Former Champions Lead Outlaws to North Dakota, Minnesota
INDIANAPOLIS (June 18, 2014) – The road to a championship is filled with many obstacles. The team that navigates through the most challenging hurdles best usually comes out on top. Five-time World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz returns to his home state of North Dakota this weekend leading the championship standings as a result of maximizing his opportunities to succeed and minimizing the nights where things haven’t gone his way. Eighteen years of competition with “The Greatest Show on Dirt” has engrained that mental toughness in Schatz, a trait with which his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teammate Steve Kinser, a veteran in his 35th full season of WoO competition, set the standard.
Kinser has been almost as good as Schatz at River Cities since the Outlaws made it a regular stop on the tour. The 20-time WoO champion is in the midst of the World of Outlaws “Salute to the King Tour” chasing a championship with the series for the final time. The Bloomington, Indiana native will pilot the TSR No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim and looks to continue his success at the track. He earned his first victory in June 2010 and second after out-dueling Schatz in August 2011. In June 2012, he led 20 laps of the A-Feature before his son Kraig drove by to take the victory. Later that season, he was again leading the feature but drove over the edge of the track and lost the top spot. Kinser finished third last June and 10th in August. Earlier this season, he picked up his 577thcareer WoO A-Feature triumph at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim:
There are certain tracks where you seem to shine no matter how your season is going. River Cities Speedway is one of those tracks. Can you point to any particular reason why you have done so well there in the past?
“It’s just a fun place to race. We’ve had some good cars up there over the years. Don Mack and all of his people do a great job with that track. The place is packed with fans and it always seems to be a good show. We’ve had some great races up there. Won a few and lost a few. I know we had a good race with Donny there a couple of seasons ago and then, the next year, I thought I had one and Kraig went and drove around me. It’s just a place where you don’t know who is going to win until that checkered flag drops. You almost always seem to have a chance. Even if you don’t qualify great, you can race your way forward. As a driver, that’s all you want. We haven’t been having the kind of results we want the last few weeks, so maybe a night in Grand Forks will do us some good. I’m looking forward to it.”
You’ll be racing at multiple facilities just about every weekend in June. That is the case again this weekend with Friday’s race in Grand Forks and Saturday at I-94. You mentioned your results weren’t where you and the team wanted them to be. If you can right the ship in Grand Forks, can that carry over to I-94?
“I would hope so. You just never know. Every night is a new night but, if we can find something that helps us do well Friday, we’ll try to build on it. I know these Bad Boy Buggies guys have really worked hard to figure out something and they won’t give up until we find it. Things can change quickly and I know we’re all ready to get back to running closer to the front.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR/STP/Armor All/Crimsafe J&J:
Last August, you won both the World of Outlaws A-Feature and the NLRA feature at River Cities. What can you do to top that on Friday?
“I don’t know. That was one of those incredible nights where it all came together. The STP guys gave me a great car and we got the lead on the start and never looked back. I was pretty pumped up after winning the Late Model race. It was just a night where hard work paid off. Grand Forks is a fun track and racing up there offers me the unique chance to run both cars. The Sprint car is my job. The Late Model is just for fun. We got to do both in June and came up short in both, so we just came back and tried to be a little better. That’s the plan for Friday. We’re having a pretty good season in the World of Outlaws. We need to get better and, honestly, River Cities has been a really good track for us to judge where we are. Last August, we were getting on a roll and that was indicative of how raced that night. I’ve run the Late Model a few times this season, so we’ll see where are Friday. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of trying to top what we did last year.”
In the last eight to 10 years, the Outlaws have raced quite a bit in your home area. How much fun is it for you to race close to home?
“There are some incredible racing fans in this area. North Dakota and western Minnesota have a lot of people who grew up coming to Fargo every July to see the World of Outlaws. I know, as a kid, that was the highlight of my summer, to see Doug Wolfgang, Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser race. Things have changed over the years and I wish we still had three days of racing there at Red River Valley Speedway. River Cities has done a great job. We get to compete in Minot in August and, for the second year in a row, we’ll be racing in Fergus Falls. They have a really nice facility there and we’re hoping to finish a little higher than we did last year. The track was fast and I don’t think we had much lapped traffic. I’m lucky to get to race all over the world, but there’s nothing like racing close to home. These fans have been great to me over the years and we’re hoping to keep making them proud for a long time to come.”
About Armored AutoGroup
Armored AutoGroup Inc., headquartered in Danbury, Conn., is primarily comprised of the Armor All®, STP® and Tuff Stuff® brands. The current Armor All product line of protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care products, glass cleaners, leather care products and car washes are designed to clean, shine and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces. The STP product line of fuel and oil additives, functional fluids and automotive appearance products have a broad customer base ranging from professional racers to car enthusiasts and "Do-it-Yourselfers". Tuff Stuff cleaning products are formulated to tackle the toughest jobs.
About Bad Boy Buggies
Today, the Bad Boy Buggies product line ranges from four-wheel-drive electric hunting machines such as the Recoil, a fully electric, 4WD vehicle with an innovative, highly efficient 72-volt AC electric drivetrain, to the Work Series of diesel and gas-powered utility vehicles, including the Bad Boy Buggies XD, a versatile 4WD, diesel-powered utility vehicle with a total capacity of 1,600 pounds. In 2010, the Bad Boy Buggies brand and product line were acquired by E-Z-GO, a business unit of Textron Inc.
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