Despite 500 Sprint Car Wins, Schatz Is Focused Forward


Donny Schatz celebrates his World of Outlaws win Monday night at Volusia Speedway Park. (Trent Gower photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – For years, Donny Schatz’s name has been interwoven with the fabric of the sprint car record books, and he added another historic page Monday night at Volusia Speedway Park.

The Fargo, N.D., native secured his 500th overall sprint car feature victory, and 312th win with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, with a veteran drive at the half-mile Florida dirt track.

Schatz took control of the race from polesitter and race-long leader Buddy Kofoid on lap 14, when Kofoid shredded a left-rear tire and backed his Roth Motorsports No. 83 into the outside wall in turn one.

From there, the 10-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion led the final 12 laps en route to a 1.292-second margin of victory over runner-up Sheldon Haudenschild.

Schatz’s list of sprint car wins through the years includes 11 Knoxville Nationals victories, six Kings Royal triumphs at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, three Brad Doty Classic wins at at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park, and six National Open victories at historic Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

He also added his 24th overall sprint car win at Volusia to that resume Monday night. It was Schatz’s 15th World of Outlaws-sanctioned victory at the half-mile dirt oval that annually opens the season for the country’s premier winged sprint car series.

But amid all of those career accolades, Monday’s $12,000 victory was just another trophy for Schatz.

He prefers not to look at the numbers as he’s in the midst of his career but feels that, one day, he will reflect on them with pride.

“I really don’t want to think about it,” Schatz said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot of years left in me. I’ve got a lot of good racing left in me because I still love to race. That’s the important part.

“Numbers are numbers. That’s the stuff that I’m probably going to roll over to Steve Kinser’s bus someday when we’re sitting here at Volusia watching our kids or our kids’ kids and we’ll have talks about it,” Schatz continued. “But for now, it’s just a number you don’t even want to think about. I’ve been very fortunate to race with a lot of great people and have great partners behind us.”

Schatz’s first chance to add win No. 501 to his list of successes will come with the World of Outlaws when The Greatest Show on Dirt debuts at Kennedale (Texas) Speedway Park on March 8-9.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.