Knoxville, IA – Even in June, Donny Schatz reigns supreme at Knoxville Raceway, as the 10-time Knoxville Nationals Champion led all 25 on the opening night of the Brownells Big Guns Bash to score his 12th World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory of the year. Ian Madsen and David Gravel completed the all World of Outlaws podium.
Schatz won the Sears Craftsman Dash, earning the pole for the 25-lap feature alongside Australian and Knoxville regular Lynton Jeffrey. Schatz took command at the drop of the Green, but Jeffrey stayed right with the nine-time Series Champion until the first caution of the evening flew for Jordyn Brazier with three laps complete.
Six-time Knoxville winner in 2018 Brian Brown also headed to the work area with damage after heavy contact with the outside retaining wall. On the ensuing double-file restart, Schatz and Jeffrey made contact on the frontstretch with the latter going for a wild series of flips. Jeffrey emerged unscathed after the wild accident and brought the crowd to their feet with his endless positivity in his post-crash interview.
Schatz continued to lead on the restart with Brooke Tatnell assuming the runner-up position. With momentum on the bottom, Schuchart took second from Tatnell on Lap 10.
Brothers Ian and Kerry Madsen waged war for multiple laps behind them for the fourth position before younger brother Ian solidified himself in the position. Ian wasn’t done there as he reeled in both Tatnell and Schuchart to take second with five laps remaining. But there was no catching Donny Schatz tonight, as he was never truly challenged after the Lap 3 restart going on to win by 3.809 seconds for the 12th time in 2018.
The first thing Schatz did in Victory Lane was get on the wing and throw up the 41 in honor of Jason Johnson.
“It’s been a very shocking week. I’m glad to be standing here tonight, words can’t describe it,” an emotional Schatz said before thanking his entire Textron Off Road team.
“My guys are incredible, I am blessed to be able to drive this thing. It’s great to win at Knoxville,” Schatz said next to his Tony Stewart Racing No.15. Two-time Knoxville Raceway Champion and the leading contender for Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Ian Madsen matched his season-best effort with his second-place finish.
“I had a great race car. I took a little while to get going, but [Kyle] Ripper and the guys gave me a fun car to drive tonight. It’s awesome to come back to Knoxville and have a solid showing and put the car up front,” Madsen said.
David Gravel charged from 11th to complete the all World of Outlaws podium and was pleased with his end to the evening. “We missed it a little bit in Qualifying, but after that, we were really good. We had a good car in the Heat Race and I think if we started closer to the front tonight, we could have contended,” the driver of the CJB Motorsports No.5 said.
Kerry Madsen and Logan Schuchart completed the top five with Shane Stewart, whose team was wearing Jason Johnson’s crew uniforms, getting the KSE Hard Charger honors coming from 20th to finish sixth. The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to Knoxville Raceway tomorrow night to with the completion of the Brownells Big Guns Bash weekend at the Sprint Car Capital of the World. If you can’t make it to the track, watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.com!
Abbreviated Results from Knoxville Raceway on June 29, 2018:
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$10,000]; 2. 18-Ian Madsen [$5,000]; 3. 5-David Gravel [$3,000]; 4. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$2,700]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,500]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,200]; 7. 55-Brooke Tatnell [$2,000]; 8. 2KS-Austin McCarl [$1,800]; 9. 83-Cory Eliason [$1,600]; 10. 49-Brad Sweet [$1,450]; 11. 83H-Justin Henderson [$1,300]; 12. 24-Terry McCarl [$1,200]; 13. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$1,100]; 14. 56N-Davey Heskin [$1,000]; 15. 21-Brian Brown [$950]; 16. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$900]; 17. 1A-Jacob Allen [$850]; 18. O9-Matt Juhl [$750]; 19. 9-Daryn Pittman [$725]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides [$700]; 21. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$700]; 22. 21AU-Jordyn Brazier [$700]; 23. W20-Greg Wilson [$]; 24. 49J-Josh Schneiderman [$700]; 25. 12-Lynton Jeffrey [$700]
-World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Press Release (WoOSprint.com)
-Photo credit: World of Outlaws