Donny Schatz climbed back on top of the World of Outlaws podium Saturday night at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway.
The eight-time and defending champion of the national sprint car series came to California on a five-race winning streak. But Friday night at Thunderbowl, he looked mortal as he faded from the front row to finish seventh.
The North Dakota driver turned it on Saturday, powering from third to first in the final few laps of the 35-lap feature on the third-mile, high-banked clay oval.
The track developed two grooves, down low and up high very close to the wall. Schatz used that high line late when the leaders encountered lapped traffic to zip past Outlaws regulars Brad Sweet of Grass Valley and Daryn Pittman of Oklahoma.
Tim Kaeding of San Jose in an Easton-based Roth Motorsports car moved up eight spots to finish eighth, and Carson Macedo of Lemoore in the Easton-based Tarlton Motorsports car moved up 10 spots to finish ninth.
Other central San Joaquin Valley results: DJ Netto of Hanford 22nd, Cory Eliason of Kingsburg 24th and Kyle Hirst of Paradise in the other Roth car 26th.
The national touring series heads to Stockton next weekend. It’ll be at Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford on March 31.
Ryan Bernal of Hollister won the companion 30-lap U.S. Auto Club Western States 360 sprints feature. Visalia brothers Jace and Richard Vander Weerd were second and fifth, respectively. Danny Faria Jr. of Tipon was sixth.
Madera Speedway – The owner of the 51Fifty energy drink company that’s a major sponsor of the third-mile paved oval went to the winner’s circle there Saturday night.
Carlos Vieira of Livingston won the 75-lap Pacific Challenge Series Super Late Model feature.
Other feature winners: Cody Gerhardt (Winged Sprints), Howard Holden (Super Hobby Stocks), Robbie Czub (Legends) and Toni Breidinger (USAC HPD Midgets).