CONCORD, N.C. – Donny Schatz has put up a lot of illustrious numbers over the course of his World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series career, but Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, he moved one step closer to arguably his biggest milestone yet.
Schatz took down his 10th-career Charlotte victory and 20th win of the season during the second night of the Textron Off-Road World Finals, making a two-for-one pass of both Kerry Madsen and Bill Balog on lap 10 of the 30-lap feature and never relinquishing command again en route to the checkered flag.
But more importantly, the win was the 249th of his Outlaws career, putting him one trophy away from becoming the third driver in series history to score 250 A-Feature victories over the course of his career.
“It’s a mark you don’t think about until times like this,” said Schatz of the potential milestone. “We go out to win every night, and eventually you get to these marker points that are pretty cool. It’d be neat to get it done tomorrow night … this track has been so good to us over the years and it’s always fun to race here in front of such a great crowd.”
Schatz has now won 20 features or more with the Outlaws in five consecutive seasons.
“It feels good to keep doing this like we do,” he said. “This team has worked hard all year. We were stuck on 19 (wins) for a while, so to finally get there tonight is great.”
“We always keep digging and always keep working on things. It actually sucks that the season’s over (after tomorrow night), because we’re rolling! That’s the way it works, though. These guys need some time off to spend with their families before we start going again, and they’ll get that after this weekend. I’m proud of them though. Just another amazing season.”
Ian Madsen led the field to the green flag from the pole after winning the first Craftsman Club Dash earlier in the night, but when the bottom lane got off to a sluggish start, outside polesitter Balog took full advantage of the congestion to go to the lead on the opening lap.
Balog opened up a second and a quarter over the Madsen brothers, Ian and Kerry, but both brothers closed in on Balog by lap seven and it was Kerry Madsen using a huge slider on Balog to take the lead for about 200 feet in turn two on the 10th round.
However, neither Kerry Madsen nor Balog counted on Schatz surging to the bottom of the race track from third, passing both Balog and Madsen by the time the trio worked off the exit of turn two and assuming the lead officially at the start-finish line.
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