ROSSBURG, OH — Donny Schatz passed Brian Brown on Lap 10 and never looked back en route to his Knight Before the Kings Royal victory at Eldora Speedway. It was Schatz’ 275th career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory. Greg Wilson charged from 14th to finish second, with Sheldon Haudenschild completing the podium in the non-stop Feature.
Brian Brown won the first Sears Craftsman Dash to earn the pole for the 30-Lap Feature, alongside Hunter Schuerenburg, who won the second Dash. Brown, in search of his fifth career Outlaw victory, set the pace out front of the field as Schuerenburg remained within striking distance.
Donny Schatz, who started third, recovered from his start and got by Tim Shaffer for third on Lap 5, but not without making heavy contact with the outside retaining wall in turn two. The contact didn’t faze Schatz at all as he began chasing down Schuerenburg and Brown for the lead.
On Lap 9, Schatz ducked underneath Schuerenburg for second and one lap later, using the same line, Schatz took the lead from Brown. From there, Schatz began to work through lapped traffic in an attempt to extend his lead while all eyes were on Greg Wilson.
Wilson, a former Outlaw Eldora winner, was charging forward from his 14th-starting spot. Wilson took third from Schuerenburg on Lap 21 and surpassed Brown a lap later for the runner-up position. Wilson, glued to the extreme bottom of the racing surface, then set his sights on Schatz. Sheldon Haudenschild was in hot pursuit of Wilson running the polar opposite line, banging down the cushion. Haudenschild worked by Schuerenburg and Brown on Lap 23 to move into third. Wilson closed slightly in traffic, but Schatz had built too much of an advantage and went on to win his 14th Feature of the season by 2.273 seconds.
“It got real slick,” Schatz said after the race. “I think my car was best in the middle and it’s not exactly my bag of tea to bounce off the cushion every lap,” Schatz added with a smile. “Greg [Wilson] is really good when the track gets like that. I know if I do everything right, there’s not many people that will pass this 15 car, but Greg is one of them. We’ve got to a get a little bit better tomorrow for 10 more laps or Greg will kick all our asses,” Schatz said in good spirits.
Wilson had high praise for Schatz following his personal season-best finish. “That 15 car man, he’s the best out here and the cleanest race car driver I have ever raced with,” Wilson said before thanking the Eldora Speedway track crew for providing an excellent dry-slick racing surface.
Sheldon Haudenschild was pleased with his third-place finish and looks forward to Saturday’s King’s Royal.
“My crew has done a phenomenal job and I think we’ll be right there tomorrow. I can’t thank the fans for being great all weekend,” Sheldon said.
Early race leader Brian Brown fell to fourth at the checkered flag with Dave Blaney charging from 22nd to complete the top five and earn KSE Hard Charger Honors. Heading into Saturday’s Kings Royal event, Shane Stewart and Donny Schatz, with their wins on the first two nights of the weekend, have earned the right to go out in Qualifying wherever they please during Saturday’s $50,000 to win program.
With the unique Kings Royal format being utilized, Saturday’s event will be show up points only for the World of Outlaws regulars. If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com as the 35th Annual Kings Royal crowns a champion.
Feature: 1. 15-Donny Schatz [$12,000]; 2. W20-Greg Wilson [$5,700]; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$3,500]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [$3,000]; 5. 70-Dave Blaney [$2,600]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman [$2,400]; 7. 3G-Carson Macedo [$2,300]; 8. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg [$2,200]; 9. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,150]; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel [$2,100]; 11. 49-Brad Sweet [$1,600]; 12. 49X-Tim Shaffer [$1,350]; 13. 5-David Gravel [$1,300]; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$1,200]; 15. 18-Ian Madsen [$300]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$200]; 17. 24-Rico Abreu [$900]; 18. 10H-Chad Kemenah [$850]; 19. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$800]; 20. 12N-Cole Duncan [$800]; 21. 4-Parker Price-Miller [$800]; 22. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$800]; 23. 2-Shane Stewart [$800]; 24. 44-Trey Starks [$800]; 25. 26-Joey Saldana [$800]; 26. 13-Paul McMahan [$800]; Lap Leaders: Brian Brown 1-9, Donny Schatz 10-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 70-Dave Blaney[+17]
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo credit: Paul Arch