Pulling double-duty Schatz, Outlaws hit the track in Grand Forks tonight
FARGO — Donny Schatz can pull double-duty on the racing track, and he can do so with a lot of success. But racing late models and sprints in the same night is not something he makes a habit of doing.
Schatz will drive in both classes tonight when the World of Outlaws race at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks.
The Fargo driver has not raced in those two classes on the same day since August when the Outlaws were in Grand Forks. He won both features.
Schatz puts an emphasis on sprint racing, saying that driving late models is more of a hobby of his. The five-time Outlaws sprint points champion is leading the standings again this season.
“To be able to have a little more fun in the late model, it’s like being on top of the world really,” Schatz said, reflecting on his two-win night in Grand Forks last year. “Do the best in your professional life and do the best in your hobby. It was fun on both sides.”
He has only driven late models in a few races this season. For every race he’s in, he says he puts 150 hours of work in.
But sprints are Schatz’s profession, and so far, he’s off to a strong start. Schatz holds a six-point lead in the sprint standings over second-place Daryn Pittman. At this point, though, he says he considers his season to be average.
“We haven’t had the performances we’ve wanted yet,” he said. “But we haven’t put us in a spot where we’re digging out of a hole like we were a year ago.”
With a lot of time between now and the end of the season in early November, Schatz says he hasn’t paid much attention to the standings.
“We’ve won championships before,” he said. “We know how to win them. It’s all about winning races day in and day out. … Most important part is just keep going in the right direction and focus on the problem areas.”
Schatz has five feature victories this season, with the last two coming in late May in Lawrenceburg, Ind., and Lake Odessa, Mich.
Schatz finished in second place in Jackson, Minn., and 11th place in Knoxville, Iowa, last weekend.
“We’ll see how it goes this week,” he said. “Hopefully it’s like last fall where we can have victories in both classes. But the emphasis is on the sprint cars.”