“This is such a huge accomplishment for everyone involved with Tony Stewart Racing,” said Schatz, who was competing in his 20th Nationals. “Man to get through the field like that after starting from the back. If it was that much fun for me, it had to be that much better for everyone here.”
The victory continued a remarkable Knoxville Nationals run over the past 16 seasons. Schatz earned his seventh victory in the last eight Nationals and 12th top-two finish during that span. The win was his third triumph at the track this season, 14th of the 2013 WoO STP campaign and 18th of his career at the legendary half-mile dirt oval .
TSR’s Steve Kinser launched his Knoxville Nationals on Thursday night by qualifying third overall behind the wheel of the TSR Bad Boy Buggies/J.D.Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim. “The King of the Outlaws” garnered enough points during Thursday’s program to be locked into Saturday’s A-Main 12th overall. In the 50-lap A-Main, Kinser battled several drivers while contending inside the top-10 throughout both segments and finished ninth.
“We had a good week,” Kinser said. “The guys on this Bad Boy Buggies team built a new car and we came up into this event with high expectations. I think it’s going to be something that we can move forward with. To start out the week and qualify in the top three and charge through that heat race was a big confidence booster. We’re leaving Knoxville feeling good about the direction we are headed.”
Action resumes this week for the TSR teams beginning with Tuesday’s stop Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. That race will be followed by a weekend doubleheader in North Dakota, where Schatz will continue his championship aspirations. He ranks second with 7,105 points and trails leader Daryn Pittman by 71 markers. Kinser holds the ninth position with 6,344 points.