GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota native Donny Schatz is planning on giving River Cities Speedway spectators a rare treat this Friday when the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series makes its first of two visits this season.
In addition to competing for his third consecutive Outlaws victory, Schatz, who resides approximately an hour away in Fargo, will race with the NLRA late models during the Gerdau 1st Leg of the Northern Tour.
“Running the dirt late model has been a lot of fun and it’s just something to remind me of what it’s like to race for fun,” Schatz said. “It’s been a big learning curve and I know it’s going to be tough up there. I’m just learning as much as I can every time I get into the car.”
As for the sprint cars, Schatz has those figured out. Last weekend he swept the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series events at Jackson Speedway in Jackson, Minn., and at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and he currently leads the series with seven feature victories.
However, it has been a few years since he has recorded a win at one of the tracks where he cut his teeth. Schatz was victorious in 2008 and in 2009, and has come close in almost every race since.
“We’ve had some good runs up there, but it’s been a few years since we’ve won one,” he said. “There are so many great fans that support the racing in Grand Forks and we’re going to do everything we can to win that World of Outlaws feature.”
He maneuvered from 11th to fourth in the first appearance at the three-tenths-mile oval last season and finished a close second in the final visit. In fact, in the 11 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series main events at River Cities Speedway, his worst result is seventh and in the last five races, Schatz has garnered three runner-up finishes.
“It’s been exciting since the day I started,” he said. “There’s always been a lot of action.”