Makin Tracks – Schatz Honestly Shines in Daylight – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Honesty in Victory Lane interviews always makes things much more interesting.

After the day time World of Outlaws feature Donny Schatz talked about his horrible finish on Friday night.

He said, “The driver just showed up today with an attitude. I guess you could say he made all the mistakes in one night (Friday). I enjoy afternoon shows as the track is tricky, but the guys did a great job and got us a surface that didn’t take rubber. We did make some tire changes today and went with a harder tire. I think it hurt us early in the race, but they don’t pay for the first lap they pay for the last.”

Jason Johnson, who won the WoO opener, is now first and second in A-Mains. He said, “This is a great team effort, but it is okay if you can keep the 15 (Schatz) in sight. I couldn’t get going as good on restarts.”




Chad Kemenah, a former WoO chaser and current All Star champion, has been a model of consistency in the Florida swing. He led early, but eventually settled for yet another podium finish.

Chad said, “I’m having fun racing now and I really have to thank owner Rob Hunter. We have one more tonight to try to stay up front, but I really enjoy racing with these guys.”

The Adventure Before the Rain

Brian Brown brought down the fast time of the night on Saturday with a lap of 12.935 around the .425 mile track.

Time trials wrapped up then 30 plus UMP Mods hit the track for their group qualifying and the night was set….or was it?

At 7:14 p.m. the sprinkles started and rain got heavier, lasting well over an hour.

It took a while of self trying then heavy packing to get the track back. It appeared just about ready when Johnny Gibson announced for the Sprints to put heat in their engines. Well, every car had been long loaded and crews were just waiting to leave the track.

Mercifully, the night finally came to an end around 10:14 p.m when heavy rains his the grounds for a second time.

Though some folks might complain that the wait was long, but promoters have to pay expenses and by going to Sunday afternoon the payroll just increased substantially as everyone came to work several hours earlier this morning and were really on hand to close to when the regular show would have ended on Saturday.

There were indications from some drivers that lap times might drop as low as 12.2 or 12.3. This track was going to be fast and probably would have set up a speed event and resulted in a race with limited passing.

On to Sunday

Day racing isn’t exactly anything I look forward to on dirt tracks.

Time trials got underway and the fast timer from the night, Brian Brown,  hit the track under the bright Florida sun and put his foot into it off turn two only to have the engine seize up and get pushed to the pits. Early on it was a 13.453 by David Gravel and it would not get much quicker under as in the end he was the fast timer of the afternoon.

Pit Stops – Saturday

Paul McMahan had a tough time getting his car started and finally was able to fire it up at the end of time trials for one lap…

Packer truck started night with a flat tire….

Pit Stocks – Sunday

Prelim action for the Outlaws provided some interesting activity…

In heat two Lucas Wolfe and Aaron Reutzel fought lap after lap for fifth place. However, at the end of the race Reutzel fell off the pace in the final laps and finished eighth…

In heat three Rico Abreu and Kerry Madsen started alongside one another. Early on Madsen had to brake check for Rico and lost two positions. In a race long effort Madsen finally got past Rico on the final turn of the final lap…

Brian Brown scratched from heat action and probably for the afternoon….

Dash wasn’t good for two drivers. Gravel jumped the cushion in two and brushed the wall. The tow truck necessary.  Danny Dietrich slowed dramatically on the final lap…

In the B-Main, Shane Stewart came from eight to fourth to qualify.  DNQ’s were Mark Dobmeier, Kraig Kinser, Greg Wilson, Tim Shaffer, Justin Henderson, Tasker Phillips, Ben Schmidt, Jacob Wilson and Clyde Knipp while Parker Price-Miller was a DNS for the B…

Engine change necessitated in the 14 of Christopher Bell after the dash…

Nick Hoffman defeated David Stremme to win his UMP heat. Hoffman is a force to be reckoned with. Some new names won the next two heats with Larry Burkins and Johnny Broking while Robbie Eilers won the fourth…

Kyle Strickler, formerly out of Pennsylvania, usually excels here, but has struggled. He is behind the wheel of the Longhorn Chassis house car which is a change from previous seasons…

Ron Hornaday’s 14 year old grandson qualified for the main via heat action as Slater McCray finished fifth…

There was No UMP B as everyone was put into the main-event.

Daytime features are usually not classics and this went pretty much as expected….

In the Sprint main, Chad Kemenah passed pole sitter Schatz early, but around the 14th lap the leader had to check up for Jacob Allen and Schatz went past off the second turn. It was all she wrote….

Schatz picked up his 16th win at Volusia and 230th overall in his Outlaw career…

Nick Hoffman captured his third gator of the week as he simply dominated the 20 lapper eventually winning by six tenths of a second…

Moving on to the Gator Nationals championship main event set for Monday were Hoffman, Taylor Cook, Robbie Eileres, Roy Bollinger, Larry Burkins, Tyler Nicely, Johnny Brooking, David Stremme, Chase Collins and Kyle Bronson….

Hoffman indicated he was having a good day as he picked up $200 in the NASCAR pool for Joey Lagano’s win at the Big Track….

The show was over by 4:17 p.m…

Mod haulers have started arriving on the grounds and followed Brett Hearn to the track early this afternoon….

Announcer Johnny Gibson asked everyone to keep in mind a nine-year old California Outlaw Kart driver who got his arm caught in the chain and had it severed last night….

The grounds emptied by 4:40 p.m. and it is time to get ready for the final night of the Sprint portion of the DIRTCar Nationals

Hope you are enjoying DTD coverage of Volusia DIRTCar Nationals and don’t forget to go to our photo galleries as GT Smith, George Smith and Brent Smith have been shooting the Sprints and there will be some spectacular daytime shots posted in the gallery.

Keep information flowing my way as the 2017 season is arriving quickly. Send info to foley395@hotmail.com