With his next World of Outlaws feature win at Eldora Speedway, defending points champion Donny Schatz will close the gap on Steve Kinser’s all-time wins record at Eldora.
Schatz will only trail by 30.
Kinser is called the King of Outlaws for a reason. His 35 career A-Main feature wins at Eldora are 15 more than the next closest driver, Sammy Swindell. With Swindell turning 58 in October it’s not likely he’ll catch Kinser, who turns 59 on June 2.
Even at 35, Schatz isn’t optimistic about his chances.
“It’s unbeatable maybe in our lifetime,” said Schatz, who has more WoO points titles (5) than he does Eldora wins (4). “It’s pretty unbelievable really. … It’s a tough place to race, no question about it. I’d like to have one more but I don’t. Until you do it I don’t know how you imagine it.”
Swindell’s chances took a crushing blow Friday night as the Outlaws made their first appearance at Eldora in 2013. His No. 1 Big Game Motorsports slammed into the outer wall in Turn 4 during his heat to end his night. He’ll get another shot Saturday when the Outlaws return for another full show.
“I’m the closest but I don’t know if I’ll be around that long, either,” said Swindell, whose last Eldora victory came in the 2012 Kings Royal. “Just running here a couple times a year, that’d take quite a while. I’d be pretty old by the time I even had a chance to do that. It’s probably something I won’t get to. Somebody else might. It’s going to be hard but somebody could hit something right. You never know about records.”
Joey Saldana is the only other active driver with double-digit wins (11) at Eldora.
Track owner Tony Stewart would settle for just one win. The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion made the 1,200-mile round-trip trek from Talladega, Ala., to race with the Outlaws on Friday. He’s expected to return Saturday. Stewart has wins at Eldora in the USAC sprints and midgets, UMP DIRTcar modifieds and late models, NRA Sprint Invaders and three Prelude to the Dream late model races.
As for Kinser, he took the diplomatic approach when asked if his record is unbeatable.
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” said Kinser, whose last Eldora win came in 2010. “There are some pretty young guys that’s going to be racing for awhile. We’ll see what happens. … Me and Sammy, we’re getting up there to where we’re probably not going to be doing this a whole lot longer.”