By Lucas Halbert
Photo: DB3 Images
Sylvania, Georgia (01/29/2021)… Donny Schatz captured the All Star Circuit of Champions season opener Friday night at Screven Motor Speedway. The win was Schatz’s first ASCoC win since 2018.
Schatz may have led the final 12 laps, but getting to the top spot wasn’t easy.
Sam Hafertepe Jr led the opening three laps till pole-sitter Sheldon Haudenschild took the top spot back. Haudenschild ran away from Hafertepe Jr with ease and made his way to the back of the field quickly.
Even though it was early, Haudenschild seemed to be the favorite to win until he got caught up in a four-car incident on lap 6. Haudenschild had to restart at the back as the lead was given to Sam Hafertepe Jr.
Battle then ensued in the top 5. Hafertepe led with Tyler Courtney and Donny Schatz battling hard for second. Not far behind them was defending ASCoC champion Aaron Reutzel and Carson Short going at it for fourth place.
Hafertepe did the one thing he did not want to do, and that was to make a mistake. He went up the track in turn four and “Sunshine” poked through underneath for the lead at halfway.
The sun did not shine long for Courtney as Schatz’s cloudy gray #15 had him covered up for first. Schatz had many chances to feed Courtney a dirty slider but kept it clean. Schatz did not waste time to madk the final lead change of the night with 12 to go.
Donny Schatz ran away from there, winning with the All Star Circuit of Champions for the 18th time by nearly 5 seconds.
Aaron Reutzel passed five cars for a second-place finish while Tyler Courtney held on for a podium finish. Marion, Illinois native Carson Short impressed by finishing 4th and Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounds out the top 5.
Feature Results (30 Laps):
1. (15) Donny Schatz, 2. (83) Aaron Reutzel, 3. (7BC) Tyler Courtney, 4. (21) Carson Short, 5. (15H) Sam Hafertepe Jr, 6. (26) Cory Eliason, 7. (18) Gio Scelzi, 8. (55) Hunter Schurernberg, 9. (13) Justin Peck, 10. (11) Ian Madsen, 11. (5) Brent Marks, 12. (101) Kerry Madsen, 13. (14) Tony Stewart, 14. (33M) Mason Daniel, 15. (3C) Cale Conley, 16. (39M) Anthony Marci, 17. (18J) RJ Jacobs, 18. (73) Scotty Thiel, 19. (48) Danny Dietrich, 20. (28) Skylar Gee, 21. (17) Sheldon Haudenschild, 22. (91) Kyle Reinhardt, 23. (11K) Kraig Kinser, 24. (14R) Sean Rayhall