INDIANAPOLIS (January 16, 2014) – Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz was named the Driver of the Year by the North American 410 Sprint Car Poll Thursday. It was the sixth time the Fargo, N.D., resident has been recognized as the top driver by the voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers. Schatz piloted TSR’s No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J to 25 victories during the 2013 campaign, including a career-best 23 World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series A-Feature wins.
“This is a special honor,” said Schatz, who became the first driver in Knoxville Nationals history to win the prestigious event from the 21st starting position. “This isn’t an individual award. There are so many people who make this possible. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive the car. It starts with Tony (Stewart, team owner). He’s surrounded me with not only great marketing partners like STP, Armor All, Chevrolet Performance and Bad Boy Buggies, but also a group of people who work tirelessly so I can have the opportunity to drive the best car every night. My crew (Rick Warner, Steve Swenson, Jim Oare and Eric Prutzman) is the best in the business and we won 25 races together this year. I appreciate all the voters recognizing the incredible season we had.”
Schatz topped the poll with 13 of the 23 first-place votes and became only the second driver to be named 410 Driver of the Year six times. His TSR teammate Steve Kinser has been voted the top driver 14 times since the annual poll began in 1985. Schatz also earned the award in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.
He began 2013 by sweeping the UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions two-night program at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., and closed the campaign by winning two of the final three WoO A-Features. His 23 WoO victories came at 20 different tracks and he also led a series-best 427 laps – 201 more than Tim Kaeding’s 226, which was second best. Schatz, the 1997 WoO Rookie of the Year, has earned 147 career WoO A-Feature wins to rank fourth all-time.