Donny Schatz has wrapped up what he called a “golden season” by winning his seventh career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Championship in 2015. Schatz, who drives for the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing Team, won 31 feature events this season in 75 starts. He joins Steve Kinser as the only other driver in World of Outlaws history to win 30 or more races in a single season.
The World of Outlaws title for Stewart was his sixth as a car owner. The duo also combined to win championships in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014. Danny Lasoski won the title while driving for Stewart in 2001.
In addition to his 31 feature wins, Schatz finished in the top two 47 times, in the top five 60 times and the top 10 70 times. He collected $150,000 in first-place points fund money. Overall, Schatz tallied over $750,000 in winnings during the season.
The 38-year-old Schatz also captured the most prestigious race in sprint car racing by winning the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa in August. It marked the ninth time in the last 10 years he has won the event.
The year was the second consecutive season during which he finished every lap of every race. His streak without a DNF (did not finish) is now 178 races, dating back to September 2013, and is one of the biggest reasons Schatz was able to win the championship by 544 points, the fourth largest margin in the series’ 38-year history.
“I’m not sure I could be more proud than I am of what Donny and the 15 team accomplished this season,” Stewart said. “As an organization, we have always aimed to be the best, and that started 15 years ago. I thought, after what they had accomplished last year — winning 26 races and earning the championship — which it was going to be pretty difficult to improve on that. But Donny and his guys — Ricky (Warner), Scuba (Steve Swenson) and Eric (Prutzman) — continue to reach new heights. It’s a total team effort from everyone at the shop to everyone at the track. Donny is an incredible champion and a remarkable ambassador, not only for TSR but for the entire sport of sprint car racing.
“This season was also special in that we were able to have two partners — Bad Boy Buggies and Chevrolet Performance — expand their roles with us and join us on an historic run to the World of Outlaws championship,” Stewart continued. “Their commitment, as well as the continued relationship with Mike Curb, is a big reason why seasons like this one are possible.”
Final 2015 World of Outlaws points standings: 1. Donny Schatz 10,563; 2. Shane Stewart 10,019; 3. Brad Sweet 9,890; 4. Daryn Pittman 9,823; 5. Kerry Madsen 9,795.
All-Star Circuit sets 2016 schedule
Tony Stewart, owner of the All-Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars, has announced the series will run a 51-race schedule in 2016. Stewart, who bought the series from Guy Webb in February, has four dates at his Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Those scheduled races will be June 23, July 16, Sept. 24, and Oct. 8.The series will return to the state of Indiana with events at Kokomo Speedway on July 22 and 23. The series will return to Brownstown Speedway for the first time since 1999 on Aug. 27. Dale Blaney of Hartford, Ohio was the 2015 series champion.USAC Sprints conclude seasonThe AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Cars completed their 2015 season at USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. Robert Ballou, Brady Bacon and Bryan Clauson took top honors during the three nights of racing, with each scoring a feature win. Ballou was crowned the 2015 series champion. Chase Stockon of Elizabethtown wound up third in the final points standings behind Ballou and Dave Darland.Final 2015 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car points standings: 1. Robert Ballou 2,274; 2. Dave Darland 2,187; 3. Chase Stockon 2,092; 4. Brady Bacon 2,085; 5. Jon Stanbrough 1,788.
MTQRL announces banquet date
The Midwest TQ Racing League (MTQRL) has announced that its annual awards banquet will take place on Saturday night, Jan. 9 at the Hampton Inn in Greensburg. Among those who will be honored will be Tony Stewart Racing teammates Ronnie Combs of Greensburg and Callie Wolsiffer of New Palestine.Combs will be honored as the series champion and Wolsiffer will receive the Rookie of the Year award. For ticket information go to mtqrl.com.
Tucson, Arizona(Nov. 19)
USAC National Sprint Car feature: 1. Robert Ballou; 2. Brady Bacon; 3. Bryan Clauson; 4. Thomas Meseraull; 5. Damion Gardner.
USAC National Sprint Car feature: 1. Brady Bacon; 2. Bryan Clauson; 3. Tracy Hines; 4. Robert Ballou; 5. Kevin Thomas Jr.
USAC National Sprint Car feature: 1. Bryan Clauson; 2. Robert Ballou; 3. Brady Bacon; 4. Dave Darland; 5. Richard Vander Weerd.
James Essex is the motorsports columnist for The Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com.