Schatz Tops Stellar All-Star Field

Donny Schatz
Donny Schatz (15) charges under Daryn Pittman Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. (Al Steinberg photo)

OCALA, Fla. — World of Outlaws champion Donnye Schatz and Daryn Pittman, making his initial start in Kasey Kahne’s Great Clips No. 9, hooked up in an epic duel to kick off the second week of the Bubba Army Winternationals at Bubba Raceway Park Friday night.

In the end, Schatz prevailed in the UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions event, with Pittman a tight second ahead of Logan Schuchart, Dale Blaney and Cap Henry

Fast-timer Pittman got the drop on dash winner Blaney on the initial break, then had to do it over again when a turn one scramble left defending All-star champ Tim Shaffer with a mangled race car in turn two and Paul McMahan backward in turn one.

The return to action was brief with Jac Haudenschild stopping on the frontstretch on lap two just as Mark Coldren and Kraig Kinser tangled on the backstretch.

The third-starting Schatz used the ensuing restart to blow by Blaney and was dogging Pittman for the lead when they hit lapped traffic on lap 10. A lap later Pittman had to take evasive action in turn four and Schatz sailed by just before Kerry Madsen, running fourth, whacked the frontstretch wall and flipped at the flagstand.

“My car was awesome but this place is tricky,” offered Schatz. “Daryn got bottled up in traffic and I got him, but later on he almost got the lead back the same way.”

Schatz took off like a rocket when the green reappeared but within three laps he and Pittman caught the backmarkers again and the battle resumed. With five to go Pittman was right on the leader’s rear bumper when a lapped car took Schatz’s line away.

“I had a shot at him when that car held him up,” offered Pittman. “I got to his left rear but I would have had to use him up to get all the way by. I know he wouldn’t do that to me and I didn’t want to win that way, so I let him go. But we hung with him and we know the car’s good, so I’m happy.”

Back in the clear, Schatz took the $4,000 triumph by a comfortable margin over Pittman and Schuchart.

“I’m happy,” declared Schuchart, grandson of Pennsylvania and WoO ace Bobby Allen, who prepares his sprinter. “I almost hit both Blaney and Madsen on the frontstretch but somehow missed them. We weren’t good on the restarts but after a lap or two we got going and at the end I was catching those guys.”

The finish:

Donny Schatz, Daryn Pittman, Logan Schuchart, Dale Blaney, David Gravel, Cody Darrah, Cap Henry, Jason Sides, Lance Dewease, Tony Stewart, Danny Lasoski, Danny Holtgraver, Steve Buckwalter, Caleb Helms, Paul McMahan, Danny Dietrich, Steve Kinser, Danny Smith, Kerry Madsen, Greg Wilson, Mark Coldren, Kraig Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, Tim Shaffer.