Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) continued the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series nine-race tour through California Friday with a program at Merced (Calif.) Speedway. TSR’s Donny Schatz earned his seventh top-10 of the 2013 campaign by racing the No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J to a ninth-place finish. Steve Kinser drove TSR’s No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim to a 15th-place finish in the 40-lap A-Feature.
Friday marked the third consecutive March that the WoO STP Sprint Car Series converged on the 1/3-mile, dirt oval in Central California. Both Schatz and Kinser were looking to end Sammy Swindell’s two-race winning streak at the track, but neither was able to get off to a positive start during qualifying. Kinser would turn the 15th-best lap in the field of 31 cars with a time of 11.247 seconds, while Schatz was 16th with a lap of 11.258 seconds. Both drivers finished eighth in their respective heats and had to qualifying for the A-Feature by transferring through the B-Main. Kinser finished second in the 12-lap B-Main, one spot ahead of Schatz, and the TSR teammates shared row seven for the 40-lap 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 while Kinser would finish 15th.
Swindell continued his mastery of the facility by earning his third straight victory at Merced and became the ninth different winner in 11 2013 WoO STP Sprint Car Series events.
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. Kinser ranks 12th with 1,304 points.
The California tour continues next weekend for TSR with events at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway Friday and Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway Saturday.