Speedway legend Donny Schatz will make his third level NASCAR Camping World Truck (NCWTS) series debut on Knoxville Raceway dirt on July 9.
Schatz will drive the # 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing, a participation that was led by 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, among others.
This will be the first time that Schatz, 10-time World Outlaw Champion (WoO), will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The Dirt Genie is optimistic he can convert his sprint car success to NASCAR.
“I am incredibly excited to be competing in my first NASCAR sanctioned event as part of David Gilliland Racing,” said Schatz. “I had the opportunity to meet David and his organization’s track record speaks for itself.
“DGR has a great group of people working with their team and I can’t wait to make my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with them at Knoxville Raceway in July.
“The fact that my first NASCAR sanctioned event will take place on land and in a truck fits in perfectly with my career path.
“To make my Truck Series debut in Knoxville, a place that has been so good to me over the years is also very fitting. I hope to represent our partners and the sprint car community well.
While the upcoming NCWTS race in Knoxville is Schatz’s first time competing in a NASCAR National Series race, he certainly doesn’t lack experience at the venue.
He racked up 27 career wins on the track, including 17 in WoO and 10 triumphs at the Knoxville Nationals between 2006 and 2017.
“Donny is a legend in the off-road car world and has an incredible track record in Knoxville in the outlaw world,” said David Gilliland.
“His level of experience and knowledge of track racing and the Knoxville Raceway will make him a great addition to the team for the very first truck race there. We are very happy to welcome her on board.
Although this is the first NASCAR Truck Series dirt race on the site, it is not for the series. The series held an annual dirt tour of Eldora Speedway from 2013 to 2019.
In 2021, the first NASCAR category returned to earth for the first time since 1970 and has proven to be incredibly popular around the world.
Although well known in the United States, Schatz successfully raced Down Under. In 2002 he won the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Warrnambool.
He was also twice runner-up in the World Series Sprintcars at the turn of the millennium.
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