FARGO, N.D. – The off-season for five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz will be a short one as the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver will return to action Saturday at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand.

Saturday’s race will be the first of eight scheduled international races for Schatz. He’ll race twice in New Zealand (Nov. 23 and Nov. 30), before returning to the United States for roughly three weeks. Schatz will attend the annual PRI show and take part in a special luncheon at TSR before venturing to Australia’s Gold Coast and compete in six races at SuperCheap Auto Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane, Queensland.

“I’ve been fortunate over last 15 years to have the chance to race in Australia during my off-season,” said Schatz. “It’s always fun to get back there and see a lot of familiar faces. The people of Australia have been great to me. We’ve raced all over the country and become friends with so many people. The races in New Zealand have been a good addition. It’s fun to just go race and enjoy being at the track. We’re looking forward to two races at Western Swings the next two Saturday’s. The fans have been treated to some good shows the past three years and hopefully that will continue.”

The six nights of action in Brisbane begins with a Boxing Day race on Dec. 26. He’ll also race Dec. 28 and Jan. 1, before the Jan. 4 World Series Sprint Cars race. His tour concludes with the two-night¬†prestigious Australian Open., Jan. 10-11.

“John and Kathy Kelley do a great job in Brisbane and we’ve really enjoyed racing there,” continued Schatz. “It’s a good mixture of shows, and I’m excited to get back there again.”

Following the races in Brisbane, Schatz will return to the U.S. and immediately jump in his dirt late model. His plans are to compete in the NDRL Winter Freeze event at Tucson International Raceway during the week of Jan. 13-18. The 2014 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series schedule kicks off Feb. 14 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.