Donny Schatz Wins 46th Annual Super Clean Knoxville Nationals

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World of Outlaws Donny Schatz won the 46th Annual Super Clean Knoxville Nationals Saturday, the biggest race in sprint car racing.

“It hasn’t really hit me,” said Schatz, following the biggest race of his career. “I’m as excited as I’ve ever been in my life. This is one of the defining moments of my life. This is it. It does not get any bigger than this. It does not get any better. We are fortunate to work with such great product sponsors and without them we wouldn’t be here. The folks at K&N Engineering build a Carbon Airbox that is second to none. When you are racing in an event of this magnitude, you have to be totally confident in all of your components.”

Donny Schatz wins Knoxville Nationals
Donny Schatz wins Knoxville Nationals
The World of Outlaws points leader and the ParkerStore team were one of the favorites heading into this year’s Nationals. After leading the qualifying points, Schatz earned the pole position with a strong run in Friday’s “A” Scramble, which served as a test session for Saturday’s finale.

In the 30-lap feature event, Schatz and fellow front row starter Joey Saldana each took turns grabbing the lead in two attempts at starting the race, until the race went green on the third try. Saldana took the early lead, but Schatz was his shadow as the two swapped lines in each corner. Schatz had the lead on lap four, but Saldana regained it the next time and carried it into lapped traffic.

Schatz set his sights on Saldana and continued to move closer and closer. With a move late in lap 12, the Fargo, North Dakota racer took command and began pulling away from the field. A yellow flag on lap 18 bunched the field before a red flag stopped the action two laps later.

The ParkerStore crew made no changes to the No. 15 car and let Schatz know he was the best out there and there were only ten more laps to go for the coveted Knoxville crown.

When the race resumed, Schatz drove away from Saldana and built a commanding lead taking the win by a huge margin. “The K&N Airbox worked flawlessly all week and we had changing conditions all three nights,” he said. “We were able to attain maximum horsepower Wednesday, Friday and ultimately on Saturday night to claim the Knoxville Nationals. I have to thank all the folks at K&N for their dedication to building a superior product.”

Schatz and ParkerStore Team use K&N Carbon Airbox
Schatz and ParkerStore Team use K&N Carbon Airbox
This is such a big deal for all of us, said Schatz. “I wanted to win this race for a long time and had to settle for second too many times,” he said. “We work hard as a team and hard work is what won this race. Joey (Saldana) ran a great race and we’ve had some good battles all year. He got me in the King’s Royal and I got him at the Knoxville Nationals. Now it’s time to head west and see if we can win more races.”

Schatz and his ParkerStore team will return to action Thursday at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Follow Donny Schatz's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site.  Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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