MECHANICSBURG - Donny Schatz drove by Greg Hodnett with three laps to go to win the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway on Saturday night.
His 18th career Williams Grove win was worth a total of $15,000, including a $5,000 bonus for winning the Morgan Cup title as well. The Summer Nationals usually pays $20,000 to win, but the purse structure was changed after Friday night's race was rained out.
"It's fun to win anything you can win," Schatz said. "At one point, when Greg got out front, I thought the sting's not going to feel as bad going from $20,000 to $10,000 when he wins it. This is a brand new race car and sometimes it takes a while to get them worked out. These guys worked their tails off putting it together. I always have good race cars and they are fun to drive. The track was very demanding tonight and very tricky to drive. I'm glad to get to victory lane."
It looked for most of the 30-lap event that one of the Grove regulars would be in victory lane as Lance Dewease started on the pole and grabbed the lead from Schatz and Hodnett.
When they reached lapped traffic on lap eight, the top three cars were evenly spaced about three car lengths apart.
Schatz, the five-time and defending Outlaws champion, was on Dewease's bumper as they crossed under the flag stand with 10 laps completed. Schatz passed Dewease on the backstretch that lap, but Dewease returned the pass in turn four.
Hodnett passed Schatz for second and then get under Dewease in turn four and take the lead on lap 17. He couldn't get away, either, as Schatz would snag the runner-up spot from Dewease with less than 10 to go. Schatz's winning pass came off turn two as he got under Hodnett for the lead.
"We run harder tires and it takes a while for them to get going, but once they got heat in them, they just went in the last part of the race," Schatz said.
Schatz, of Fargo, N.D., scored his 11th Outlaw win of the season over Hodnett, Dewease, Fred Rahmer and Craig Dollansky. Jason Sides, Danny Dietrich, Brent Marks, Logan Schuchart and Chad Kemenah rounded out the top 10.
"We lost a cylinder with about 10 laps to go," said Hodnett, who was passed by Schatz at the Grove on the final lap in May. "I was just trying to keep momentum because every time I slowed down it would load up and not get off the corner."
"We weren't any good from the start of the race," Dewease said. "We gave it all we had. We used up every part of the race track to try and keep them behind us."
Schatz set fast time over the 44-car field with a lap of 17.927. Schuchart, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, Kemenah and Marks won the eight-lap heat races. Jacob Allen won the C-main, Dewease won the dash and Liverpool's T.J. Stutts won the B-main. Stewart finished 14th in the main event.