By WoO Media
Eldon, MO – May 4, 2018 – Donny Schatz survived an early Shark (Racing) attack to capture his sixth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series triumph of the season in the Series first visit to Lake Ozark in 11 years. David Gravel finished second with Kerry Madsen coming forward to complete the podium.
Shark Racing’s Jacob Allen won the Craftsman Club Dash, earning the pole for the 40-lap Feature alongside his teammate Logan Schuchart. Allen and Schuchart would exchange slide jobs multiple times out front of the Dash and on the opening few circuits of the Feature.
For the second time in his career, Allen would lead the opening lap of competition. Third-starting Donny Schatz began making the bottom work as he closed in and surpassed Schuchart for second on the fifth circuit. Two laps later, Schatz was knocking on the door of Allen, who went low to block Schatz to no avail as the nine-time Champion powered around the Shark Racing No.1A off of turn four to lead Lap 7.
Schatz began working traffic through the middle of the speedway and Allen actually closed back in running a car length higher but was unable to get back the top position. A slight bobble by Allen allowed Schuchart to take the runner-up position on Lap 14.
David Gravel continued his charge forward and secured second from Schuchart just as the first caution flew for the first time on Lap 26 for Daryn Pittman.
The caution cleared Donny Schatz of heavy traffic but allowed Gravel to start beside him. Two laps later, while battling for the third position, Logan Schuchart and 10th-starting Spencer Bayston, who set a new Lake Ozark track record in Qualifying, made heavy contact, ending the latter’s evening with a damaged front axle. Schuchart would restart, but with significant wing damage that would hinder his handling around the tight-quartered racing surface.
Schatz powered away on the restart with Gravel commanding second, but the big mover on the restart was Kerry Madsen who surged into third. Donny Schatz cleared traffic once again and went on to win by 1.495 seconds. It was Schatz’ first career win at Lake Ozark, sixth triumph of the season and 267th career victory with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
When asked about the thrill of winning at a new race track Schatz said, “It’s awesome to win anywhere with the World of Outlaws, let alone for the first time a track. I don’t remember being here in 2007, but I remember being here tonight. Hats off to this race team. It’s a lot of fun to race with guys that you have a special bond with.”
Coming off an 18-win season, a single win as the calendar turns to May could be viewed as a little bit of a disappointment for Gravel and CJB Motorsports, but they seem to have turned the corner lately. “We’ve been battling a lot of stuff here to start the year off. We had a really good car, but were never really the same after that caution. We were close tonight, we’ll move on to Salina tomorrow,” Gravel said.
It was a season-best podium finish for Kerry Madsen, who acknowledged his excellent restart on Lap 28. “We really came alive on that restart. This team has worked very hard and we haven’t had the results to show for it yet this year,” Madsen, a five-time Outlaw winner a year ago, said.
Shane Stewart and Jason Johnson, who resides 10 miles from Lake Ozark, completed the top five. Daryn Pittman bounced back and charged to seventh in the final 14 laps after bringing out the caution. Schuchart limped his ailing Shark Racing No.1S to a 10th place finish, with his teammate and early leader Allen settling for 11th. The KSE Hard Charger honors went to Kraig Kinser, who recovered from an incident in his Heat Race to charge from 21st to 12th.
More information on the World of Outlaws can be found at www.woosprint.com.