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Schulz's loss still being felt in area auto racing world

Area racers have been dealing with the ultimate tragedy since Saturday, when Modifieds driver John Schulz was killed in a crash at Red River Valley Speedway.

Now comes the attempt to get back to normal.

"There are some shook-up drivers, for sure, and I wouldn't expect anything else," said Red River Valley Fair board manager Bryan Schulz. "When someone in that brotherhood is killed in that respect, it's difficult.

"But one thing that has been brought up is that Johnny would be upset if any races were thrown out."

The regularly scheduled races will continue at the West Fargo track on Friday.

After the crash on Saturday, the final two features - the Modifieds and Super Stocks - were not run. The Modified feature will be made up on June 12, and the Super Stocks feature will be made up June 19.

Drivers met Tuesday to talk about the incident, and Bill Thompson, pastor at West Fargo's Lutheran Church of the Cross spoke to them.

"The message was that it was a tragedy, but you have to continue on," Bryan Schulz said. "Bill reminded everyone that it was an accident - that it was no one's fault."

It was the third death at RRVS, and the first since Greg Nogowski was killed on Aug. 7, 1992. Mike Swangler was also killed in a crash at RRVS in 1977.

Bryan Schulz said that even though the last fatal crash was nearly two decades ago, it was still very fresh in everyone's minds.

"We've had three deaths at the track in all of these years, and still everybody remembers the names," Bryan Schulz said. "They've all come up.

"It's a risk that all of the drivers know they're taking, and when something like this happens, it's something that you never forget."

John Schulz's funeral will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Hartl Ag Building on the Red River Valley fairgrounds.

"Racing was his livelihood, and the most surreal thing was that the track was his second home," Bryan Schulz said. "To have his funeral here, and to be surrounded by his second family is something he would've wanted."

Schatz's lead shrinks

Fargo's Donny Schatz is coming off a rough weekend that has his points lead in the World of Outlaws Sprint car series down to just 14 points.

Schatz jumped out to a huge lead in Attica, Ohio, on Friday, but made contact with a car in lap traffic and then was hit by another car. The damage knocked him out of the race and he finished 22nd.

On Saturday, he finished eighth in the feature at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich.

Dale Blaney won Friday's feature, and Jason Meyers won on Saturday.

Schatz leads the point standings with 3,159 points, but Steve Kinser (3,145), Joey Saldana (3,130) and Meyers (3,110) are all close behind.