ROSSBURG, Ohio — Eight-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion and point leader Donny Schatz raced to his ninth victory of the season on the final night of #LetsRaceTwo at Eldora Speedway Saturday.
Schatz led all 30 laps of the historic half-mile oval, while a fierce battle for second and third waged behind him featuring Brad Sweet, Jason Johnson, Chad Kemenah and Rico Abreu.
Sheldon Haundenschild started next to Schatz, but fell back almost immediately with Sweet and Johnson battling for second. Heading into lap 12, however, Kemenah, who had been working his way up from eighth, stole third from Johnson and started pressing Sweet.
A lap-20 restart after Shane Stewart slapped the wall in turn four, ending the night for the Larson Marks Racing No. 2, gave Kemenah a brief opportunity to battle Schatz for the lead, but the reigning champ pulled ahead and maintained a strong lead throughout the race.
“That’s not me; that’s this race team,” said Schatz. “These guys are incredible.vThey’re all capable of being crew chiefs on this car. They feed off each other. Sometimes I don’t give the best information. I try to do my best job, but some days I’m racing lap 29 and they’re trying to figure out how to start the race. It’s just lucky to be around great people like that. It’s fun to get a win, especially here at Eldora.”
Unlike the previous night, in which the Craftsman Club Dash inversion pushed Schatz back into position seven from the second spot and put Johnson on the pole, the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver got lucky with an invert of six that put him on the pole after a less than stellar start to the day, while Tim Shaffer got pushed all the way to the back after earning the pole.
“We’ll take second against these guys,” said Kemenah. “You know, they are the best.”
But this wasn’t Kemenah’s first trip there during #LetsRaceTwo. Last year, he followed Kerry Madsen to the finish. “This is really good,” said. “Two years in a row now I ran second in this thing, so I need one more.”
Abreu came home third with Sweet and Johnson filling the top five. Friday night winner Logan Schuchart was sixth.