In each of the first two weeks of July, Schatz had scored one victory in WoO competition. The five-time and reigning WoO series champion picked up three wins during the third week of action. After leading the final 10 laps in Tuesday’s Silver Cup, the Fargo, N.D., resident was ready to return to Williams Grove for the annual Summer Nationals. Friday’s afternoon rain showers seemed to be the only thing that could slow down the STPW driver. A couple of rain showers washed out Friday’s program, but Schatz returned Saturday and, despite being the 29th of 44 cars to circle the historic half-mile, dirt oval in qualifying, he turned the fastest lap. It was his first top qualifier honor of the season and the rest of the night followed suit. A third-place finish in the opening heat transferred him into the six-lap dash. He started sixth and finished second in the dash to earn a front-row starting position in the 30-lap A-Feature.
Polesitter Lance Dewease got the early jump on Schatz and set the pace during the first 16 laps. Schatz made some runs at the lead in the early going but found himself having to hold off Greg Hodnett for second by the time the race had reached lap 10. Hodnett took second from Schatz and then grabbed the lead, while Schatz remained patient in third. When the race reached lap 20, Schatz began his charge to the top spot. He overook Dewease for second and then tracked down Hodnett, taking the lead on lap 27 coming out of turn two. Schatz led the final four laps and earned his 18th career win at Williams Grove. It was his third straight victory at the track and also helped the WoO STP Sprint Car Series keep the coveted Morgan Cup for another season.
The results weren’t as favorable for his TSR teammates. Stewart started 10th and finished 14th in the race that went nonstop from green to checkered flag and took a little under 11 minutes to complete. Kinser qualified 33rd and was never really able to recover. He raced up to sixth in the opening heat, but had a mechanical problem in the B-Feature, forcing him to retire for the evening.
The TSR crews headed northeast Sunday to the picturesque Lebanon Valley Speedway. The Outlaws made it 33 consecutive years of contesting an event at the half-mile, dirt oval with Sunday’s race, and Schatz picked up right where he left off the night before by dominating the second heat. He started second in the dash and passed Joey Saldana midway through the race to earn the pole position for the 25-lap A-Feature. Saldana returned the favor at the start of the A-Feature and led the first six laps before a caution slowed the action. Schatz got the jump on the restart and led the rest of the way to pick up his second career feature win at Lebanon Valley. Stewart qualified fourth and was strong all night before smacking the turn-four wall with two laps to go while running inside the top-10. Damage to the TSR No. 14 prevented him from finishing the race. Kinser qualified 16th and charged forward in the A-Feature to finish seventh and earn his series-leading sixth KSE Hard Charger Award.
With 48 races completed in 2013 campaign, Schatz ranks second to Daryn Pittman in the WoO STP Sprint Car Series championship standings. Schatz has accumulated 6,440 points and leads the series with 12 wins and 39 top-10s. Kinser holds the ninth position with 5,773 points.
Kinser and Schatz will remain in New York for Tuesday night’s race at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge before heading into Canada for three races starting Saturday with their stop at Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, Quebec.