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Glenn Pursley, Published June 19 2013

World of Outlaws driver Schatz races in Ada

Ada, Minn. - Fargo driver Donny Schatz is well established in the World of Outlaws, but his success hasn’t stopped him from reaching out to area race tracks.

On Wednesday, Schatz took a break from his hectic Sprint cars schedule to try his luck in a Late Model race at Norman County Raceway. He finished fifth in the feature.

“It’s fun to give back and be part of trying to help these shows out around the area,” Schatz said. “We had a lot of different classes at the Red River Valley Speedway that supported us, and to be able to go race with those guys and try to help them out is a lot of fun.”

And if anyone knows a thing or two about how much hard work and support is put into running a local race track, Schatz is that guy.

Since 2010, Schatz’s father, Danny, had leased RRVS in West Fargo, with Donny driving occasionally at the track as part of the Outlaws.

But this summer is the first time in 46 years that the dirt on the three-eighths mile track will go untouched. Lack of attendance was a contributing factor.

RRVS isn’t the only track to face such difficulties. Schatz says during his years of racing, he’s witnessed a handful of race tracks call it quits.

“We see it all over the country,” Schatz said. “Obviously, it’s a big disappointment, but it’s not the end of the world. Race tracks come and go, and I think people are starting to see some of the challenges involved in operating a race track. I don’t think it’s the end for racing in Fargo, and hopefully sooner or later we’ll see something happen.”

Schatz has continued to dominate the competition.

Last weekend after nearly a month-long winless streak, Schatz was able to pick up a pair wins at back-to-back Outlaws events at Jackson (Minn.) Speedway and Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway.

He holds second place in the points standings with 4,525 and leads the series in wins with seven. Schatz is chasing his seventh Outlaws championship and is 137 points behind current leader Daryn Pittman.

Schatz will head to Grand Forks on Friday to race at River Cities Speedway before heading to I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls, Minn., on Saturday.

“It’s very hard to continually win races and be consistent,” Schatz said. “It’s something we’ve been able to get ahead on, but it’s not an easy feat. We try to continue on and keep ourselves going in the direction we have … as long as we can do that, we’re gonna be happy and have fun along the way.”

Forum reporter Glenn Pursley can be reached at (701) 241-5549.