Donny Schatz tries for tenth Knoxville Nationals

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Its that time of year again – the biggest sprint car event of the year kicked off on Wednesday, in Knoxville, Iowa, or should it be Schatzville? Donny Schatz has been so dominate in the past decade at in the Knoxville Nationals, that it might as well be.

Donny Schatz tries for tenth Knoxville Nationals

In the last 10 Knoxville Nationals, the Tony Stewart Racing driver has won nine. In the only Nationals that Schatz did not win (2010), he finished 2nd.

“It’s the biggest race of the year, no doubt – the one race everyone strives to be completely prepared for. And Sunday is the worst day of the year because you have wait another year to be back there. Knoxville has been so good to me over my career,” Schatz said. “I love racing there. I can’t describe the feeling I get when I go to Knoxville. It’s just something you can’t duplicate. The fans are incredible.”

Although Knoxville is enjoyable, it is one of the most important events on the World of Outlaws Schedule.

“The competition is so intense and that’s what you want,” Schatz said. “You know if you can win the Knoxville Nationals that you beat the best there is in this sport. The Knoxville Nationals can make your season and that’s why everyone is here.”

A 23-Year Veteran

This weekend’s Nationals will be the 23rd that Schatz is participating in.

“No, it really doesn’t seem like it’s been [23] years. I’m still not sure how I got to being out on the World of Outlaws tour for 20 years,” Schatz said. “But this is where I want to be and always have.”

“This event humbles you,” Schatz said. “You have to learn and become focused on exactly what’s in front you. I’ve had some great mentors along the way who helped me get here. My dad has been teaching me life lessons for years.”

Schatz comes into the event with a 242-point lead over David Gravel in the World of Outlaws Standings, and is seeking his 17th win on the year.

 

BARBERVILLE, FL – FEBRUARY 07:  Donny Schatz, driver of the #15 Armor All, races during the World of Outlaws 39th Annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park on February 7, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for Kasey Kahne Racing)