ROSSBURG, Ohio – Donny Schatz led from start to finish in a caution-free rout Friday night at Eldora Speedway, winning the opening round of #LetsRaceTwo weekend at the half-mile dirt oval.
Schatz started on the pole and never faltered, holding Carson Macedo at bay early and then pulling away from Logan Schuchart late to take his second World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win of the season.
With his Friday victory, the 285th of his World of Outlaws career, Schatz also assumed the lead in the series point standings as well.
The driver of the No. 15 Toco Warranty Centers/Ford Performance sprinter won the first of two DIRTvision Fast Pass Dashes to set himself up on the front row of the 30-lap main event, and when the green flag waved Schatz bolted to the early lead with Macedo in hot pursuit.
Macedo had one chance at Schatz in the opening laps, with a turn-one slider on the second revolution giving him momentary command over the field, but Schatz crossed back underneath him down the backstretch and never gave up the top spot again after that.
Friday’s win was Schatz’s third-straight score during Eldora’s #LetsRaceTwo weekend, but his first win at the track with new crew chief Steve Swenson.
“We’ve got a pretty good play book we’ve had over the years, but things change,” Schatz said. “Tires change. Cars change. The ways guys race change, so you’ve got to stay on the front side of it. That’s what we’ve been working on the past couple of months. I feel like we’ve figure out what we need to do to get things right for us.
“I’m happy about that and hopefully we can keep that to ourselves and not have to race against it.”
While Schatz dominated the box score by leading all 30 laps, it wasn’t without some competition in the second half of the race, as he had a hard-charging Logan Schuchart on his tail down the stretch.
Schuchart, who started fifth, grabbed the second spot on lap 13 and carved a lead of more than two seconds down under half a second with less than six laps to go as Schatz navigated through traffic.
However, the 10-time series champion got back away in the final moments as slower cars killed Schuchart’s momentum, leaving the Shark Racing driver to settle for second in the end.
“I was following a car on the top … and he hit the wall and I had to check up pretty good there,” said Schuchart. “All and all, I thought it was a good race. I think we actually fell to sixth at the beginning and had to work our way back up there. I think we had the car to beat and the fastest race car.
“I hope we can come back tomorrow and get another shot at it.”
Macedo completed the podium after his front row start, followed by David Gravel and Jacob Allen.
Christopher Bell crossed sixth, followed by Tim Kaeding, Parker Price-Miller, Gio Scelzi and Ian Madsen.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.