Stewart has a blast down under Stewart has a blast Down Under: American Donny Schatz has reigned supreme in the Scott Darley $50,000 to win presented by Coca Cola at Sydney's Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway in Australia. Schatz won the 40-lap feature race aboard a car owned by Australian speedway legend Garry Rush ahead of fellow American Tim Shaffer and three-time Australian Champion Brooke Tatnell. It is the eighth time in ten years that Schatz has claimed the $50,000 winner's check, taking his tally to $400,000 from the event.
Schatz fought hard for tonight's victory after starting from eighth spot, due to the inversion for the top eight seeded drivers in the event. After a three-way battle for the minor spots with his team-mate Tony Stewart and fellow American Tim Shaffer in the early part of the race, Schatz took the lead from Danny Smith with 17 laps remaining by using a sensational outside pass. Shaffer and Tatnell were both the big movers late in the race to claim the minor positions ahead of Americans Jason Johnson and Smith. Rounding out the top 10 was the Madsen brothers, Ian and Kerry, Ryan Farrell, Robbie Farr and Max Dumesny.
Stewart, who combined a Christmas holiday with four events at the Parramatta venue, set the fastest time during yesterday's preliminary night's action before lining up on the outside of the front row in tonight's main event. Stewart was running inside the top three for the opening half of the race before a deflated right rear tire put an early end to his Aussie campaign. Despite not finishing tonight's race, Stewart indicated that he had thoroughly enjoyed his time in Australia, which included watching the famous Sydney fireworks on New Year's Eve.
"The highlight for me has been being here at Parramatta. Being at the racetrack is what I enjoy, I've been looking coming here for a few months. Away from the racetrack New Years Eve, seeing the Harbor Bridge and the fireworks was very cool and definitely the highlight," said Stewart. "We got better every night, so that was the biggest thing for me. It was nice to actually run the same track four nights in a row versus a race here and race there in a SprintCar. I've had a great time and I'm already trying to work on coming back next year."
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