Home / Artic Cat All Stars / EXCLUSIVE: Kemenah Nearly Upsets Schatz in ‘All Star’ Battle – DIRTcar Nationals Night 3 Quotes n’ Notes

EXCLUSIVE: Kemenah Nearly Upsets Schatz in ‘All Star’ Battle – DIRTcar Nationals Night 3 Quotes n’ Notes

By CAMDEN PROUD

Tonight’s Artic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions A-Main at Volusia Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Nationals was one for the ages as it was a battle Sprint Car fans do not get to see very often between defending All Star Champion Chad Kemenah and defending Outlaw champion Donny Schatz. Despite Kemenah making an impressive outside move to get by Schatz in traffic on lap ten, the driver of the No. 10H needed to be nearly perfect in traffic to keep the nine-time Outlaw Champion at bay as Schatz kept within striking distance for the entire duration.

One slip up for Kemenah in traffic with about five to go opened up the top side for Schatz just as he did for Kemenah earlier in the race and that quick mistake caused the tables to turn as Schatz walked away with a Gator while Kemenah finished runner up, obviously a little bit disappointed, but content with his podium finish.

“It’s pretty good right now,” Kemenah commented of his Rpb Hunter owned car. “I guess leading isn’t the place to be. When you get beat by that guy (Schatz) it makes a little bit better I guess, but I just don’t like losing. We’ll take a second.”

The statement that each driver in the top three all agreed wholeheartedly on was that the outcome of the race came down solely to lap traffic. With the bottom rubbered up and top slicked off, Kemenah being pinned between lapped cars was what opened up the door for Schatz on the top. It was the same exact story, just reversed, and about fifteen laps later.

“The same way I got the lead, Donny (Schatz) got me back,” Kemenah noted. “I thought I had nothing to lose but to give it a shot. I could see that he was hung up behind those guys and it was just a matter of if it will hold you. I just kind of held my breath for a lap and went around him, but being good in lapped traffic is tough. You’ve got to try to pick and choose the right lane and when somebody like that guy is behind you he’s probably going to pick the lane you’re not.”

Kemenah will chase another Artic Cat All Stars championship in 2018 as the tour is now all done at the DIRTcar Nationals. The series picks up again on April 6 at the Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, O.H. The defending champ is off to a hot start with a win, third and a second all in the past week.

Sweet Podium Again

Grass Valley, C.A. driver Brad Sweet’s 2018 season isn’t off to quite as good of a start as Schatz’s, but it’s been pretty close. With a new Kasey Kahne Racing crew behind him to start the year at Florida Speedweeks, Sweet drove the NAPA No. 49 to a runner-up effort on Wednesday before following that up with a third place podium finish on Thursday after starting fifth. There’s no question it’s been a fun surface for Sweet to get some seat time on to knock the rust off.

“That track went from extreme slick on top to rubber on bottom,” quipped Sweet. “They did a nice job with it and it was pretty fast there, so early in the season when you run a fast paced 30-lap race it definitely gets your attention. It was a lot of fun.”

Once again, Sweet had a car he felt like could have contended for the win, but the slick surface and heavy lapped traffic pretty much did him in. The track has changed drastically each night, and World of Outlaws teams can expect more of the same when their season gets underway on Friday night.

“I felt like I drove really hard and had a really good race car,” Sweet said. “I would’ve liked to have a restart or got up there and mixed it up, but they just got a little too far out and I got stuck behind a couple lapped cars with about five or six to go and that was kind of our race, but the NAPA Auto Parts guys are working hard and we threw everything at it again tonight, and they reacted. We are closer with where we want to be with the car so it’s always a moving target each and every night, but that’s what we love about dirt track racing.”

Notes from the Nationals

31 cars signed in for action with the ASCoC on Night 2…

Brian Brown kicked off the night with quick time at 13.660 to improve one spot from timing in second on Wednesday night…

Kasey Kahne recovered from finishing last in Wednesday’s heat to win tonight and make the dash…

Paul McMahan, Donny Schatz and Kerry Madsen were other heat winners and it was Madsen’s second heat win of the week…

Schatz and Joey Saldana each dominated the dashes with Chad Kemenah and McMahan earning runner up spots in the two 4-lap events…

Other Dash cars included Brown, Brad Sweet, K. Madsen, Kyle Larson, and David Gravel…

Wednesday winner Donny Schatz lead the 30-lap main event to green alongside Saldana in the front row…

The entire race was caution free, setting up for a lightning fast A-Main that only lasted about seven minutes…

Larson came on strong at the end to grab a fifth…

Saldana was podium all race long until Sweet got the spot with about ten to go and the Rudeen Racing 26 then fell to seventh…

Madsen finished 6th…

Greg Hodnett was back in action with his sharp No. 27 Heffner Racing entry and finished a solid ninth…

McMahan managed a respectable eighth place effort after a rather strong night with the Buch Racing 13…

Tim Shaffer rounded up the top ten…

Nick Hoffman went back to back winning the UMP Modified A-Main once again over Kyle Strickler, Mike McKinney, Justin Allgaeir and Kenny Wallace…

The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars open their 2018 season tomorrow night at Volusia alongside the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds…

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