By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (August 17, 2018) – For the third time in his career, Donny Schatz swept both the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and Northern Late Model Racing Association feature events on the same night at River Cities Speedway. The wins for Schatz were his 16th of the year with the Outlaws and second of the year with the NLRA.
Sheldon Haudenschild and Brad Sweet led the field to the green flag of the 40-lap feature, but the race was quickly halted for three cars that got upside down on lap two. Wade Nygaard, Brent Marks and Logan Schuchart were all involved and okay. Marks was able to make repairs and return to action.
On the restart, Haudenschild lead Sweet and Rico Abreu, who was making his River Cities Speedway debut. Sweet took the lead on lap 11 exiting turn four while approaching lapped traffic.
Jordan Adams, who flipped earlier in the night but repaired his car to transfer out of the LCS, brought out the caution with 15 laps complete.
On the restart, three cars got together on the front stretch to bring out the red. Ian Madsen got upside down. Shane Stewart and Greg Wilson were also involved. All would make repairs and rejoin the field.
Four laps later, more trouble ensued for Madsen. The leading contender for the World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Award for Rookie of the Year got upside down again in turn four. Shane Stewart was also involved.
On the restart, Schatz got by Haudenschild for second and set his sights on Sweet for the lead. The duo swapped slide jobs for the lead with 15 to go until Sweet looped his Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 machine around in turn one all on his own.
Seventeenth place starter, Mark Dobmeier, capitalized on a pair of restarts to move from sixth to second. The final caution flew with four laps remaining when Haudenschild, Abreu and Dominic Scelzi all got together in turn two.
The restart set up what looked to be a classic duel between two of North Dakota’s best Sprint Car drivers to fight it out for the win.
As the race resumed, Schatz quickly bolted out to a five car length lead. Dobmeier distanced himself from the rest of the pack as well, but could never reel in Schatz. The nine-time and defending World of Outlaws driver went on to collect his 11th career win at River Cities, while Dobmeier finished second to the delight of the capacity crowd.
“I’m just a lucky guy. To drive for the best guys in the pit area, the best owner in the country and the people that build these cars. They stand behind us through thick and thin. Mark [Dobmeier] had a good run, I saw the 13 on the board and I thought, oh boy, here we go. He’s pretty good around here,” Schatz said of his fellow North Dakota native.
“Lapped traffic definitely made your hair stand up tonight, we might not have been the best car tonight, but I’m glad we could get it done in Grand Forks,” concluded Schatz.
“It’s great to have the crowd cheer like this, this is why we do it,” Dobmeier said. “I wish I didn’t use up all my tires at the beginning of the race, I wanted to start in the Dash and start in the top-ten and get that track position early, but we didn’t have it early, so I had to dig deep, I gave everything I had. Considering we got second to this guy [pointing at Schatz], I feel pretty good about that run,” Dobmeier said with a smile.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$10,000]; 2. 13-Mark Dobmeier [$5,500]; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$3,200]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman [$2,800]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,500]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,300]; 7. 5-David Gravel [$2,200]; 8. 19-Brent Marks [$2,100]; 9. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg [$2,050]; 10. 8H-Jade Hastings [$2,000]; 11. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,500]; 12. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$1,200]; 13. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,100]; 14. 24-Terry McCarl [$1,050]; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 16. 20A-Jordan Adams [$900]; 17. W20-Greg Wilson [$800]; 18. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$800]; 19. 24R-Rico Abreu [$800]; 20. 17A-Austin McCarl [$800]; 21. 18-Ian Madsen [$800]; 22. 9N-Wade Nygaard [$800]; 23. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$800]; 24. 21K-Thomas Kennedy [$800]; Lap Leaders: Sheldon Haudenschild 1-11, Brad Sweet 12-27, Donny Schatz 28-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 13-Mark Dobmeier[+15]
Qualifying: 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 10.724; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen, 10.822; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 10.826; 4. 18-Ian Madsen, 10.92; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 10.948; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 11.016; 7. 24-Terry McCarl, 11.021; 8. 21K-Thomas Kennedy, 11.046; 9. 2-Shane Stewart, 11.052; 10. 19-Brent Marks, 11.077; 11. 15-Donny Schatz, 11.093; 12. 24R-Rico Abreu, 11.098; 13. 17A-Austin McCarl, 11.107; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.127; 15. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 11.15; 16. 5-David Gravel, 11.184; 17. 13-Mark Dobmeier, 11.197; 18. 9N-Wade Nygaard, 11.323; 19. 8H-Jade Hastings, 11.35; 20. W20-Greg Wilson, 11.459; 21. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.462; 22. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg, 11.481; 23. 9-Daryn Pittman, 11.53; 24. 20A-Jordan Adams, 11.635; 25. 31-Shane Roemeling, 11.745; 26. 1AJ-Trevor Mell, 12.112; 27. 6N-Greg Nikitenko, 12.184; 28. 14K-Tori Knutson, 13.099; 29. O-Ned Powers, NT
River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks ND 58203
1928 8th St. SE
East Grand Forks, MN 56721