ALGER, Wash. — With another dominant performance during night one of the Monster Meltdown at Skagit Speedway on Friday night, Donny Schatz continued a podium streak that began on July 19 and World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series winning streak that now stretches four races.
Schatz, who won 23 races last season with his STP/Armor All team, is proving especially formidable this season as his 18th win of the season extended his point lead over second place Daryn Pittman to 197.
“It always feels good to win,” Schatz said. “Especially out here at a place we’ve not been so swell. Hats off to the whole STP team — these guys should be up here (on the podium). They’re doing a phenomenal job. They give me a racecar every night that’s capable of winning and it’s done that. It’s an awful fun position to be in.”
Luck was on Schatz’s side throughout the night. The dash inversion draw put him on the outside pole for the dash and ultimately helped him to the same starting position in the A main. Then, during the feature, Schatz had trouble just before an open red flag.
“We got to lapped traffic before that red and it just kind of started to get tight, I couldn’t stay on the bottom, I was driving across the race track and the guys told me there was more air in the left rear than there was in the right rear when we stopped. We had some sort of bleeder issue and got it fixed up and went on.”
With 66 A mains in the books so far this season, Schatz is slightly ahead of his wins pace from last season — he had 17 up to this point. The last driver to score more than 23 wins in a single season was Steve Kinser in 2003.
The green flag waved on the 25-lap, $8,000 to win A main with Cody Darrah and Schatz on the front row. Schatz jumped out front after battling Darrah through turns one and two but a caution flew on lap one as last year’s champion Pittman spun in turn four. The field reset and again Schatz jumped to the lead. As he did that, a battle for second took over, as Darrah fought to hold the position over Brad Sweet who by that point had moved into third. On lap three, Sweet took over the position.