Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers are separated by just 18 markers heading into the inaugural $12,000 to-win WoO Fest at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas on Saturday, October 24, as Schatz chases his fourth consecutive title, while Meyers looks for his first.
Courtesy: WoO Sprint Car Series Media Relations
Kilgore, TX—October 22, 2009—Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers have similar approaches to the final three races of the 2009 season as they battle for the World of Outlaws championship, and that is to contend for wins and run at the front of the field and do exactly the same thing they have done each and every race this season to get to this point.
The pair is separated by just 18 markers heading into the inaugural $12,000 to-win WoO Fest at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas on Saturday, October 24, as Schatz chases his fourth consecutive title, while Meyers looks for his first.
Schatz enters the event at Lone Star Speedway with 12 A-Feature wins on the season to go along with a series-best 38 Top-Five finishes. He and his team are looking to add to this win total over the final three races of the 2009 season. Schatz won his 100th career World of Outlaws A-Feature event on August 22 at Dacotah Speedway in his home state of North Dakota, though he hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since that race, a span of 13 races. He came close to returning to the winner’s circle in the series last event at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York, leading a number of laps before finishing second in the Armor All J&J.
“The focus hasn’t changed,” shared Schatz when asked about the point standings. “It’s not going to change. You can ask me when we get to Texas and it still won’t change. It probably won’t change until we go into Charlotte on the last night.”
Meyers heads into the event at Lone Star Speedway with eight A-Feature wins on the season and nine victories overall. He leads the World of Outlaws with 52 Top-10 finishes. The native of Clovis, California has finished eighth or better in 14 consecutive events, with 12 of those being Top-Five performances. He has won four times over that span aboard the GLR Investments KPC.
“The biggest thing in my opinion is not to change anything,” explained Meyers recently. “We got here doing what we do and now that we are this close, there is no reason to change anything. We’ll do what got us here and hopefully that will carry us past and get us into the lead. A lot of it is honestly is based on our format and who gets some breaks here at the end. Both cars are running very well right now, Donny (Schatz) and our car. We’ll just see who gets the breaks.”
While Schatz is chasing history if he can win his fourth consecutive World of Outlaws championship, he and his Tony Stewart Racing team are focused on developing their race cars and finding things that will make them even better down the road and help them continue to contend for wins and championships for years to come. Schatz is currently one of just three drivers that has won at least three World of Outlaws championships and if he is able to win a fourth, he would join 20-time series champion Steve Kinser as the only driver to win at least four and the only driver other than the Hall of Famer to win four consecutive.
“To be honest, we have bigger fish to fry right now,” stated Schatz. “Yeah, it’s a championship, but we are working on things to get to that next level and have been for some time. That’s kind of the focus. I don’t want the championship thing to sidetrack any of my guys or me from that. That’s something that’s good. We are keeping a different focus.”
Meyers used a strong Gold Rush Tour to put himself right into the thick of what is shaping up to be one of the best points races in the 30-plus year history of the World of Outlaws. Beginning with the finale at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton on August 28, he gained points on Schatz in seven consecutive events to get as close as nine points prior to the two events at Williams Grove Speedway on October 3. The margin between the two had been less than 20 for the last month. The closest ever finish in World of Outlaws history was in 2001 when Danny Lasoski edged Mark Kinser by 30 markers.
“Right now you have to give it everything you have and earn every point you can, because everything matters,” said Meyers. “Whether you are battling for second or 22nd, every single point matters right now. We’ll just go out and try to put good numbers on the board and see what happens. 18 points is not a lot, but with three races and someone like Donny Schatz and the 15 team it’s going to be tough. We’ll see how it goes. It’s going to be a great race right down to the end. We’re going to give it all we got and hopefully we’ll make it happen.”
Schatz finished second at Lone Star Speedway back in April after beginning the night by setting fast time in qualifying and has finished fourth or better in all three of his career starts at the half-mile. It is one of just a handful of tracks on the 2009 schedule that he has not won at in his career and he would like nothing more than to pick up a win this weekend. He leads the series with five wins on half-mile tracks this season.
“We just have to keep working,” noted the North Dakota native. “Obviously everything we are doing to these cars is making leaps and bounds. We’re getting where we want to be, it’s just sometimes you have to have growing pains and I guess that’s what you can call it. We’re working our tails off and it may not pay off today, but next year this time it may be.”
Meyers scored a career-best fourth-place finish at Lone Star Speedway earlier this season. The native of Clovis, California has made three career starts at the half-mile and is chasing his first win in the state of Texas. He has seven career Top-10 finishes in the Lone Star State.
“That’s a pretty cool place, it’s pretty wide open,” said Meyers. “It depends on what the weather is like as well. Usually it gets pretty slick there, but this time of year, who knows what you could get down there. We’ll just to have wait and see. It’s just one more race track that you have to go in and stay out of trouble and try to finish the best you can and hopefully you get the breaks with the pill draws.”