Brad Sweet continues his DCN roll with second place run
BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 13, 2016 - One night after his first did-not-finish result since September 2013, Donny Schatz rebounded at DIRTcar Nationals as he battled with Brad Sweet on Saturday night to score his first World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win of the 2016 season.
"It's kind of a relief to be over that hill of having that DNF that's been haunting us for I guess 180 races or whatever," Schatz said. "Now we can just focus on trying to win races."
The win is Schatz's second of DIRTcar Nationals after he won the second All Star Circuit of Champions night.
Schatz started the night by being second quick in qualifying but it was Daryn Pittman who took the quick time for the second straight night.
Chad Kemenah led the field to the green flag in but Sweet quickly overpowered him, taking over the lead after a short battle on lap four.
As Sweet built a several second lead in front of the field, the fight was on for the second, third and fourth positions. Kemenah, in second had Pittman behind him and Schatz in fourth. The three drivers engaged in a multi-lap fight, with Pittman taking over second on lap 11.
With lapped traffic in play, Schatz got around Kemenah for third and then Pittman in second.
The caution flag flew for the first time on lap 16 and when the field returned to green, Schatz and Sweet raced wheel-to-wheel for the lead. With the inside advantage, Sweet held off Schatz. When the caution flag flew again five laps later, Sweet was not as lucky. As the two drivers worked to complete lap 22, Schatz entered the front straight off turn four and dove to the low side, cutting off the line for Sweet and propelling his No. 15 Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance car to the lead.
"I beat him to the line. He stepped outside on me there," Sweet said. "I knew he was going to be tough."
The final restart proved pivotal for Dale Blaney, the reigning All Star Circuit of Champions champion. After running much of the night in the top-five, Blaney had Pittman in sight. He passed Pittman on lap 27 but lost the position the next time by. As the two drivers made the final circuit, Blaney battled past Pittman for the third position.
Schatz cruised to victory with Sweet in second.
"I'd be even better if we could win all of them," Schatz said. "That's what this team shoots for, that's what they aim for, and that's what they work hard for. We're here tonight and that's all that matters… Another good night, lots of people in the stands, glad to see everybody."
Sweet, who won Friday night's season opening World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature at Volusia Speedway Park, was disappointed with the finish but said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"You know there's a few things on our car that we can maybe get a little bit better and hopefully this is a sign for things to come throughout the season," Sweet said. "It's not bad losing to the best in the world. As long as we can keep giving him a run for his money you know we'll win some of these."
Blaney, who along with Schatz, Sweet and Greg Hodnett has been consistent throughout the five nights said he struggled early with the restarts but was able by the end of the night to get the run he needed to put his No. 1B GoMuddy.com car in position.
As the series heads into the final night of sprint week at DIRTcar Nationals, Greg Hodnett leads Schatz by one point in the championship standings. Blaney is in third, 12 points out of the lead and Sweet is in fourth, 32 points out of the lead. The winner will hoist the coveted 'Big Gator' on Sunday night.
Kerry Madsen was the night's KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing nine positions to finish in ninth.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns action Sunday night at DIRTcar Nationals for the final night of sprint week.
Volusia Speedway Park Notebook
RACE NOTES: Daryn Pittman picked up his second quick time of the season. He is the only driver so far this season to have a quick time… Greg Hodnett leads Donny Schatz in the DIRTcar Nationals Sprint Week championship standings by one point… Donny Schatz now has two wins during DIRTcar Nationals. He picked up his first win on the second All Star Circuit of Champions night… Kerry Madsen was the night's KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing nine positions to finish in ninth… Brad Sweet leads his teammate Daryn Pittman in the championship standings after two features.
CONTINGENCY WINNERS - MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Logan Schuchart; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Donny Schatz;Sweet Manufacturing ($50 cash): Daryn Pittman; Penske Shocks ($50 cash): Greg Wilson; Mobil 1 ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Shane Stewart; VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; Edelbrock ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; Comp Cams ($50 cash): David Gravel; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Jason Johnson; Super Flow ($50 cash): Jason Sides;Sweet Manufacturing ($50 product certificate): Brad Sweet; KSE Racing Products ($100 product certificate): Kerry Madsen;Comp Cams ($50 product certificate): Donny Schatz; Mobil 1 (20% off Mobil1RacingStore.com): Jacob Allen; JE Pistons (Set of Rings): Jason Sides; JE Pistons (Set of Rings): Jacob Allen.
SEASON WINNERS: Donny Schatz - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14); Brad Sweet - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 13)
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.; Feb. 13, 2016
A-Main - (30 Laps) - 1. 15-Donny Schatz  [$10,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet ; 3. 1B-Dale Blaney ; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 5. 2-Shane Stewart ; 6. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 7. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 8. 83-Joey Saldana ; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 10. 5-David Gravel ; 11. W20-Greg Wilson ; 12. 41-Jason Johnson ; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 14. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 15. 71M-Dave Blaney ; 16. 1-Sammy Swindell ; 17. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 18. 2L-Danny Lasoski ; 19. 7S-Jason Sides ; 20. 7-Paul McMahan ; 21. O7-Doug Esh ; 22. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 23. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 24. 45-Tim Shaffer . Lap Leaders: Chad Kemenah 1-4, Brad Sweet 5-21, Donny Schatz 22-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 29-Kerry Madsen [+9]
Qualifying - 1. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.197; 2. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.226; 3. 5-David Gravel, 13.261; 4. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.286; 5. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.303; 6. 1B-Dale Blaney, 13.349; 7. 45-Tim Shaffer, 13.377; 8. 83-Joey Saldana, 13.402; 9. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.473; 10. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.489; 11. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe, 13.499; 12. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13.517; 13. O7-Doug Esh, 13.518; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.527; 15. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.534; 16. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.538; 17. 71M-Dave Blaney, 13.550; 18. 27-Greg Hodnett, 13.555; 19. 70-Danny Holtgraver, 13.585; 20. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.591; 21. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.595; 22. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.601; 23. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 13.607; 24. 7-Paul McMahan, 13.640; 25. 17W-Bryan Clauson, 13.674; 26. 24-Terry McCarl, 13.722; 27. 71MX-Paul May, 13.902; 28. 4-Danny Smith, 13.946; 29. 71A-R.J. Johnson, 14.038; 30. 13-Clyde Knipp, 14.612
Heat 1 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 2. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 3. 45-Tim Shaffer ; 4. 2-Shane Stewart ; 5. 7S-Jason Sides ; 6. O7-Doug Esh ; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 8. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 9. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 10. 4-Danny Smith 
Heat 2 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 49-Brad Sweet ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz ; 3. 83-Joey Saldana ; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 5. 71M-Dave Blaney ; 6. 41-Jason Johnson ; 7. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe ; 8. 2L-Danny Lasoski ; 9. 24-Terry McCarl ; 10. 71A-R.J. Johnson 
Heat 3 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 5-David Gravel ; 2. 1B-Dale Blaney ; 3. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 4. 1-Sammy Swindell ; 5. 7-Paul McMahan ; 6. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 8. W20-Greg Wilson ; 9. 71MX-Paul May ; 10. 13-Clyde Knipp 
Dash - (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature) - 1. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 2. 49-Brad Sweet ; 3. 5-David Gravel ; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 5. 15-Donny Schatz ; 6. 1B-Dale Blaney 
Last Chance Showdown - (12 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 2. W20-Greg Wilson ; 3. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 5. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 6. 2L-Danny Lasoski ; 7. 24-Terry McCarl ; 8. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe ; 9. 71MX-Paul May ; 10. 4-Danny Smith ; 11. 71A-R.J. Johnson ; 12. 13-Clyde Knipp