Inspired Schatz Races to 11th Knoxville National Triumph!

Lonnie Wheatley, KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 13, 2022) – Foreigner’s “It Feels Like the First Time” could very well have been playing in the background.

For once, it would have actually made sense.

After the recent passing of his father, Donny Schatz rekindled his Knoxville magic on Saturday night and raced to his 11th career Knoxville Nationals triumph, this time collecting $175,000 for his efforts.

Schatz started third but fell back several positions in the early going in the 50-lapper leaving doubts about his chances of another win aboard the Tony Stewart Racing Ford Performance/CarQuest No. 15 Sprint Car.

But the car and driver both came to life midway and Schatz rallied back to the front of the pack, sliding past David Gravel with just a handful of laps remaining to take command and then raced on to victory lane.  It was his first Knoxville Nationals triumph since reeling off 10 wins over a 12-year span from 2006 to 2017.

“I didn’t drive like I should at the beginning there.  I was a little bit frustrated, we’ve been working so hard on getting the tires caught up,” an emotional Schatz said in victory lane.  “I could hear him telling me to ‘Gather it up, settle down’.  It worked.  We took a big swing there, we tried something with the motor tonight.  That’s what you’ve got to do to win a race, you just gotta get the driver settled down to do it.”

While Schatz slid back early on, front row outside starter Tyler Courtney dominated the initial half of the race with David Gravel finally making his way past pole starter Austin McCarl prior to the midway point after a previous pair of near passes were erased by caution flags.

Gravel took advantage of a restart after the midway point and battled his way past Courtney to take command.

But Schatz was on the march working the low side as Gravel pounded the cushion.  Working the bottom masterfully, Schatz reeled in  the Connecticut shoe and put another Knoxville win on the resume.

“I didn’t know if we were gonna do it, we fell back to about seventh early,” Schatz explained.  “It was do or die on the bottom, I could get a few guys on the bottom.  And as the race went on it kept getting better and better.”

While Schatz raced to the checkered flag, Gravel settled for runner-up honors.

“I was a little aggressive early,  I wanted to put a couple of those guys behind me,” Gravel explained.  “Man, sometimes it’s better running second.  I just felt so good running up top, in hindsight maybe I should have gone down in one and two but when you’re feeling good you don’t want to change it up.”

Filling out the podium in third was Logan Schuchart, who rallied through the field from 17th after winning the “B” Main and Wednesday night’s qualifying feature.

“We didn’t make any major changes, I didn’t want to make too many changes and screw myself up by going too far,” Schuchart commented.  “I finally moved the wing back the last few laps and could run the bottom wide-open.  So in hindsight maybe I should’ve made the change earlier.  But I just couldn’t be prouder of this team and what we’ve accomplished, both the 1s and the 1a.”

Courtney slid to fourth over the final 25 laps with Jacob Allen rounding out the top five.  After shredding a tire in the early going, Kyle Larson raced back through the field to claim sixth with Brent Marks in seventh.  Sheldon Haudenschild earned Hard Charger honors by racing from 23rd to eighth with Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman completing the top ten.

Buddy Kofoid earned Rookie of the Year laurels with an 11th-place finish after battling amongst the top ten much of the way.

The race got off to a rough start when Parker Price-Miller and J.J. Hickle both went for a hard ride in turn one. Giovanni Scelzi brought about another red flag soon after with a turn-three incident. Price-Miller was transported for observation as everyone else walked away without injury.

61st Annual Knoxville Nationals

Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, Iowa

Saturday, August 13, 2022

E main (started), 10 Laps, NT: 1. 47x, Dylan Westbrook, Scotland, ONT, Can. (2); 2. 1x, Jake Bubak, Arvada, CO (5); 3. 15m, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (1); 4. 97, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (4); 5. 11N, Harli White, Lindsay, OK (6); 6. 19w, Chris Windom, Canton, IL (12); 7. 65, Jordan Goldesberry, Springfield, IL (8); 8. 17c, Carson Short, Marion, IL (9); 9. 9JR, Derek Hagar, Marion, AR (3); 10. 6, Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN (15); 11. 4w, Matt Wasmund, Jackson, MN (7); 12. 7w, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (17); 13. 12, Tyler Drueke, Eagle, NE (10); 14. 2KK, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (14); 15. 97G, Alan Gilbertson, Kasson, MN (16); 16. 11T, TJ Stutts, Liverpool, PA (11); 17. 10, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (13) DNS – 14H, Josh Higday, Des Moines, IA; 53, Jack Dover, Springfield, NE; 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA; 6A, Adam Cruea, Troy OH

D main (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. 52, Blake Hahn, Sapulpa, OK (4); 2. 2m, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (2); 3. 45, Rusty Hickman, Bendigo, VIC, Aust. (9); 4. 101, Lachlan McHugh, Gold Coast, QLD, Aust. (1); 5. 17s, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (3) / 6. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (6); 7. 18R, Ryan Roberts, Aurora, NE (8); 8. 7s, Robbie Price, Cobble Hill, BC, Can. (12); 9. Jake Bubak (18); 10. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (11); 11. Chris Windom (22); 12. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (15); 13. 83T, Tanner Carrick, Lincoln, CA (13); 14. Bobby Mincer (19); 15. 99, Skylar Gee, Leduc, ALB, Can. (16); 16. Jordan Goldesberry (23); 17. Greg Wilson (20); 18. 35K, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (7); 19. Harli White (21); 20. 84, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (5); 21. 16A, Colby Copeland, Roseville, CA (14); 22. Dylan Westbrook (17); 23. 27, Carson McCarl, Altoona, IA (10) DNS – 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD; 11, Roger Crockett, Broken Arrow, OK

C main (started), 15 Laps, 4:24.4: 1. 91, Kyle Reinhardt, Neptune City, NJ (1); 2. 71, Cory Eliason, Visalia, CA (6); 3. 55, Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO (9); 4. 55T, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (2) / 5. 1AU, Marcus Dumesny, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (7); 6. 1, Logan Wagner, Harrisonville, PA (4); 7. 17w, Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA (14); 8. 42, Sye Lynch, Apollo, PA (3); 9. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (11); 10. 6B, Brandon Wimmer, Fairmount, IN (8); 11. 22, Riley Goodno, Knoxivlle, IA (12); 12. 49x, Cale Thomas, Fairland, IN (5); 13. 13JT, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (18); 14. Rusty Hickman (22); 15. Blake Hahn (20); 16. Davey Heskin (21); 17. 17B, Bill Balog, Hartland, WI (15); 18. Lachlan McHugh (23); 19. 1m, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (16); 20. 55W, Mike Wagner, Harrisonville, PA (19); 21. 73, Scotty Thiel, Sheboygan, WI (13); 22. Sammy Swindell (24); 23. 3, Ayrton Gennetten, Gravois Mills, MO (10); 24. 20G, Noah Gass, Mounds, OK (17) DNS – 09, Matt Juhl, Tea, SD

B main (started), 22 Laps, NT: 1. 1s, Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA (2); 2. 18, Gio Scelzi, Fresno, CA (1); 3. 13, Justin Peck, Monrovia, IN (6); 4. 83, James McFadden, Alice Springs, NT, Aust. (5) / 5. 2K, Lynton Jeffrey, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (3); 6. 3TK, Tim Kaeding, Campbell, CA (10); 7. 14J, Cole Macedo, Lemoore, CA (7); 8. 26, Zeb Wise, Angola, IN (4); 9. 9, Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA (9); 10. 21H, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (15); 11. 39M, Anthony Macri, Dillsburg, PA (11); 12. 3z, Brock Zearfoss, Jonestown, PA (20); 13. 7, Justin Henderson, Tea, SD (14); 14. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (19); 15. Cory Eliason (22); 16. 2KS, Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (8); 17. 16, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (17); 18. Hunter Schuerenberg (23); 19. 5, Spencer Bayston, Lebanon, IN (12); 20. Kyle Reinhardt (21); 21. McKenna Haase (24); 22. 5c, Dylan Cisney, Port Royal, PA (16); 23. 14, Corey Day, Clovis, CA (13); 24. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (18)

A main (started), 50 Laps, NT: 1. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND (3); 2. 2, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (4); 3. Logan Schuchart (17); 4. 7BC, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (2); 5. 1a, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (11); 6. 57, Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA (6); 7. 19, Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA (7); 8. 17, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (23); 9. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (9); 10. 27H, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (8); 11. 11x, Buddy Kofoid, Penngrove, CA (14); 12. Justin Peck (19) 13. 24R, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA (21); 14. 8, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (16); 15. 83JR, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (22); 16. 88, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (1); 17. 41, Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA (5); 18. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (15); 19. James McFadden (20); 20. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (24); 21. 39, Justin Sanders, Aromas, CA (13); 22. Gio Scelzi (18); 23. 25, JJ Hickle, Quilcene, WA (10); 24. 11M, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (12. Lap Leaders: A. McCarl 1, Courtney 2-26, Gravel 27-45, Schatz 46-50. MPI Hard-charger: Haudenschild.

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