SARVER, Pa. — Eight-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion and point leader Donny Schatz won his fifth Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Tuesday night at Lernerville Speedway.
The victory followed a heated battle with Sheldon Haudenschild that left the rookie-of-the-year contender flipping off the wall on the frontstretch.
“It’s been a good week,” said Schatz, who won Saturday’s Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. “This race team is incredible, what they do. When they get the race car good, you get in that zone, and they fine tune things and just keep making strides and making it better. It’s good to have that feeling for sure.”
Haudenschild dominated the first 35 laps of the 40-lap feature, jumping to the lead right from the start and leaving polesitter Daryn Pittman between he and Schatz as he continued to lengthen the distance between them.
Schatz had a rocky start as his front tires lurched up on the front stretch outside turn four in lap three, and he went over the cushion outside turn one in lap nine, causing him to fall back to sixth.
But the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver regained some ground before an engine failure on the Shark Racing No. 1s of Logan Schuchart forced a restart in lap 15; and by lap 22, Schatz had his No. 15 Arctic Cat machine back in third again.
Two laps later, Schatz passed Pittman, but Haudenschild was three seconds ahead.
It took the veteran driver another eight laps to gain enough ground to start pushing on the rookie, but on lap 33 the battle began. Schatz passed Haudenschild. Haudenschild took it back. Schatz did it again, and again Haudenschild took it back.
A beautiful battle transpired until another caution — this time Brent Marks spinning outside turn four — forced another restart.
With $25,000 on the line, the feature continued with a single-file restart, Haudenschild at the helm. He did what he had to do and shot out to a strong lead again, but hit the cushion so hard in turn four, he simply ran out of cushion. The No. 93 hit the wall and flipped several times down the frontstretch.
“[The cushion] was getting pretty thin,” said Schatz. “In case anyone didn’t notice there were crashes. That’s why we had that [caution] before [Sheldon] did it. There was two cars sitting there, and the cushion was kind of rolled up over the edge of the track. It just kept getting slower and slower. When it starts slowing down… I guess old age is making me slow down a bit, too.”
Schatz went on to take the checkers unchallenged, with Pittman and David Gravel rounding out the podium.
To see full results, turn to the next page.