MERCED, CALIF.  – Five-time and reigning World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz finished ninth in Friday’s WoO 40-lap A-Feature at Merced (Calif.) Speedway. Schatz earned his second KSE Hard Charger of the Year by racing from 16th to earn his seventh top-10 of the 2013 campaign.

Schatz was the eighth car to turn a lap around the 1/3-mile, dirt oval and ended up 15th in the 31-car field behind the wheel of the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J. He finished eighth in the opening heat and third in the B-Main to transfer into the A-Feature.

The tight bullring proved to be a tough place to pass as the feature race unfolded. Schatz was able to work his way up to 12th midway through the race and made a pair of late passes to climb to ninth.

Following Friday’s results, Schatz continues to hold fifth in the 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series championship standings and now has 1,242 points. He trails leader Daryn Pittman by 154 markers with 74 scheduled nights of racing remaining.

The California tour continues next weekend for TSR with events at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway Friday and Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway Saturday.