Donny Schatz put an exclamation point on the Sprint Car Month Money by winning the 57th Annual 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals. The Fargo, ND resident survived a last corner slide job attempt by rising Nascar star Kyle Larson.
The win was worth a whopping $150,000, by far the largest payday for sprint cars annually.
Larson was second, followed by Australian Kerry Madsen, and World of Outlaws regulars Shane Stewart and Brad Sweet rounded out the top five.
Schatz lined up on the starting grid for the “A” feature second, next to pole sitter David Gravel. Gravel, who scored the first “Perfect” preliminary night in twenty five years, would get the jump on the field and lead the first twenty one laps before coasting to a stop in turn four due to a blown engine.
Shatz would inherit the top spot and would lead the rest of the way. After the mandatory stop on lap twenty four, Kyle Larson would surge into the second spot and maintain pace with Schatz over the next twenty six laps.
Larson would close the gap on the white flag lap and make one last ditch effort in turn three and four, but it wasn’t enough to claim his first Knoxville Nationals championship.
“I did everything I could to get by (in traffic),” said Schatz in Victory Lane. “That’s how it works some days. You can’t frustrated by it. You have to figure out what to do. I was off the pace, I knew someone would be coming (at the end of the race). Kyle normally finds everything there is in a race car. You got to stay on your toes with him. He’s an awesome sprint car driver. It stinks that he has another career to deal with. I’m just glad that he’s part of the sport and still comes back. We’re glad to get this win. It’s incredible. This whole race team is incredible with what they do. We just won the Knoxville Nationals!”
For the full list of results from the final night of racing at the 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals, click here.
Sprint Car Month of Money 2017 Concludes
Donny Schatz was by far the largest winner in the Sprint Car Month of Money. With wins in the Kings Royal and Knoxville Nationals, pushed his monthly earnings to $247,600 (not counting regularly ran WoO shows).
For more information about the Sprint Cars Month of Money, click here.
2017 Sprint Car Month of Money Winners
- 29th Annual Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic: David Gravel
- Jokers Wild: Kerry Madsen
- Knight Before the Kings Royal: Christopher Bell
- 34th Annual Kings Royal: Donny Schatz
- 26th Annual Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup: David Gravel
- Summer Nationals: Rescheduled due to rain
- 27th Annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Nationals: Clint Garner
- Iron Man 55: Rescheduled due to rain
- Capitani Classic: Brian Brown
- 22nd Annual Price Chopper Front Row Challenge: Shane Stewart
- Knoxville Nationals Wednesday Preliminary: Kyle Larson
- Knoxville Nationals Thursday Preliminary: David Gravel
- 23rd Annual Speed Sport Challenge: Jason Johnson
- 57th Annual Knoxville Nationals: Donny Schatz