Donny Schatz will arrive at Ransomville Speedway this Sunday still savoring his victory achieved July 15 in the prestigious King’s Royal World of Outlaws Sprint Car event at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio. The popular nationally ranked traveling World of Outlaws series will return to Ransomville for only the fourth time in speedway history and the first time since 1997.
Schatz, a native of Fargo, N.D., is in his 21st season of competition in the series and currently drives the No. 15 Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian entry.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car organization was formed in 1978 by the late Ted Johnson as a traveling circuit that crisscrosses the country running numerous races a year. In recent years, it has been run by the World Racing Group located in Charlotte, N.C.
Schatz is one of the most successful drivers in the World of Outlaws and is the third winningest driver in series history with eight and 244 wins as of Tuesday night, when he won the most recent race at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. His Eldora victory was his 14th Outlaws win of this season.
By comparison, the all-time World of Outlaws winner is retired legend Steve Kinser, who was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach last month. Kinser amassed 20 championships and 577 race victories in his long career. The semi-retired Sammy Swindell is next with 294 victories.
Schatz is riding a big wave of momentum coming to Ransomville. His King’s Royal win made him the only driver in World of Outlaws history to score two straight victories in the Eldora classic. When Schatz pulled into Victory Lane last weekend, Kinser was there to greet him.
"Any time you can do something that Steve Kinser hasn’t done is incredible," Schatz said. "It all goes back to the guy who owns this team and this race track. Tony (Stewart) has surrounded me with great people. Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti have the utmost pride and passion in giving me a car capable of doing what we did. We’re excited about working with them as well as Ford Performance and Mike Curb. I can’t wait to get to the next race and keep on going."
Schatz was a rookie when World of Outlaws last visited Ransomville. Hechatz finished a strong fourth in the A-Main feature.
A World of Outlaws competitor who will make his inaugural trip to Ransomville Sunday is rookie Sheldon Haudenschild of Wooster, Ohio, the son of driver Jac "The Wild Child" Haudenschild.
"That’s why the guys are the best because they’re good at going to new tracks and being really fast right from the get-go," Sheldon said. "It’s definitely a challenge, but I feel I’ve done pretty decent for my first year around and seeing some of these tracks for the first time also. It’s no excuse. Being at new tracks you just have to adapt and try to be fast right from the get-go. I don’t really do anything different. I stay in the routine and stay consistent at what we do each night."
Ransomville general manager Jennifer Martin is in her first season and knows that the Outlaws’ visit will definitely put the eyes of the national racing scene on her track.
"It’s getting very close and there’s so much more to do in a short amount of time," Martin said. "We’re running a full regular show for our weekly stock car classes this Friday (7:15 p.m.), which is our 60th anniversary show, and then we’re going to begin to prepare the track that night and Saturday to have it ready and well-prepared for the Outlaws on Sunday. A lot of out-of-towners and first time fans will be here and we’re excited to have them at our speedway."
Martin says that tickets are still available for the World of Outlaws by calling 844-347-8849 until noon Saturday. Tickets that remain after that can be purchased at the speedway ticket office. The campgrounds open Thursday. Saturday night two movies, the Smurf movie and The Fate of The Furious, will be shown on the infield video board at 6 and 8 p.m. respectively.
The will-call window will open at 1 p.m. Sunday. Grandstands open at 4 p.m. and racing commences at 7:15.
The World of Outlaws has races Friday and Saturday at the Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., before the trek to Ransomville.
Past Ransomville Outlaws victors include Dave Blaney, Aug 9, 1994; Steve Smith, June 8, 1995 and Andy Hillenburg, July 28, 1997. Mark Kinser set the Ransomville, one-lap qualifying record during the July 1997 show at 14.365 seconds on the fourth-tenths dirt oval.
ROC at Holland
The Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series visits Holland Motorsports Complex Saturday for the Thunder in the Hills 100. Among the expected drivers are: Patrick Emerling, George Skora III, Tommy and Amy Catalano, Danny Knoll Jr., Cam Barber and Scott Wylie. Emerling comes to Holland as the series point leader.
"Holland is a fun place to race," Emerling said. "It has multiple grooves and we get around there pretty good. You have to be patient and not use up your tires too early. It’s going to be another fun night and we are looking forward to it. The series is very competitive and it will be interesting to see what happens."
When the Race of Champions last appeared in the Western New York, Tyler Rypkema scored with his first career triumph achieved at Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway, June 29. Skora appeared on the way to the first victory of his career at Lancaster until he was felled by mechanical woes. Skora may have a bit of a home-field advantage Saturday as he has raced at Holland for several years, winning in various classes there.
The NYPA TQ Midget Racing Series, NASCAR Chargers and Hornets will complete Holland’s Saturday card.