There’s just something about high banked race tracks with a cushion inches off the wall that brings out the best in Jac Haudenschild.
The Wooster, Ohio driver took over the lead on lap six after the previous two front runners – Shane Stewart and Jac’s son, Sheldon – crashed, and drove away the remaining 33 laps for his second win of the 31st Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek. For Jac, who won Saturday at Eldora Speedway which also featured a slick groove inches from the outside wall, it was his 25th career University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions victory. The win was Haudenschild’s second career All Star win at Limaland which has now hosted the series 28 times since 1983.
“The car felt good and the track was definitely the way I like it…slick and to the wall. My mechanic Bonsai had the car really good tonight. Tom Leidig…I just want to thank him for putting me in a car this year. It’s nice to have a good ride,” said Haudenschild beside his Auto Electric backed No. 59. “It really is nice to be in Ohio racing during speedweek. I love racing around here….it’s where I started. It’s great to win at Limaland.”
For Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Danny Holtgraver second place continues his hot streak during speedweek of top 10 runs and puts him in contention to claim the Ohio Speedweek championship. It came down to Saturday’s $10,000-to-win finale at Fremont as Holtgraver and Tim Shaffer were within a handful of points of one another. Local driver Dale Blaney took that finale.
“I had a little bit of trouble getting through traffic…I got caught up behind one. This place is like a mini-Eldora and Jac’s best at Eldora so why not be good here. It was a fun race. I just wish I could have gotten closer at the end. The car was awesome. I have to thank my guys, Brian, Chris, Rob, my dad, Rob Hunter and Bryan Grove…a lot of awesome people who have given me a great opportunity and I’m having a good time here,” said Holtgraver beside his Canton Erectors/Berlin Natural Bakery./DKW Transport/Classic Ink backed No. 45.
After having to change a tire and go to the tail just 7 laps into the race, four time UNOH All Star champion Tim Shaffer charged to a third place finish.
“I think the tire went flat right off the bat. It was laying on the right rear hard. I was telling Cody (Jacobs, crew chief) on that yellow ‘I think my tire is low.’ And then when that red came out I asked that guy and he said it was really low. I didn’t know what to do…either we try to stay out or go get it fixed. It worked out great. I’m really proud of my guys, the whole CH Motorsports team. We’re banging on the door and getting closer and closer to getting a win. We’ll keep working harder,” said Shaffer beside his Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook owned machine with sponsorship from J&J Auto Racing, Kistler Engines/VRP Shocks and Champion Oil.
“Tomorrow is another race and we have to do our homework tomorrow. Everything seems to change. It’s about getting the car really awesome. Fremont has been good to me and it’s always fun to race there so hopefully we can come out of there with our first All Star win this season,” added Shaffer who inches closer to Dale Blaney for the UNOH All Star national and Ohio region point lead.
Sheldon Haudenschild and Shane Stewart would bring the field to the green for the 40-lap feature with Stewart bolting into the lead with Sheldon Haudenschild, Jac Haudenschild, Holtgraver, Danny Smith, Dale Blaney and Randy Hannagan in tow. Just three laps into the race Stewart would jump the cushion in turn one and flip, handing the lead to Sheldon.
Sheldon would lead on the restart over Jac, as Holtgraver and Blaney battled hard for third with Hannagan, Byron Reed, Smith and Cole Duncan staying close. As they came out of turn four on lap five, Sheldon would jump the cushion, flipping his mount. That handed the lead to Jac with Holtgraver, Blaney, Hannagan, Reed and Duncan in tow. On the restart, D.J. Foos would crash in turn. A lap later a multi-car pile-up involving Greg Wilson, Caleb Helms, Bryan Sebetto and Dallas Hewitt would necessitate a fuel stop during which time Shaffer went pit side to change the flat right rear tire.
The restart order was Jac Haudenschild, Holtgraver, Blaney, Hannagan, Reed, Smith, Duncan, Dean Jacobs, Brandon Martin and Cap Henry. With a clear track on the restart, Haudenschild rocketed away while Holtgraver battled with Blaney for second and behind them Hannagan and Reed were locked in a tremendous duel for fourth.
The race would go non-stop the remaining distance.
Haudenschild would move into lapped traffic on lap 15 and began picking them off one at a time as Holtgraver got a little hung up and couldn’t gain ground. At the half-way point, Haudenschild encountered heavy lapped traffic that was racing side by side in front of him. Holtgraver closed quickly with Blaney, Reed and Hannagan also making up ground. Once clear of the traffic with 15 laps remaining, Haudenschild pulled away.
Meanwhile Shaffer, who had restarted on lap 7 in the 17th position, had worked his way up to fifth by lap 30. With five to go Haudenschild had a comfortable lead over Holtgraver with Blaney, Hannagan and Shaffer giving chase. Shaffer would move into fourth with just three laps remaining and took third as they raced to the white flag.
Haudenschild would rim-ride to the checkered over Holtgraver, Shaffer, Blaney and Hannagan.