DODGE CITY, KS – Donny Schatz passed Ian Madsen on Lap 9 in lapped traffic and held off Madsen’s late race surge to win his 20th World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series of 2018, Saturday at Dodge City Raceway Park. Madsen, in his first visit to Dodge City, settled for second with Daryn Pittman completing the podium.
Ian Madsen set a new Dodge City track record in Qualifying, won his Heat and the Sears Craftsman Dash to earn the pole for the 30-lap Feature. Madsen got a strong initial start to lead the opening lap. The Australian, who will be crowned as the 2018 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year at the years end, reached lapped traffic by the fourth circuit on the lightning-fast racing surface.
Madsen cleared the first slower car, but was held up by local Steven Richardson, allowing Schatz to close the gap. Madsen remained behind Richardson as Schatz got a strong run entering turn one to take the lead down the backstretch on the ninth circuit.
Schatz officially led the ninth lap before the caution flew for third-place running Sheldon Haudenschild. Haudenschild, who was also making his Dodge City debut, was able to return at the rear of the field.
The ensuing double-file restart saw Schatz and Madsen race away from the field, establishing themselves as the class of the field. Similar to Madsen early in the race, Schatz’ pace slowed dramatically when he reached lapped traffic. Madsen closed in on the nine-time Series Champion, and took a look underneath for the lead, but couldn’t complete the pass.
A sputtering Adam Gullion brought out the caution with 18 laps complete, giving the leaders a clear track. Two laps later, Jade Hastings blew up, setting up a ten-lap sprint to the finish.
Schatz and Madsen again pulled away from the field, as Kasey Kahne Racing teammates Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet jockeyed for third. Schatz reached traffic and again was forced to slow his pace on the tacky racing surface. Madsen closed in once again but came up .279 short, as Schatz took the Checkered Flag for the 20th time in 2018.
When asked about the difficulties of lapped traffic, Schatz said with a smile, “It’s how I got the lead and it’s how I almost lost it. They didn’t do anything wrong, but it was definitely tough to get by them.”
The win was Schatz and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No.15 team 20th win of the year, marking the sixth consecutive season they’ve reached that total. “It’s a testament to how great this team is, but we’re never satisfied. 20 wins isn’t enough, 40 wins isn’t enough, that’s what makes this team so great,” Schatz said about reaching the 20-win plateau.
“It’s a privilege to be able to drive for this great team against the greatest drivers in the world at the nicest facilities in the country,” Schatz said as a dual-compliment to the World of Outlaws competition and Dodge City Raceway Park.
Ian Madsen was obviously disappointed to not finish the job but remained in good spirits. “It was a great night for this KCP team, I had a lot of family and friends here tonight and our car owner was here as well, so it was great to have a good finish for all of them. I just read lapped traffic wrong, hopefully we can pick up a win here in the last two weeks,” Madsen said.
Daryn Pittman, fresh off his Lakeside victory a night ago, completed the podium and continued his recent hot streak. “We’re really happy where this team is right now, it’s a shame the year is coming to an end,” Pittman said next to his Ionomy-sponsored KKR No.9.
Brad Sweet and 12th-starting Brian Brown completed the top-five. Sam Hafertepe Jr. earned KSE Hard Charger honors, coming from last to 15th.
A chilly evening and good air had Dodge City Raceway Park in unchartered territory as 22 of the 23 cars signed in broke the 13-year-old track record. Ian Madsen’s Quick Time was nearly a half-second quicker than the existing fastest lap. The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series has two weekends left in its 40th Anniversary Season.
Next weekend, the Series heads back to Central Pennsylvania for the Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway. Saturday’s 50-lap Feature will pay $51,000 to the winner. Following that, the Outlaws will conclude the year at the World Finals presented by Can-Am at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As always, if you can’t make it to the track, watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.com!
For full results from Dodge City – October 20, 2018, click here.