Sun Shines on Schatz in Day Feature

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Feb. 19, 2012 — After a week of frustration, Donny Schatz finally caught a break.

Schatz

The four-time World of Outlaws champion capitalized en route to winning Friday’s rain-delayed event, which began early Sunday afternoon at Volusia Speedway Park. Windy conditions and sunny skies presented unique challenges to teams more accustomed to racing under the lights.

Schatz struggled during the first two nights of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment as the veteran failed to advance to the feature both nights. That all changed on Sunday when he won a heat race, the dash and main event.

Schatz’s first break came in qualifying when he timed in 16th quickest. It provided him the final position in the invert for the heat races, which placed him on the pole of the fourth-and-final heat. Schatz led all eight laps to advance to the dash, where he caught another break.

“They drew the right number, but we had to have a good car, too,” Schatz said.

Schatz rolling

The random draw was an eight to invert the top eight for the dash. It put Schatz on the pole and he led all six laps on the tricky track to claim the dash victory. That gave Schatz the pole position for the feature, which was trimmed to 20 laps.

“The conditions were about as bad as you could get with the wind, sun and heat,” he said. “You just have to be smart. Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast.”

Sammy Swindell challenged Schatz for the lead on the start and closed to his rear bumper in lapped traffic on lap 16. However, Schatz never bobbled and maneuvered through traffic perfectly to regain a several car length advantage. Because of track conditions, the restarts were single file and a caution with two laps remaining provided Swindell with one last chance at Schatz.

“You never really know how hard to run,” Swindell said after finishing second. “It was hard for anybody to pass. You had to make a big mistake for somebody to pass you.”

Several cars sustained tire issues in the closing laps, including fourth-running Jason Meyers with two laps to go.

“We just started getting cords,” said Jason Sides, who finished third. “I’d say we maybe had another two or three laps.”

Joey Saldana finished fourth and Craig Dollansky, who started 15th, was fifth. Fred Rahmer, Brad Sweet, 21st-starting Kraig Kinser, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and 18th-starting Dale Blaney rounded out the top 10, respectively. Kinser earned the Hard Charger Award.

Meyers was the fast qualifier with a top lap of 14.634 and Kerry Madsen, Cap Henry, Saldana and Schatz claimed victories in the heat races. Jac Haudenschild won the Last Chance Showdown.

The drivers have a short break before Sunday’s regularly scheduled race.

Tickets for the rest of the 41st annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit can be ordered online by clicking WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets, by calling 877-395-8606 or purchased at the track.

Volusia Speedway Park Notebook

WINNERS – Donny Schatz – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Danny Lasoski – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 18).

TIME TRIALS – Jason Meyers was the fastest qualifier around the half-mile oval with a time of 14.634 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Fred Rahmer (4 points), Cody Darrah (3), Jason Sides (2) and Danny Lasoski (1).

WE’RE ONLINE – Make sure to check out WorldofOutlaws.com for the latest news and results, plus exclusive driver interviews, video and pictures. Also listen to every event live at DIRTVision.com.

UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment Statistical Report; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.; Feb. 19, 2012 (rain delayed from Feb. 17)

A-Main – (20 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [1] [$10,000]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell [2] [$5,500]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [4] [$3,200]; 4. 9-Joey Saldana [3] [$2,800]; 5. 7-Craig Dollansky [15] [$2,500]; 6. 51-Fred Rahmer [6] [$2,300]; 7. 49-Brad Sweet [8] [$2,200]; 8. 11K-Kraig Kinser [21] [$2,100]; 9. 1Z-Sam Hafertepe Jr [14] [$2,050]; 10. 2-Dale Blaney [18] [$2,000]; 11. 77-Aaron Ott [17] [$1,500]; 12. 89G-David Gravel [7] [$1,200]; 13. 4S-Danny Smith [23] [$1,100]; 14. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [26] [$250]; 15. 54-Cap Henry [9] [$1,000]; 16. 4-Cody Darrah [11] [$900]; 17. 11-Steve Kinser [25] [$]; 18. 14-Jason Meyers [10] [$800]; 19. 63-Chad Kemenah [24] [$800]; 20. 29-Kerry Madsen [5] [$800]; 21. 20E-Brian Ellenberger [22] [$800]; 22. 6-Bill Rose [27] [$]; 23. 71M-Paul May [16] [$800]; 24. 5-Jac Haudenschild [13] [$800]; 25. 2X-Dustin Morgan [19] [$800]; 26. 27-Daryn Pittman [20] [$800]; 27. 33-Danny Lasoski [12] [$800]. Lap Leader: Donny Schatz 1-20. Hard Charger Award: 11K-Kraig Kinser [+13].

Qualifying – 1. 14-Jason Meyers, 14.634; 2. 51-Fred Rahmer, 14.913; 3. 4-Cody Darrah, 14.968; 4. 7S-Jason Sides, 15.060; 5. 33-Danny Lasoski, 15.106; 6. 5-Jac Haudenschild, 15.156; 7. 1Z-Sam Hafertepe Jr, 15.205; 8. 7-Craig Dollansky, 15.223; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen, 15.321; 10. 71M-Paul May, 15.338; 11. 49-Brad Sweet, 15.396; 12. 77-Aaron Ott, 15.451; 13. 2-Dale Blaney, 15.499; 14. 54-Cap Henry, 15.524; 15. 9-Joey Saldana, 15.559; 16. 15-Donny Schatz, 15.568; 17. 1-Sammy Swindell, 15.629; 18. 2X-Dustin Morgan, 15.636; 19. 27-Daryn Pittman, 15.700; 20. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.715; 21. 20E-Brian Ellenberger, 15.783; 22. 89G-David Gravel, 15.845; 23. 4S-Danny Smith, 15.894; 24. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 15.914; 25. 11-Steve Kinser, 15.914; 26. 63-Chad Kemenah, 15.929; 27. 39-Greg Hodnett, 15.990; 28. 24-Terry McCarl, 16.079; 29. 45-Paul McMahan, 16.183; 30. 6-Bill Rose, 16.209; 31. O-Glen Styres, 16.647; 32. 28-Brian Paulus, No Time.

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 29-Kerry Madsen [2]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell [5]; 3. 2-Dale Blaney [1]; 4. 14-Jason Meyers [4]; 5. 33-Danny Lasoski [3]; 6. 11-Steve Kinser [7]; 7. 20E-Brian Ellenberger [6]; 8. 45-Paul McMahan [8].

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 54-Cap Henry [1]; 2. 89G-David Gravel [6]; 3. 71M-Paul May [2]; 4. 2X-Dustin Morgan [5]; 5. 51-Fred Rahmer [4]; 6. 63-Chad Kemenah [7]; 7. 6-Bill Rose [8]; 8. 5-Jac Haudenschild [3].

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 9-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 3. 1Z-Sam Hafertepe Jr [3]; 4. 4-Cody Darrah [4]; 5. 27-Daryn Pittman [5]; 6. 39-Greg Hodnett [7]; 7. 4S-Danny Smith [6]; 8. O-Glen Styres [8].

Heat 4 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 2. 7S-Jason Sides [4]; 3. 77-Aaron Ott [2]; 4. 7-Craig Dollansky [3]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [5]; 6. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [6]; 7. 24-Terry McCarl [7]; 8. 28-Brian Paulus [8].

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell [9]; 3. 9-Joey Saldana [2]; 4. 7S-Jason Sides [6]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen [5]; 6. 51-Fred Rahmer [7]; 7. 89G-David Gravel [10]; 8. 49-Brad Sweet [4]; 9. 54-Cap Henry [3]; 10. 14-Jason Meyers [8].

B-Main – (10 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 5-Jac Haudenschild [1] [-]; 2. 20E-Brian Ellenberger [2] [-]; 3. 4S-Danny Smith [3] [-]; 4. 63-Chad Kemenah [6] [-]; 5. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [4] [$200]; 6. 39-Greg Hodnett [7] [$180]; 7. 45-Paul McMahan [9] [$175]; 8. 11-Steve Kinser [5] [$160]; 9. 6-Bill Rose [10] [$150]; 10. 28-Brian Paulus [12] [$150]; 11. O-Glen Styres [11] [$150]; 12. 24-Terry McCarl [8] [$150].

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