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Donny Schatz Hoists the First Gator Trophy for Sprint Car

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Donny Schatz Hoists the First Gator Trophy for Sprint Car

 

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - February 16, 2017 - What started out as a race between reigning series champions quickly became a race between two teammates Wednesday night, as Donny Schatz fended-off a late charge from Kyle Larson to win by a .113-second margin. Schatz, who has won three of the last four Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions races in 2017, paraded down victory lane of the 46th Annual DIRTcar Nationals in front of an electrified crowd.

 

"This should be a tribute to this race team," said Schatz. "It's not something that's built over night. You work hard, and these guys work their tails off. They are a great group of guys who do an incredible job."

Schatz shared the front row with Chad Kemenah when he led 25 cars into the 30-lap feature courtesy of winning his heat race and dash earlier in the night. He never looked back after making a pass to reclaim the lead before the halfway-point. Larson, who was a last-minute replacement for the Tony Stewart Racing team, had no previous experience on the fast-action half-mile.

 

There was another barn-burner earlier in the race between Jason Johnson and Joey Saldana. The two jockeyed for a podium spot; all but one spot in the top-five was owned by a series regular. Even with a horrific flip by Saldana in turn two, there were three series regulars who finished in the top-five. Both Johnson and Saldana were cleared.

 

Volusia Speedway Park Notebook

 

A-Main 1 - (30 Laps) -
1. 15-Donny Schatz [1] ; 2. 14-Kyle Larson [15] ; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah [2] ; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman [7] ; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [4] ; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser [22] ; 7. 1Z-Dale Blaney [13] ; 8. 2-Shane Stewart [11] ; 9. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [5] ; 10. 4-Paul McMahan [17] ; 11. 5-David Gravel [14] ; 12. 2M-Kerry Madsen [12] ; 13. 17-Caleb Helms [3] ; 14. 27-Greg Hodnett [9] ; 15. 18-Ian Madsen [24] ; 16. 24-Rico Abreu [21] ; 17. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier [16] ; 18. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [25] ; 19. 8M-TJ Michael [19] ; 20. 19-Brent Marks [18] ; 21. 17s-Joey Saldana [6] ; 22. 41-Jason Johnson [10] ; 23. 21-Brian Brown [8] ; 24. 87-Aaron Reutzel [20] ; 25. 59H-Justin Henderson [23]

 

Qualifying -
1.21-Brian Brown, 13.221; 2.41-Jason Johnson, 13.295; 3.9-Daryn Pittman, 13.301; 4.5-David Gravel, 13.338; 5.49-Brad Sweet, 13.341; 6.17s-Joey Saldana, 13.370; 7.10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.385; 8.2-Shane Stewart, 13.440; 9.2M-Kerry Madsen, 13.442; 10.5W-Lucas Wolfe, 13.472; 11.1Z-Dale Blaney, 13.524; 12.27-Greg Hodnett, 13.529; 13.59H-Justin Henderson, 13.539; 14.14-Kyle Larson, 13.550; 15.15-Donny Schatz, 13.573; 16.11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.593; 17.17-Caleb Helms, 13.613; 18.24-Rico Abreu, 13.614; 19.93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.629; 20.19-Brent Marks, 13.640; 21.59-Ryan Smith, 13.683; 22.8M-TJ Michael, 13.698; 23.13JT-Mark Dobmeier, 13.699; 24.18-Ian Madsen, 13.753; 25.4-Paul McMahan, 13.763; 26.13D-Danny Dietrich, 13.985; 27.O7-Jacob Wilson, 14.092; 28.87-Aaron Reutzel, 14.101; 29.7C-Caleb Armstrong, 14.179; 30.13-Brandon Matus, 14.274; 31.17B-Steve Buckwalter, 14.327; 32.7W-Tasker Phillips, 14.362; 33.51-John Garvin, 14.402; 34.33-Brent Matus, 14.996

 

Heat 1, Group A - (8 Laps) - 1. 15-Donny Schatz [2] ; 2. 17-Caleb Helms [1] ; 3. 1Z-Dale Blaney [3] ; 4. 5-David Gravel[4] ; 5. 19-Brent Marks [7] ; 6. 24-Rico Abreu [5] ; 7. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild [6] ; 8. 13-Brandon Matus [8] ; 9. 7W-Tasker Phillips [9]

 

Heat 2, Group B - (8 Laps) - 1. 10H-Chad Kemenah [2] ; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [3] ; 3. 41-Jason Johnson [4] ; 4. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier[5] ; 5. 8M-TJ Michael[1] ; 6. 13D-Danny Dietrich [6] ; 7. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [7] ; 8. 51-John Garvin [8] ; 9. 33-Brent Matus [9]

 

Heat 3, Group C - (8 Laps) - 1. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [2] ; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [4] ; 3. 2-Shane Stewart [3] ; 4. 4-Paul McMahan [6] ; 5. 87-Aaron Reutzel [8] ; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [5] ; 7. 17B-Steve Buckwalter [9] ; 8. O7-Jacob Wilson [7] ; 9. 59-Ryan Smith [1]

 

Heat 4, Group D - (8 Laps) - 1. 27-Greg Hodnett[1] ; 2. 17s-Joey Saldana[3] ; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen[2] ; 4. 14-Kyle Larson[6] ; 5. 21-Brian Brown [4] ; 6. 59H-Justin Henderson [5] ; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser [7]

 

Dash 1 - (4 Laps) - 1. 15-Donny Schatz [1] ; 2. 17-Caleb Helms [2] ; 3. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [5] ; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman [4] ; 5. 27-Greg Hodnett [3]

 

Dash 2 - (4 Laps) - 1. 10H-Chad Kemenah [1] ; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [2] ; 3. 17s-Joey Saldana [5] ; 4. 21-Brian Brown [4] ; 5. 41-Jason Johnson [3]

 

B-Main 1 - (12 Laps) - 1. 24-Rico Abreu [3] ; 2. 11K-Kraig Kinser [2] ; 3. 59H-Justin Henderson [1] ; 4. 18-Ian Madsen[5] ; 5. 13D-Danny Dietrich[6] ; 6. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild [4] ; 7. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [8] ; 8. 7W-Tasker Phillips [11] ; 9. O7-Jacob Wilson [7] ; 10. 33-Brent Matus [13] ; 11. 17B-Steve Buckwalter [10] ; 12. 13-Brandon Matus [9] ; 13. 51-John Garvin [12] ; 14. 59-Ryan Smith [14]

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Looks like it was a good race, but Saldana's crash was downright scary. About 1:45 in:

 

Edited by PAPosse

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