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Donny Schatz Wins 2012 Knoxville Nationals
NEWS 13 August 2012 - 8:50am
Bell Sponsored driver Donny Schatz held off Brian Brown in the closing laps to win his sixth Knoxville Nationals title in seven years on August 11th.
Schatz started fifth in the 24-car field and moved up to second by lap seven, just behind pole-sitter Stevie Smith. Schatz ran Smith down and passed him on lap 13. After the mandatory caution for fuel on lap 26, Schatz built a 4.2 sceond lead before a yellow flag for a dlown tire tightened the field on lap 34. Brian Brown made a late race push for the lead with two laps remaining and trailed Schatz by .117 seconds at the line.
"Last night was a lot of fun, tonight was a lot harder," sais Schatz who locked in Thursday and had Friday off. The four-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Champion thanked his car owner, "Tony Stewart, you are the man, thanks for letting me drive your race car." Schatz began noticing tire issues with three laps to go. "I got the air off the wing and the car just got a little weird," Schatz said. "I gas-pedaled it to try to get it back going and I could never get back going from that point. I used every bit of tire I could. It felt like they were canvas."
Bell sponsored driver Brian Brown has a career-best second place finish. "Donny Schatz is a great champion. We were catching him there and I wwas like, 'Man, Ok, I want to catch him, but then what am I going to do with him?' He's just so smart, the way he plays traffic and I jumped the cushion one time off (turn) two when I thought I might have had something for him."
Bell sponsored drivers finishing in the top five included Donny Schatz (1st), Brian Brown (2nd), Kraig Kinser (4th) and Jason Meyers (5th).