Outlaws Schatz takes Friday checker

MECHANICSBURG – Donny Schatz started 12th and drove by Greg Hodnett off turn four on the final lap to win the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.

“It’s not often you get excited, but I’m … excited right now,” Schatz said. “Greg runs really well here and we’ve had our good finishes here. These guys have been so switched on the last couple of weeks trying to fine-tune this racecar. I’m having the time of my life driving it.”

World of Outlaws regular Paul McMahan and Williams Grove point leader Fred Rahmer shared the front row for the start of the 25-lap main event. It was McMahan grabbing the lead as the green flag fell.

Hodnett started third and would slide by Rahmer to take the runner-up spot. World of Outlaws point leader Daryn Pittman would also pass Rahmer to take third.

McMahan led Hodnett by nearly a straightaway in only three laps. He began to catch the back of the field in seven laps as Pittman closed on Hodnett.

A fourth-turn slider by Pittman got him up to second briefly, but Hodnett returned the pass down the frontstretch as they began to run down McMahan, who was struggling to lap cars.

Hodnett would get under McMahan in between turns three and four to take the lead as 11 laps were completed. The first caution flag of the event would then fly for Kerry Madsen’s stopped sprinter in turn two.

Hodnett picked the inside lane for the double-file restart and he would lead the next lap by a car length over McMahan as Rahmer took third back from Pittman.

Rahmer slid up in front of McMahan in turn four to take second the next time around. Pittman moved to third with a pass of McMahan as Hodnett began to stretch his lead with 16 laps completed.

Pittman began to pressure Rahmer for second and would grab that spot with a narrow pass in turn two with six laps to go. Pittman would get under Hodnett in turn four and nearly take the lead.

The top three raced close off turn two with four laps to go. Hodnett stayed low as Pittman and Rahmer tried to work around him. Rahmer took second back from Pittman as five-time Outlaw champion Schatz moved into the picture. He grabbed third from Pittman and then a low pass of Rahmer in turn two got him to second with the white flag waving.

Schatz used the top in turns one and two and got a great run at Hodnett down the backstretch. Hodnett threw a block at Schatz to keep the lead. They entered low in turn three, but Hodnett drifted high to pass a lapped car, but got too high. Schatz would get by Hodnett off turn four to steal the win.

“I had one option if I wanted to win the race and that was run up and smack the cushion and get a run past him,” Schatz said.

Hodnett, Rahmer, Pittman and McMahan completed the top five. Brad Sweet, Kraig Kinser, Craig Dollansky, Brent Marks and Sammy Swindell completed the top 10.

Pittman set fast time over the 45-car field with a lap of 16.534. Dollansky, K. Kinser, Kyle Larson and Marks won the heat races. Don Kreitz Jr. won the C-main, McMahan won the dash and Chad Kemenah won the B-main.

The Outlaws are back for a second run at Williams Grove tonight.