World of Outlaws
Dirt track racing has a following of 30 million loyal fans across most of the United States, and it sells 52 million tickets each year, which amounts to more tickets sold than NASCAR, NBA, NFL, and NHL combined. World of Outlaws, with more than 140 annual event nights, more than 1.2 million live fans, and two national touring series to choose from, is the pinnacle of dirt track racing. The first of these touring series is the Sprint Car Series, where drivers race machines with the classic winged frame. The second is the Late Model Series, which uses cars with a sleeker, more traditional racing frame.
Most NASCAR drivers have started their careers tangling with the dirt track, and some, like Tony Stewart, were not only champions on dirt once, but also have returned later as car owners. Stewart owns the car that championship driver Donny Schatz races in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
Established in 1978, the Sprint Car Series now has 95 event nights and more than 700,000 live fans. The 850-horsepower Sprint Car machines are taken to speeds of over 140 miles per hour on dirt tracks as short as a quarter mile, which gives a pretty darn good picture of the intensity fans love so much.
About Donny Schatz
Like many other drivers, Donny Schatz started his racing career as a teenager by competing in go-carts. He shifted to sprint cars in 1993 and three years later won the National WISSOTA Sprint Car Championship title. In 1997, Donny roped in the coveted World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year award, and his rise to the top of World of Outlaws officially began.
1998 saw Donny win his first World of Outlaws feature event at Cottage Grove (Ore.) Speedway. He followed this victory with a win at the Western World Open Championship at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix in 1999. Donny continued to improve his record with 10 World of Outlaws A-main events in 2001 and 12 A-main events in 2003. He won 10 events in 2005, including the Nationals Open at Williams Grove Speedway, and drove his way to 2006′s National 410 Sprint Car Driver of the Year. 2006 was a banner year for Donny, earning him his first World of Outlaws Championship with 19 wins in Sprint Series A-main events.
He carried this success into 2007, again winning 19 A-main events, including the prestigious King’s Royal event at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, as well as his second World of Outlaws Championship. He was named the 2007 Australian 410 Sprint Car Driver of the Year. With 70 World of Outlaws career wins, Donny is tied for 6th place on the all-time series victory list.
If 2007 seemed like a good year for Schatz, it only got better in 2008. Donny went on to become only the second driver to win sprint car’s biggest race, the Knoxville nationals, three years in a row. Additionally, he was crowned the WoO Sprint Series Champion in 2008, his 3rd straight championship.