Donny Schatz

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Kyle Larson wins World of Outlaws race; Christopher Bell tumbles

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Kyle Larson scored his first World of Outlaws win of the season after a brief duel for the lead with Christopher Bell on Monday night at Lawrenceburg (Indiana) Speedway.

As they raced side-by-side into Turn 1, Bell’s sprint car jumped the cushion and he hit the wall. The contact caused Bell’s car to go upside down and tumble briefly. Bell finished 22nd in the 24-car field.

“These Outlaw wins are so hard to win,” Larson said, according to the World of Outlaws site. “I mean, you’ve got Bell, leading, he’s one of, if not the best drivers in the country or in the world right now, in open wheel cars. And Donny Schatz, who’s arguably the best in winged sprint cars. So, to beat those two feels really cool.”

Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, was second. Giovanni Scelzi placed third. Schatz is the series leader. He has a 48-point lead on Brad Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing.

The World of Outlaws next race on Friday at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

 

 

Stewart-Haas Racing reveals new sponsor for Clint Bowyer

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RICHMOND, Va. — Stewart-Haas Racing announced Friday that Toco Warranty will be the primary sponsor on Clint Bowyer’s car for four races this season.

Toco Warranty will be the primary sponsor on Bowyer’s car at Talladega Superspeedway (April 28), the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 18), at Chicagoland Speedway (June 30) and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 15). Toco Warranty will be an associate sponsor at all other Cup races.

Toco Warranty also will be co-primary sponsor with Tony Stewart Racing’s sprint car of 10-time and reigning World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. Toco Warranty also will be an associate sponsor on Stewart’s sprint car. Stewart is scheduled to compete in more than 90 winged sprint car races this year.

Toco Warranty is a new generation of vehicle service contracts with pay-as-you go monthly plans.

“We’re obviously very pleased to welcome Toco Warranty to SHR and TSR,” said Stewart, the three-time Cup champion who formed TSR back in 2001 and co-owns SHR with Gene Haas. “Clint Bowyer and Donny Schatz are great racecar drivers with strong and compelling personalities who can deliver for Toco Warranty on and off the track.”

“Toco Warranty is all about helping people take care of their cars quickly and efficiently, and nowhere is speed and efficiency more prominent than in racing,” said Nota Berger, CEO, Toco Warranty. “We’ve found great partners in Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony Stewart Racing and strong, relatable personalities in Clint Bowyer, Donny Schatz and Tony Stewart to increase recognition for our simple and affordable vehicle service contracts. They’ll help showcase our practical and straightforward plans which clearly outline what is and isn’t covered while requiring no major up-front investment or long-term contract.”

Kyle Larson finishes 2nd at Knoxville Nationals

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Kyle Larson finished second to Donny Schatz in Saturday night’s Knoxville Nationals sprint car race. Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, won the event for the 10th time. Only Steve Kinser has won the Knoxville Nationals more times at 12.

Larson qualified for Saturday night’s A-main – one of the premier events on the sprint car calendar – after winning his qualifying race Wednesday night. Larson’s status for Saturday was in question until Friday.

Larson’s agreement with car owner Chip Ganassi to run sprint car races prevents him from racing those cars a night before he is to be on track in his Monster Energy Cup car. Ganassi gave Larson permission to run the race. Larson also has a deal with Ganassi to run no more than 25 sprint car races a year.

“It’s … neat I got to race,” Larson said in the press conference after the race. “In the months leading up to this event, I planned on Wednesday night but figured I would have no shot at racing Saturday. If it wasn’t for Chip, I wouldn’t be here. I’ve got to thank him a lot.

“I hope I can convince Chip to let me do this every year.”

Larson turns his focus on winning a Cup race at Michigan International Speedway for the third consecutive time. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:16 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.

“Hopefully, he can go win Michigan,” Schatz said after the Knoxville Nationals.

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Kyle Larson wins World of Outlaws race

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Kyle Larson used a late-race charge to win Tuesday night’s World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series race at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway.

Larson passed Daryn Pittman, who drives for Kasey Kahne‘s team, with two laps to go to win. Larson was racing for a team co-owned by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Shane Stewart, who drives for the team co-owned by Larson and Justin Marks, finished third. Brad Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, placed fourth. Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, finished fifth.

Larson was second in qualifying to Kerry Madsen and won his heat race.

The feature victory is Larson’s first of the season.

Click here for more on the race and complete results.

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Tony Stewart makes return to sprint car racing

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Tony Stewart finished 17th Thursday night in the season-opening Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series race at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida.

The race marked the first of what Stewart has said would be about 80 races he’ll run this year since he’s no longer driving in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He’s not released a full schedule and had not announced where he’d make his return. A team spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that Stewart is scheduled to race with the series Friday and Saturday at Bubba Raceway Park.

Stewart explained last month his reasoning for being coy about his schedule.

“I think we’re just going to drop in for a while now,” Stewart said. “I like it on the nights that fans know we’re going because we get to see fans passionate about what we did on the Cup side, but at the same time, it makes it more hectic in the pit area to do our job, and right now, I just want to get back to driving the race cars again.

“We need to keep it simple for a while before we let everyone know where we’re going.”

Stewart started on the pole in his heat race and finished sixth Thursday. He started second and finished second in the B feature, advancing to the A feature. He started 20th in that race.

Stewart’s teammate, Donny Schatz won the A feature.

Stewart, who owns the series for 410 winged sprint cars, wasn’t the only driver with NASCAR experience in the event. Rico Abreu, who competed in the Camping World Truck Series last year, was 11th.

The race also marked the first time Stewart has competed in a sprint car since August 9, 2014, when his car struck Kevin Ward Jr. during an Empire Super Sprint Series race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. Ward died from the injuries he suffered. Stewart was cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury, but a lawsuit brought by Ward’s family remains in the court system. A mediation deadline was recently extended to April 21. 

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