By Lee Elder
GRAND FORKS, ND (Aug. 17, 2018) – Donny Schatz picked up his 16th victory of the 2018 Craftsman World of Outlaws Spring Car season, moving to the front after a series of crashes marred the opening laps at River City Raceway.
The season has been one to remember for the nine-time WoO champion. No other driver has more than five wins and the River City victory extended Schatz’ points lead. It was his seventh win in his last eight starts at the track.
“I’m just a lucky guy,” Schatz said. “To drive for the for the best guys in the pit area, the best owner in the country and the people that build these cars. They stand behind us through thick and thin.”
Mark Dobmeier finished second, followed by Kerry Madsen, Daryn Pittman and early leader Brad Sweet.
“Mark [Dobmeier] had a good run, I saw the 13 on the board and I thought, oh boy, here we go. He’s pretty good around here,” Schatz said of his fellow North Dakota native. “Lapped traffic definitely made your hair stand up tonight, we might not have been the best car tonight, but I’m glad we could get it done in Grand Forks.”
It seems as though Schatz can’t lose this year. He also won the NLRA Late Model feature chase around the one-third-mile oval.
Dobmeier said, “I wish I didn’t use up all my tires at the beginning of the race, I wanted to start in the Dash and start in the top-ten and get that track position early, but we didn’t have it early, so I had to dig deep, I gave everything I had. Considering we got to second to this guy (Schatz), I feel pretty good about that run.”
The main event was slowed during the second lap when three cars were upended and others were involved. Brent Marks, Logan Schuchart, Wade Nygaard and Thomas Kennedy were involved. Only Marks was able to make repairs and continue.
NOTES: 29 cars made qualifying runs. Brad Sweet posted the quick time at 10.724 seconds. Heat race winners: Brad Sweet, Sheldon Haudenschild, Kerry Madsen. … Ned Powers slipped his right-side wheels over the berm on the back straightaway, went off the outside of the racing surface and hit the water barrier there. Powers was not hurt in the incident. … Jordan Adams flipped on the front straight during the third heat race. He was not hurt. Prior to Friday’s event, the top five in the Outlaws standings were Donny Schatz (6,468 points, 15 wins), Brad Sweet (6,270 and 4), David Gravel (6,172 and 5), Daryn Pittman (6,002 and 5), Shane Stewart (5,948 and 1).