When the World of Outlaw Sprint Car series pulls into Lernerville Speedway Saturday for the Commonwealth Clash, there will be eight races remaining before the 2012 champion is crowned.
Donny Schatz is hoping he doesn't have to wait that long to clinch his fifth WoO title. He has a 94-point lead over Craig Dollansky and a 117-point advantage over Sammy Swindell going into the race tonight at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Schatz of Fargo, N.D., has been on somewhat of a roll since he finished second to Tony Stewart (his car owner) in the second Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup 30-lap feature on July 17.
Schatz has 21 top 10 finishes in 24 races and has finished first or second 14 times.
The four-time World of Outlaw champion has won 10 features in '12, including his sixth Knoxville Nationals crown.
In his four previous WoO seasons, Schatz had a lead leaving the Knoxville Nationals and had to hang on through the Western swing. This year, it was the opposite, as he entered the Gold Cup trailing by 35 points and left California with a 72-point lead.
Schatz won the Commonwealth Clash in '10 and was runner-up last year.
"We've had really good runs there, he said. "We weren't in a really good situation the last couple of times, but we are really excited about getting back there."
Dollansky of Elk River, Minn., has eight WoO wins in '12 and 33 top-five finishes.
Swindell picked up his 12th win of the season Wednesday in Eagle, Neb., -- the most features the three-time WoO champion has won since 1997, the most recent time he won the title.
While the chase for the title is practically down to three drivers, the Commonwealth Clash is up for grabs considering the local talent expected to defend the home turf.
Danny Holtgraver, one of the hottest sprint car drivers in the sport, will be there along with Tim Shaffer, Dale Blaney and Ed Lynch Jr., just to name a few who have shown that they can win against some of the best in the sport.
Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway, fresh off the Pittsburgher weekend, will play host to five divisions of racing, and the PA Vintage Modifieds will make their second appearance of the season. ... Gregg Satterlee took home $10,000 for winning the 53-lap Pittsburgher Super Late Model feature. Other Pittsburgher winners were; Jack Sodeman Jr., Rex King, Pat Weldon, Joe Podolinsky and Todd Weldon. Kyle Lukon won the Jook George Memorial for the Crate Late Models, picking up his 25th win in the class and breaking a tie with Dave Wade for the most wins. ... Mercer Raceway Park will have the Little Guy Nationals with more than 100 entries for the six-division event today and Saturday. ... Racing began Thursday at Pittsburgh Raceway Park and continues through Sunday as PRP hosts the IHRA Division 3 Summit Team Finals. Each team has 43 members that represent the 10 tracks that make up Division 3. Go to www.pittsburghracewaypark.com for more details on the bracket finals at PRP.autoracing
DJ Johnson: DJ1360rpm@aol.com.