The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

August 13, 2013

Schatz captures seventh nationals title

Hello race fans and welcome to The Pit Stop.

Last week, the title of The Pit Stop referred to Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., gunning for his seventh Knoxville Nationals title. This past Saturday night, he did win his seventh title in the last eight years, but he did it in dramatic fashion.

Schatz’s qualifying night on Wednesday did not go as well as he had planned. He timed in at eighth quickest and he followed that up with a fifth-place finish in his heat race, which put him in the B Main race. After finishing third there, with the top four moving into the A Main, Schatz started 23rd on Wednesday and worked his way through the field to finish in tenth place.

When it was all said and done after the second qualifying night on Thursday, Schatz had accumulated enough points for a starting position in the B Main on Saturday night. However, 2013 marked the second year that drivers could erase their qualifying points and start with a clean slate and try their luck on Friday night by re-qualifying.

Most everyone assumed that Schatz would take advantage of this option. However, he did not and elected to stay with his B Main start on Saturday night. Schatz made the most of his Saturday night by making a last-lap, last-turn pass for the lead of the B Main and he took the checkers for the win. That got him a 21st starting position in the A Main.

The A Main was a 50-lap event where officials would stop the race somewhere around lap 25 for the teams to re-fuel and make changes to the car for the remaining segment of the race. None of the race teams knew which lap the caution would come out, but it would be somewhere around the midway point.

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