’ll be in trouble. The biggest thing we’re trying to do is continue to get better. We won Sunday’s race, but I feel like we could have been quite a bit better. We’re working to find the best combination every night. These STP guys (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Jim Oare) have been pushing it really hard and have given me an incredible car night after night. We’re all really motivated and want to win as many of the final 21 races as we can. If we can continue to win at the pace we are right now, everything else will take care of itself.”
It’s back to Edmonton this weekend for two nights of action. You won there in 2007 but haven’t been able to get back to victory lane. Is this the year you end that streak?
“We’ve been awfully good at Castrol but just haven’t been able to complete the deal. Two years ago, we were leading and a lapped car ran into us during a red flag. That took us out of a pretty good chance. We’ve been second a few times, also, so we’ve been close. Wins are what count in our minds, so that’s the number-one goal. I would really like to win up there again. The fan support is tremendous and we’ve made a lot of friends up there.”