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Schatz wins another WoO feature at RCS; Dobmeier charges through the field and finishes second

Sheldon Haudenschild (front) and Brad Sweet race during a World of Outlaws heat race at River Cities Speedway on Friday night. Photo/Nick Nelson, Grand Forks Herald

Donny Schatz won -- again -- at River Cities Speedway, capturing Friday night’s 40-lap World of Outlaws feature. For Schatz, it was his 11th WoO win at The Bullring since 2007 and his eighth in the past nine races.

But the big story of the night came from the top driver at The Bullring -- Mark Dobmeier.

Dobmeier charged from the 17th starting position and found himself pushing Schatz during the closing laps. On a restart with four laps to go, however, Dobmeier couldn’t get past Schatz and settled for second.

But it was clear he was the crowd favorite as he received a thunderous ovation from the more than 5,000 race fans when he pulled into Victory Lane after the race.

“I drove the wheels off that car,” said Dobmeier. “We were way too tight at the start of the feature but the car came around. I was using yellow flags, track position, whatever I could, to get up there. We were just going for it.”

With six laps left, Dobmeier used a dominating restart to pass two cars and move into second. Another caution flag came on Lap 36, setting up a four-lap shootout between Schatz -- the WoO points leader -- and Dobmeier.

But Schatz had too much and edged Dobmeier by 1.342 seconds.

Schatz, who started fourth, took over the top spot when Brad Sweet spun in Turn 1 on Lap 28.

“Man, it gets harder every time,” said Schatz in Victory Lane. “At the end of the race, you had to be up on the cushion. That’s where the speed was. The mess-up factor was pretty big. I tried to be cautious and carry as much speed as I could.”

It was a rough race, as there were a number of yellow flags and a couple of red flags.

Schatz, who is from Fargo, and Dobmeier, however, stayed clear of wrecks and maneuvered their way through traffic throughout the race.

“Mark is awesome around this track,” said Schatz. “You hope he’ll get to taste a (WoO) victory here someday. But it’s my job to try and stop that. He did a great job. He came through the field and I’m happy to see him up here. But I’m glad I stayed in front of him. Second place is going to fuel his fire a little more the next time.”

Dobmeier was happy with his race but still is waiting to win a WoO feature on his home track.

“I guess it wasn’t a bad night for the North Dakota boys,” said Dobmeier.

Kerry Madsen finished third, followed by Daryn Pittman and Sweet, who won last week’s Knoxville Nationals. RCS regular Jade Hastings had his best night with the Outlaws with a 10th-place finish.

The night was twice the fun for Schatz as he also won the NLRA late model feature -- something he’s done in the past.

Schatz started on the front row and grabbed the lead from Brad Seng roughly half way through the event.

Joey Pederson finished second, followed by Mike Balcaen, Seng and Troy Schill.

The event went green to checkered without a yellow flag.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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