By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (June 18) - For the seventh time in World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series action at River Cities Speedway (RCS), Donny Schatz is victorious. The win marks Schatz's fifth RCS win in the last seven World of Outlaws events and his eighth overall Sprint Car win at the 3/10th mile bullring, putting him seventh on the all-time RCS wins list just one win behind legendary driver Lou Kennedy Jr.
"Any race you get to win with the World of Outlaws is special," said Schatz in RydellCars.com Victory Lane. "But to be able to do it in front of the fans that I'm accustom to seeing and my family, it's extra special. It feels like a hometown win. I know it's not, but it really does feel like it."
Schatz started seventh on the 24-car grid in his Bad Boy Off-Road/J&J #15 and methodically moved his way forward throughout the first half of the 40-lap main event. Timely cautions allowed Schatz to capitalize on the restarts and move through the pack .
On lap 18, the seven-time and defending series champion found himself in the second position behind Hanover, Pennsylvania’s Logan Schuchart, who was in search of his first career World of Outlaws victory. As the two leaders entered lapped traffic, that’s when Schatz made his moved and took the lead.
Schuchart rode right on Schatz’s bumper for several laps following as they maneuvered through heavy lapped traffic, but wasn’t able to mount a serious counter threat on Schatz to regain the lead.
From there Schuchart was forced to battle with David Gravel in the closing laps. As the two young guns battled for the runner-up spot, Schatz set sail and checked out. Gravel took the position with five to go and got up on the wheel of the BigGame Treestand/CJB Motorsports #5, but wasn’t able to reel in Schatz, who cruised to his series leading 10th victor of the season.
“I was really, really tight at the beginning so I just kind of had to be patient,” continued Schatz. “But once the fuel load burned off, the car just kept getting better and better. The race track changed quite a bit too. There was a lot of guys running the bottom and throwing come crumbs up. One lap you could get through them and the next laps you would just spin your tires, but we were able to get through them. Overall it was a great night.”
Schuchart, Shane Stewart, and Daryn Pittman rounded out the top five. Quicktime and a heat race win went to Brad Sweet. Jacob Allen, Pittman, and Gravel also picked up heat wins.
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