MOORESVILLE, N.C. — David Gilliland Racing announced Wednesday that 10-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Donny Schatz will pilot the No. 17 Little Giant Ford F-150 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series invades Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway for the first time in series history on July 9.
Schatz currently competes full-time on the Outlaw circuit, driving the No. 15 for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing.
The upcoming Truck Series race at Knoxville will be Schatz’s first attempt at a NASCAR national series race in his lengthy motorsports career. Even though it will be Schatz’s first foray into NASCAR, he’s no stranger to the half-mile Knoxville dirt oval, as he has 27 career wins at the track, including 17 with the Outlaws and 10 Knoxville Nationals triumphs (2006-2009, 2011-2015, 2017) in 22 Nationals A-Main starts.
“Donny is a legend in the dirt car world and has an incredible track record at Knoxville in the World of Outlaws,” said David Gilliland, co-owner of David Gilliland Racing. “His experience level and knowledge of dirt track racing and Knoxville Raceway will make him a great addition to the team for the first ever truck race there. We are super excited to welcome him aboard.”
The Fargo, N.D., native has become one of the most prolific drivers on the Outlaw tour, with 299 wins, 954 top-fives and 1,403 top-10s in his career. He is the third winningest driver in series history.
In addition to his Knoxville Nationals resume, Schatz has also won the Kings Royal at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway five times. So far this year, he has 15 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes through 27 races and sits fourth in the point standings as he battles for his first Outlaw win of the season and 300th of his career.
“I am unbelievably excited to take part in my first NASCAR-sanctioned event as part of David Gilliland Racing,” Schatz said. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet David and his organization’s record speaks for itself. DGR has a great group of people working with their team and I’m looking forward to making my debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with them at Knoxville Raceway in July. The fact that my first NASCAR sanctioned event will take place on dirt and in a truck fits perfectly into the path that my career has taken. To make my truck series debut at Knoxville, a place that has been so good to me over the years is also very fitting. I’m hoping to represent our partners and the sprint car community well.
“Dennis (Frandsen) and many of his team have been friends of my family and supporters of our racing programs for many years. It’s a privilege to work with them on this event and I’m really excited to see our relationship come full circle. I’m also thrilled to have Carquest, Kraig Ford, Absolute Automation, Curb-Agajanian, Sage Fruit and Elliott’s Custom Carts and Trailers as part of our team for this event as well. It’s really exciting to be able to bring them along for this experience.”
“We are so excited to partner with Donny Schatz and David Gilliland Racing for our first NASCAR experience,” added Dennis Frandsen, CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Frandsen Corporation, the parent company of Miller Manufacturing. “Miller Manufacturing continues to expand its US-based manufacturing to support its hard-working customers in the farm, pet, and ranch markets. Donny’s Midwestern roots embody the values of our customers and our team at Miller Manufacturing. We look forward to cheering him on at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on July 8-9 in Knoxville, Iowa.”