Donny Schatz Tests Midget Ahead Of Chili Bowl Debut

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Donny Schatz
Donny Schatz got his first taste of midget racing Thursday during a test session at U.S. 24 Speedway. (TSR Photo)

LOGANSPORT, Ind. — Donny Schatz got his first taste of midget racing during a Thursday test session at U.S. 24 Speedway.

Schatz drove the No. 39 Clauson-Marshall Racing machine.

Schatz, who won his eighth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship this season, had never driven a midget prior to Thursday’s test session at the eighth-mile oval. The goal for the test was to get Schatz acclimated not only to the car, but also to the different style of racing that a midget presents.

Clauson-Marshall Racing announced on Sept. 29 that Schatz would be part of the team’s multi-car and driver assault on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway in January.

In preparation for the Chili Bowl, Schatz plans to make his midget racing debut during the Junior Knepper 55 USAC National Midget Series race, which is scheduled for Dec. 17 at the Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, Ill.

Schatz, 39, won 25 World of Outlaws races aboard the familiar No. 15 Tony Stewart Racing sprint car this season, but is also experienced in other forms of racing including dirt late models. He raced in both sprint cars and late models during the season-ending Bad Boy Off Road World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Schatz has never competed in the Chili Bowl in the past because he traditionally races sprint cars in Australia in January.

“It was important for me to get some laps in before we actually show up for a race,” Schatz said. “I’ve never made any laps in one of these cars before. Any time you are driving for someone you want to make sure you put in the work ahead of time. It’s really special being part of this team knowing that Bryan looked up to me. Tim (Clauson) and Clauson-Marshall Racing have a really good track record and after today I have firsthand experience why. And I even got to see Tim make a few laps today too. I enjoyed it.”

Clauson-Marshall Racing is owned by the late Bryan Clauson’s father, Tim Clauson, and Richard Marshall. The team made its debut during last month’s Jason Leffler Memorial with NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. behind the wheel.