Sprint Car News

Sheldon Haudenschild Rides the Haud Line to Paducah Victory

Haudenschild rips by Bill Balog early and drives to third World of Outlaws win of 2024 (Trent Gower Photo)

PADUCAH, KY (April 19, 2024) – The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Haudenschild family.

Almost 14 years to the date that Jac Haudenschild drove to the win at Kentucky’s Paducah International Raceway, his son – Sheldon Haudenschild – put together a very similar race to make his own trip to Victory Lane.

Back in 2010, Jac slipped by Jason Sides exiting Turn 4 on the opening lap and led the entire distance for the win. On Friday night, Sheldon blasted by Bill Balog in Turn 4 on Lap 2 and controlled the remainder of the race to triumph with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. In Haudenschild fashion, neither shied from Paducah’s intimidating topside on their path to victory.

The Paducah crowd that hadn’t seen The Greatest Show on Dirt come to town since 2012 erupted as Haudenschild climbed atop the Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17 in Victory Lane.

“Hats off to (Kyle) Ripper, Steve (Kinzer Dussel), and Luke (Vaughn),” Haudenschild said. “They’ve been putting the work in, and it pays off. Happy to get this whole NOS Energy Drink team back in Victory Lane. We’ve got all the guys from J&J (Auto Racing) here. I’m so happy to be back in their cars and on a good program.”

Haudenschild is up to 37 career World of Outlaws wins, giving him sole possession of 20th on the all-time win list. It was the Wooster, OH native’s first win in the state of Kentucky, making the “Bluegrass State” the 17th different he’s won inside the borders of. Paducah is the 24th different racetrack where he’s topped a World of Outlaws race. After winning three races all of last year, Haudenschild has already reached three victories through only 14 races in 2024.

Bill Balog and Haudenschild brought the 30-lapper to green. The “North Pole Nightmare” jumped out to the early advantage, but Haudenschild didn’t let him get far. The 30-year-old fired a slide job in Turn 1 on the second lap that cleared the Anderson’s Maple #17B. Balog battled back down the back straightaway with a crossover to regain the spot. Balog slid toward the top in Turns 3 and 4, but Haudenschild roared around him on the top exiting the corner to secure the lead.

Throughout the opening laps Haudenschild opened up the advantage as he ripped the cushion. While Haudenschild set sail up front, battles broke out behind him all over the 3/8-mile. Shortly before Haudenschild put 10 laps in the books he began to encounter traffic. The slower cars along Balog to close back in, trimming the lead from nearly two seconds to under a second in only a couple laps. 

But right when it appeared a battle for the lead may be shaping up, Haudenschild put multiple lapped cars between himself and Balog to extend the lead as they neared the halfway mark.

Carson Macedo and David Gravel began to close in on Balog to create a three-car battle for second. Gravel slipped ahead of Macedo for third, and then a couple laps later the trio started to slice and dice leading them to driving three-wide down the back straightaway for the spot. A caution for a spinning Danny Sams III put the battle on hold.

The ensuing restart brought chaos. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took advantage of a huge run down the back straightaway to slide both Gravel and Balog to take second. The Roth Motorsports #83 narrowly cleared Balog, who looked to turn underneath Kofoid but made contact with Gravel. The impact sent Gravel spinning toward the infield and led to contact with Brock Zearfoss, sending them both over and bringing out the red flag. Gravel’s night was done, and his point lead shrank to 16 markers as a result.

The crash lined the field up for a restart with 13 laps remaining, but Haudenschild had no intentions of allowing any late-race drama. The 2017 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year took off on his way to a commanding victory as the World of Outlaws returned to Paducah for the first time in a dozen years.

“I felt like it was a little hard to pass, and I felt like if anybody was going to pass me with how fast I was able to rip the top, it would’ve been pretty difficult to throw a slider,” Haudenschild said. “I felt like my entry was really good, so if I needed to I could kind of come off of it a little bit and be a little safer. When you know you’ve got to make speed, you’ve got to keep it straight up there and not drag the wall.”

Balog held on to notch the runner-up spot, marking his best finish of the year and first podium outing. He’s now posted three consecutive top five finishes after a pair last weekend in Pevely. Balog continues to exceed his own expectations with yet another strong run with his B2 Motorsports team.

“It’s awesome,” Balog said of his night. “This has been just an awesome adventure. I’m as surprised as you are some of these nights. The car has been good, and we keep getting greedier and greedier. I didn’t really have anything for Sheldon there, but we were able to race pretty good and hang on to second.”

Kofoid brought the Roth Motorsports #83 home third. He and the Roth crew continue to build momentum with three consecutive World of Outlaws podiums.

“I can’t thank Dennis and Teresa Roth enough for the opportunity to drive this iconic, beautiful race car,” Kofoid said. “And Mobil 1 and Toyota for continuing to back us and make it possible.”

The brothers Cole and Carson Macedo completed the top five.

A 13th to sixth effort aboard the KCP Racing #18 earned Giovanni Scelzi the KSE Racing Hard Charger.

Carson Macedo snagged his fourth Simpson Quick Time of the year in Seafoam Qualifying.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One and Three belonged to Carson Macedo (117th Heat Race win of career) and David Gravel (248th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two went to Buddy Kofoid (20th of career).

Bill Balog won the Toyota Racing Dash.

Kevin Newton won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

Brock Zearfoss earned the Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race.

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