Friday, March 24, 2023

David Gilliland Racing Taps Donny Schatz to Pilot No. 17 Ford F-150 at Knoxville

PC: Donny Schatz | Twitter

10-time World of Outlaws (WoO) Champion, Donny Schatz, will attempt to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut next month in the inaugural NASCAR-sanctioned event at Knoxville Raceway on July 9.

Schatz – who currently runs WoO full-time for Tony Stewart Racing — will pilot the No. 17 Little Giant Ford F-150 for David Gilliland Racing in the one-of-a-kind event, continuing to add to the truck’s part-time schedule in 2021.

“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.”

Even though the event at Knoxville will mark Schatz’s first move into NASCAR’s top-three series, the dirt racing legend has immense experience at the half-mile dirt oval, having scored 27 victories at the facility, including 10 Knoxville National victories (2006 – 2009, 2011 – 2015, 2017) in 22 A-Main starts.

The Fargo, North Dakota-native has put forward an incredibly decorated resume of racing on the World of Outlaws tour, which includes 299 victories, 954 top-fives and 1,403 top-10s. In addition to his 10 Knoxville National wins, Schatz has five victories in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.

“We are so excited to partner with Donny Schatz and David Gilliland Racing for our first NASCAR experience,” said 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.”

Through 27 World of Outlaws events this season, Schatz has scored an incredible 15 top-fives and 19 top-10s, sitting fourth-place in the series’ point standings, as he looks for his first win of the season and the 300th of his tenured 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.”

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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