LOCAL RACING: Schatz wins Doty, Walker wins Royal
Donny Schatz and Tyler Walker came away with the big hardware after the World of Outlaws Sprint Series trip into Northwest Ohio.
Schatz pulled out the win in the Brad Doty Classic on Wednesday at Limaland Motorsports Park in Allentown, and Walker took advantage of Sammy Swindell’s last-turn misfortune to claim the $50,000 winner’s purse in the Kings Royal on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg.
Schatz, a four-time champion in the Outlaws, moved atop the series standings after his win. After a fierce three-way battle with Brad Sweet and Sam Hafertepe Jr., Schatz took the lead on lap 32 of the 40-lap feature and drove to his third win of the season.
Hafertape finished second and Sweet took third.
“The track developed a low, middle and high groove which made it awesome for us racers,” Schatz said. “...Brad and Sam made it interesting and I really had a blast.”
Schatz’s win was the 108th of his WoO career and put him into an elite group of racers. Only Steve Kinser (566), Swindell (276) and Mark Kinser (153) have more main event victories.
NASCAR stars Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart, both car owners in the Outlaws, added to the buzz surrounding the Doty by competing in the field. But neither had a significant impact on the final outcome. Kahne finished 17th and Stewart 18th.
The Eldora finish was one of the most memorable in the almost 30-year history of the Kings Royal.
After winning his heat race to take the pole for the feature and leading the first 39 laps of the 40-lap main, Swindell seemed to have the win secured as he took the white flag and entered turns 3 and 4.
But as he exited turn 4, his right-rear tire went flat and Walker shot past to take the checkered flag.
Swindell finished second.
“I’ve lost so many in the last turn,” said Walker, of Los Angeles, Calif. “I was giving it about half throttle there at the end because I knew the tires were getting low. It just feels really good to be on the other side of that kind of deal. I’ve lost a lot of races like that so I know how it feels to be sitting there watching someone else takes the checkers.”
Limaland will host its 76th Anniversary Race featuring the Run for the Rabbit, which honors the late Travis “Rabbit” Miller, on Friday.
The NRA Sprint Invaders will race for $2,000 to win in the Run for the Rabbit.
Also on tap are the UMP Modifieds and the Thunderstocks.
After taking the past weekend off, Waynesfield Raceway Park will be back in action on Saturday with a full racing program, featuring the Non-Wing Sprint Cars, UMP Modifieds, Thunder Stock Cars, Mini-Sprints, Tough Trucks and Compacts.
Short-track legend Jack Hewitt is expected to attend to promote the 3rd Annual Jack Hewitt Classic. Hewitt will have his two-seat sprint car on hand.
There is no racing at Eldora until July 30.