KNOXVILLE, Iowa - The Knoxville Nationals is what the Super Bowl is to football, it’s the biggest event for sprint car racing.
When you're at your best in the biggest events, you're a champion. In sprint car racing, Steve Kinser is king of the outlaws. North Dakota's Donny Schatz is gaining on him, or he's passed him in a few categories. Schatz has led the most A-Main laps in nationals history. Donny has 19 more than Kinser, in 16 fewer races.
"I don't know that, that's a big thing to brag about, you know. That means we probably should have won some more races, but you know, racing really is a game of stats. You have to be able to put the w's in the w-column, and if you can't, then you have to put the top 3's, top 5's and consistently does help build on that, and that's what this team is built around. They do a great job with that. So, glad to be a part of it, and like I said, we'll just keep trying to build on what we've done, said Schatz, 10-time Knoxville champion.
If you want more numbers to back-up Schatz's success, in top 10 finishes in the A-Main, Schatz has done it 17 of 19 times. That's 89 percent. The kind's top 10 percentage, 77 percent.
"I don't know if it fits me. You know this place is really historic, it's really cool. It's really unique, you know the way the track surface has been over the years, it's changed so many ways, and we've been able to adapt to it. I guess some people just have a liking to certain places, and certain ways, and it seems to be I've figured out how to make things happen here at times, and get myself out of trouble in other times. So, you know, it's very fortunate to have that, I wish I knew what it was. You know we don't always have the answers to all those things, but very fortunate to be in that position, and we're going to see if we can keep building on that and try to make it better every day," Schatz added.
Schatz holds the record for winning from the worst starting position. He finished first while starting 21st, and this week he hopes to win for the 11th time in the last 13 years.