Entering Saturday night, Donny Schatz had won the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship 10 times — including last year — and had 286 total series wins for his career.

But he had never entered victory lane at Wilmot Raceway.

Schatz can finally check that one off his list.

The Fargo, N.D., native led every official lap of the Badger 40 feature Saturday night and held on for the win before a full-house crowd.

According to a news release, with his arms raised and an ear-to-ear grin on his face, Schatz couldn't contain his emotion.

"(Heck), yeah, I won at Wilmot!" he yelled. "That's off the books."

Now Schatz has 287 career wins in the series, this being his fourth of the season.

"The older you get, you probably put more of a fine-tooth comb on places you haven't won at, and this was one of them," Schatz said.

Schatz and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team set the pace in hot laps and qualified second for the feature race behind series points leader Brad Sweet.

Schatz led from the get-go but on the first lap had to fend off a hard charge by outside polesitter Daryn Pittman in turn three.

Schatz did so, and he held a comfortable lead for most of the remaining 39 laps, except during a caution on Lap 13. David Gravel of Watertown, Conn., made a run at Schatz over the last 10 laps, but he ran out of time.

"I couldn't get by Daryn very quick and then couldn't get by Brad," Gravel said. "Then it was just a little too late to make a charge at Donny."

Said Schatz: "I'm sure somebody was coming there at the end. I was kind of hanging. We could get through a few lap cars, but then when I had to move around in (turns) one and two, I wasn't as good.

"But glad to get a win. Always feels good to get the win, especially here in Wisconsin.

Sweet, of Grass Valley, Calif., finished third. Pittman, of Owasso, Okla., took fourth, while Tim Kaeding of San Jose placed fifth.

With the win, Schatz trimmed his deficit to Sweet — a Kasey Kahne Racing driver — for the series lead to 38 points.

Other winners Saturday were Zach Raidart of Antioch, Ill., in the AutoMeter Wisconsin WingLess Sprints and Kenosha's Mike Neau in the IRA Lightning Sprints.

This Saturday at Wilmot will feature Family and Military Appreciation Night, highlighted by the Street Stock Dennis Carlton Tribute presented by Don's Garage of Trevor. The AutoMeter Wisconsin WingLess Sprints, Modifieds, Lightning Sprints and Bandit 4-Cylinder Street Stocks are also on the program.

Active military and veterans presenting IDs at the ticket office will be admitted free. Grandstand admission is $15 for ages 12 and over and free for ages 11 and under. CK Contractors of Bristol will provide complementary checkered flags to kids, while Daughters of the American Revolution will provide complementary pins for veterans and active military.

Grandstands open at 5 p.m., with Meet the Driver from 5 to 5:30, followed by on-track activity at 5:45 and racing to follow. For updates, visit wilmotraceway.com, the track's official Facebook page or call the trackside race line at 262-862-2090.

Mike Johnson

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