Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Tony Stewart Racing impresses Schatz: Fargo driver says he'd consider NASCAR if Stewart wanted him to

Donny Schatz has always loved racing sprint cars. That hasn't changed, but he also wouldn't be opposed to giving something else a try. The three-time defending series champ will be with the World of Outlaws on Friday in Grand Forks, N.D., and on ...

Fargo driver Donny Schatz
Fargo driver Donny Schatz, right, now works with one of auto racing's most recognizable drivers in NASCAR's Tony Stewart, left. Special to The Forum

Donny Schatz has always loved racing sprint cars. That hasn't changed, but he also wouldn't be opposed to giving something else a try.

The three-time defending series champ will be with the World of Outlaws on Friday in Grand Forks, N.D., and on Saturday in West Fargo.

"If Tony (Stewart) came to me and said he was building a third or fourth Cup car, I'm not saying I wouldn't do it," Schatz said. "You see how successful he is as a car owner, so it's something I'd probably jump at."

Schatz is in his second year driving with Tony Stewart Racing, and hooking up with one of the most recognizable names in NASCAR didn't slow down his success.

Schatz easily raced to his third straight points title last year, and he leads the points race again going into this weekend.

ADVERTISEMENT

Switching away from sprint cars was never an option in the past, but Schatz said he would certainly entertain the idea - if it came up.

"In the past, I was never one to say I was going to do anything different," Schatz said. "But you don't know if an opportunity comes up. ... As a driver, of course there are times you'd like to give something like NASCAR a try.

"I love driving a sprint car. I like just being able to get in and just go and not spend 20 hours of preparation or anything like that. I like the series, and I like the camaraderie."

Schatz isn't the only driver under the TSR umbrella that is having success.

Stewart is in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup season running his own team, and he currently leads the series point standings entering Sunday's race in Sonoma, Calif.

Schatz and Kraig Kinser are both in the top 10 of the Outlaws standings this season.

"Donny has been such an awesome addition to the program, because anytime you have a multi-car team that has to compete against each other, there are not a lot of guys that get it," Stewart said. "Obviously here at the (NASCAR) Sprint Cup level, we understand the value of that.

"Donny from Day 1 has been the ultimate team player and has been really good about helping everyone, even if it doesn't benefit him."

ADVERTISEMENT

Schatz has put in the work to get to the top of the mountain in the Outlaws series, and he's been up there for awhile. Was it harder for him to get there? Or to stay there?

"I think it's harder to get to this point," Schatz said. "It might look like the same equation on the outside, but it was hard work.

"About the three I've won, those can never be taken away. A fourth one? Who knows? Nothing is promised to you and you never know what could happen next."

This year's title is shaping up to be a bit closer. Last year, Schatz blew everybody's doors off on the way to his third straight championship, finishing first or second in half the races.

This year, he leads Joey Saldana by just 50 points, and three drivers are within 90 points of Schatz's lead.

"Everybody up there has had good nights and bad nights. It's not like anybody is running away with it," Schatz said. "Last year, we won it with all the wins and all those seconds, too. But no one is in that boat right now."

Now he gets to come home to North Dakota for three shows. The Outlaws will race at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday, West Fargo's Red River Valley Speedway on Saturday and Nodak Speedway in Minot on Sunday.

"This is always a fun week, and running in three different places in North Dakota in three nights is big. It gets tough when you're trying to spend a minute with everybody, but it's always fun being back.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Nothing would be better than coming out of here with three victories. But it's going to be tough for anybody to do that."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.

Collins' blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com

What To Read Next
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack explains the differences between Alzheimer's, dementia and other common forms of dementia.
While the United States government gave help to businesses and people, a lack of assistance has left some Chinese citizens angry and destitute.
Having these procedures available closer to home will make a big difference for many in the region.