2018 World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. Image courtesy World of Outlaws.

Donny Schatz adds to 10th World of Outlaws crown with 22nd feature win in 2018

Leave a comment

Two days after clinching his 10th World of Outlaws sprint car championship, Donny Schatz put a little icing on the cake in Saturday’s season-ending race at The Dirt Track across from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Schatz, who drives for former NASCAR champ Tony Stewart’s WoO team, made the win look easy, even though it was anything but, rallying from 10th place to capture the World Finals event, his 22nd feature win of the 2018 season.

The veteran sprint car driver swapped slide jobs with Logan Schuchart heading to the white flag, then held on to win the race and close out World of Outlaws’ 40th anniversary season. Schuchart finished second, while Brad Sweet finished third.

“The old guys can still get it done,” a smiling Schatz said in victory lane, according to WoOSprint.com. “Hats off to my guys, they have worked their butts off all season.

“I’m the hardest guy in the pits to work for because if it’s not perfect, I’m not happy.”

Schatz went over to congratulate Schuchart on a great, clean race, which the latter truly appreciated.

“I knew it was going to be tough to beat him,” Schuchart said of Schatz. “I had one shot and couldn’t make it stick but it is great to be able to have a good, clean race with the 10-time Champion.”

Tim Shaffer finished fourth, while Gio Scelzi finished fifth.

Feature (30 Laps) – Finish, car number, driver name, qualifying position, prize money earned:

1. 15-Donny Schatz [10][$12,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [5][$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [9][$3,200]; 4. 49X-Tim Shaffer [3][$2,800]; 5. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [11][$2,500]; 6. 39-Spencer Bayston [1][$2,300]; 7. 5-David Gravel [6][$2,200]; 8. 5M-Kerry Madsen [4][$2,100]; 9. 41-Joey Saldana [13][$2,050]; 10. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [7][$2,000]; 11. 2-Shane Stewart [8][$1,500]; 12. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [20][$1,200]; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser [25][$100]; 14. 18-Ian Madsen [19][$1,050]; 15. 9-Daryn Pittman [24][$1,000]; 16. 21-Brian Brown [21][$1,000]; 17. 7S-Jason Sides [27][$]; 18. 71X-Dominic Scelzi [18][$1,000]; 19. 87-Aaron Reutzel [14][$1,000]; 20. 13-Paul McMahan [12][$1,000]; 21. 19-Brent Marks [17][$1,000]; 22. 83-Cory Eliason [22][$1,000]; 23. W20-Greg Wilson [28][$]; 24. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [16][$1,000]; 25. 1A-Jacob Allen [26][$]; 26. 17A-Austin McCarl [15][$1,000]; 27. 22-Carson Macedo [2][$1,000]; 28. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [23][$1,000]; Lap Leaders: Carson Macedo 1-23, Donny Schatz 24-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 11K-Kraig Kinser[+12].

For full results from The Dirt Track at Charlotte, click here.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”