Kerry Collins, Published February 06 2009
Fargo driver Donny Schatz goes for fourth consecutive World of Outlaws points championship
The Fargo driver has won three straight World of Outlaws Sprint car points championships, and his chase for a fourth begins tonight.
“It never gets old. It gets tougher, but it never gets old,” Schatz said. “But four in a row is not something that’s going to happen just because you won three.
“We have to keep working to put us in position to win four.”
The World of Outlaws season starts up today at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. The series will run three shows at the Florida track tonight through Sunday.
Schatz’s run to the third title was as dominating as ever. He won 18 races. No one else won more than eight.
Schatz also finished first or second 33 times in 2008. That’s not a bad ratio considering the series ran 66 shows.
“You look at that, and that’s what probably won us the championship,” Schatz said. “We’re not out there gunning to get into the top five. The whole thing is winning races.
“You can’t finish fifth and expect to win a championship. We want to be the guy in first every night.”
Last year was Schatz’s first season under the umbrella of Tony Stewart Racing, and he didn’t disappoint.
Because of the affiliation to one of the most recognizable names in NASCAR, Schatz said the pressure was on to perform.
“Last year was more of a challenge because that team was built from the ground up,” Schatz said. “But when a team signs you after you’ve won one or two championships in a row, the expectation is there to do it again.”
Schatz hasn’t taken much of a break since capping the third title in Concord, N.C., on Nov. 1. He’s made an appearance with TSR in Las Vegas, and won a few races in a series in Australia.
He’s also been working with his team to get ready for this season, and he won the DIRTcar Nationals on Tuesday at Volusia to set the tone going into tonight’s season opener.
“I got a couple weeks off in there, and that’s enough for me,” Schatz said. “When you’re racing, you want some time off, and when you’re off, you want to be racing.
“This is fun. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t be out there, and we’re looking forward to trying to get another one.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548. Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com