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Donny Schatz wins his eighth Knoxville Nationals title


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Donny Schatz Wins His Eighth Knoxville Nationals Title - Schatz again holds off Brian Brown to score victory during sprint car racing’s richest week


KNOXVILLE, Iowa - Aug. 9, 2014 - After rain delays, qualifiers, many days of work and months of preparation, Saturday's FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores came down to just a few laps with two familiar competitors fighting a pitched battle.


And when the checkered flag flew, for the third time in three years, two-time Knoxville Raceway track champion Brian Brown found himself second to five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz.


With ten to go, Brown, who was running second in his FVP/Casey's General Stores car after starting fourth in the feature, closed the gap on Schatz, who had led most of the A main.


"I just didn't know how I was going to beat him," Brown said. "I pulled my wing back a little bit - I kind of laid left on my left rear. I got myself a little more plugged in there. It was like we just took back off.


"I don't know if the bottom slowed down or if I got better but we were able to catch (Schatz) there with (7 to go). I knew myself I probably should be going that quick to pass him because I knew if I showed him he was going to get his elbows up. I felt like if I were to get caught up on the cushion I wasn't going to get the opportunity so I had to go. I got by him - went to the bottom, protected the bottom…"


The crowd at Knoxville erupted for Brown as he crossed the start-finish line to lead a lap.


Schatz said he was surprised how well Brown was able to get around on the top of one and two.


"I tried early when we got to lapped traffic and I couldn't make it work," Schatz said. "That's the way it works - it's all about making the right decisions."


The next lap, Schatz looked inside and was able to clear Brown to retake the lead. Brown battled with Schatz during the remaining laps and despite at least one promising look for the lead, he was never able to get back around.


With his victory, Schatz scored his eighth Knoxville Nationals win in nine years. Just as impressive, the Fargo, N.D. native has finished first or second in 12 of his last 14 Knoxville Nationals outings.


"It's unbelievable - it feels so unreal, like it's not happening," Schatz said. "I haven't gotten a chance to get with the (STP) team and celebrate, but I definitely want to enjoy this. We raced good and hard with Brian. I had an awesome car all week long. Not very often that you get a car that good but these guys have worked awful hard to get us in this position and they put it on my shoulders when we went."


The win, which included a $150,000 payday for Schatz and his STP/Armor All team, was all the sweeter for the driver who is celebrating a birthday on Sunday.


Brown said at the end of the day, Schatz had the better car when it counted. He said he had mixed emotions about his second place finish but that he was ready to come back to Knoxville to take on the track once again.


"I think the big thing is I just want to congratulate Donny Schatz - eight out of nine and being able to do such a feat like that is pretty special. We're watching history. Somebody's going to beat him sooner or later and I hope it's me."


Third place finisher Kerry Madsen said that he was hoping he could make up ground on Brown and Schatz with his American Racing Custom Wheels car as the two battled for the lead. Ultimately though he said he just wasn't quite good enough.


Madsen, who led the Knoxville points coming into Friday's qualifier, said he is thrilled with his run, even if he did not win and with the performance of his team right now.


"It's mind boggling," Madsen said. "The last two months have just been - you couldn't dream about it.


"I'm actually double edged because I'm slightly disappointed not to win - we weren't quick enough to win but on the other hand I'm so proud for our organization our team, our sponsors, our owners that we got a podium in the Knoxville Nationals. It's been just fantastic. I'm so excited because with our crew chief Tyler Swank, we've only been together eight months…. But the future is bright."


The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series returns to action Tuesday, Aug. 12 as the Outlaws begin a three race stretch through the Upper Midwest, beginning with Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. After that, the Outlaws continue on to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. on Aug. 15 followed by Nodak Speedway in Minot, N.D. on Aug. 17.


KNOXVILLE RACEWAY NOTES: Donny Schatz won his eighth Knoxville Nationals in five seasons… Donny Schatz has finished first or second in 12 of his last 14 Knoxville Nationals outings… Brooke Tatnell won the B main, Dale Blaney won the C main, Brad Loyet won the D main and Jimmy Light won the E main… This is the third year in a row Donny Schatz has finished first to Brian Brown's second at the Knoxville Nationals.


SEASON WINNERS: Donny Schatz - 13 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 15, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 6, Devil's Bowl Speedway on April 19, Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 27, I-96 Speedway on May 31, River Cities Speedway on June 20, 34 Raceway on June 27, Cedar Lake Speedway on June 29, Lernerville Speedway on July 15, Autodrome Drummond on July 26, Cornwall Motor Speedway on July 27, Ohsweken Speedway on July 29 and Knoxville Raceway on Aug. 9); Daryn Pittman - 11 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 14, Calistoga Speedway on April 6, Devil's Bowl Speedway on April 19, Williams Grove Speedway on May 16 and May 17, Orange County Fair Speedway, May 18, New Egypt Speedway, May 20, Dodge City Raceway Park on July 4 and 5, Lincoln Speedway on July 17 and Fulton Speedway on July 23); Kerry Madsen - 5 (Stockton Dirt track on March 22, El Paso Speedway Park on April 15, Lakeside Speedway on June 7, Eldora Speedway on July 12 and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on Aug. 3); Joey Saldana - 5 (Perris Auto Speedway on April 12, Salina Highbanks on April 25, The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 23, I-80 Speedway on June 6 and Jackson Speedway on June 13); Brad Sweet - 5 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14, Tucson International Raceway on March 8, Calistoga Speedway on April 5, Knoxville Raceway on June 14 and Beaver Dam Raceway on June 28); David Gravel - 4 (Merced Speedway on March 28, Eldora Speedway on May 3, Wilmot Raceway on May 9 and Lebanon Valley Speedway on July 20); Paul McMahan - 4 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 5, Tri-State Speedway on May 10, Limaland Motorsports Park on July 9 and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on Aug. 1); Cody Darrah - 2 (Kings Speedway on April 11 and Lernerville Speedway on July 15); Rico Abreu - 1 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 15); Sammy Swindell - 2 (Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on April 26 and Eldora Speedway on July 11); Dale Blaney - 1 (Attica Raceway Park on May 30); Christopher Bell - 1 (Jacksonville Speedway on May 7); Lance Dewease - 1 (July 20 at Williams Grove Speedway); Greg Hodnett - 1 (July 18 at Williams Grove Speedway); Roger Crockett - 1 (I-94 Speedway on June 21); Mark Dobmeier - 1 (Huset's Speedway on July 2); Steve Kinser - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 16); Stevie Smith - 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 14); Shane Stewart - 1 (Eldora Speedway on May 2) .

World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Knoxville Raceway; Knoxville, Iowa; Aug. 9, 2014

A Main (50 Laps): 1. Donny Schatz (1); 2. Brian Brown (4); 3. Kerry Madsen (3); 4. Craig Dollansky (7); 5. Justin Henderson (8); 6. Paul McMahan (5); 7. Terry McCarl (6); 8. Mark Dobmeier (11); 9. Joey Saldana (13); 10. Kraig Kinser (9); 11. Stevie Smith (19); 12. Cody Darrah (18); 13. Brad Sweet (23); 14. Daryn Pittman (17); 15. David Gravel (10); 16. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (12); 17. Bryan Clauson (14); 18. Clint Garner (22); 19. Tim Kaeding (25); 20. Brooke Tatnell (21); 21. Lee Jacobs (24); 22. Shane Stewart (2); 23. Ryan Bunton (16); 24. Tim Shaffer (20); 25. Sammy Swindell (15). Hard Charger: Brad Sweet.


B Main (22 Laps): 1. Brooke Tatnell (1); 2. Clint Garner (4); 3. Brad Sweet (9); 4. Lee Jacobs (3); 5. Greg Hodnett (10); 6. Lucas Wolfe (15); 7. Jason Johnson (8); 8. Ian Madsen (13); 9. Jeff Swindell (5); 10. Don Droud Jr. (2); 11. Danny Lasoski (21); 12. Bronson Maeschen (20); 13. Davey Heskin (18); 14. Cole Wood (23); 15. Dale Blaney (19); 16. Danny Dietrich (12); 17. Matt Moro (7); 18. Bill Balog (14); 19. Greg Wilson (22); 20. Bud Kaeding (24); 21. Jon Agan (11); 22. Tasker Phillips (17); 23. Wayne Johnson (16); 24. Sheldon Haudenschild (6);


C Main (15 Laps): 1. Dale Blaney (8); 2. Greg Wilson (6); 3. Danny Lasoski (11); 4. Bud Kaeding (10); 5. Cole Wood (1); 6. Brandon Wimmer (18); 7. Jac Haudenschild (13); 8. Dusty Zomer (20); 9. Chad Kemenah (17); 10. Jack Dover (12); 11. Danny Holtgraver (19); 12. James McFadden (22); 13. Jason Sides (24); 14. Seth Brahmer (15); 15. Andy Gregg (7); 16. Randy Hannagan (2); 17. Gary Taylor (3); 18. Caleb Helms (4); 19. Rico Abreu (5); 20. Brent Marks (9); 21. Steve Kinser (14); 22. Tony Bruce Jr. (16); 23. Brad Loyet (21); 24. Jason Meyers (23);


D Main (12 Laps): 1. Brad Loyet (2); 2. James McFadden (1); 3. Jason Meyers (4); 4. Jason Sides (3); 5. Brady Bacon (10); 6. Colby Copeland (6); 7. Johnny Herrera (7); 8. Lynton Jeffrey (9); 9. Trey Starks (12); 10. Austin Johnson (14); 11. Josh Hodges (5); 12. Mike Moore (20); 13. Dustin Selvage (16); 14. Josh Schneiderman (18); 15. Glen Saville (13); 16. Jimmy Light (21); 17. Chris Martin (22); 18. Chris Shirek (19); 19. Dustin Clark (23); 20. Ed Lynch Jr. (8); 21. Kaley Gharst (15); 22. Paige Polyak (11); 23. Cap Henry (17); 24. Danny Smith (24);


E Main (10 Laps): 1. Jimmy Light (2); 2. Chris Martin (4); 3. Dustin Clark (1); 4. Danny Smith (3); 5. Logan Schuchart (10); 6. Jason Tostenson (6); 7. Rob Kubli (5); 8. Austen Wheatley (16); 9. Curtis Evans (12); 10. Tyler Courtney (11); 11. Bob Weuve (9); 12. Kody Kinser (14); 13. Jacob Allen (15); 14. Kory Crabtree (7); 15. TJ Peterson (13); 16. Kevin Ingle (8); 17. Dakota Hendrickson (17); 18. Skylar Prochaska (18);

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