Jac Haudenschild enjoys the demanding schedule that the World of Outlaws run, but he also enjoys being able to return to his home state of Ohio during the season to catch up with family and friends. He will have that chance this weekend as the series recently concluded their first East Coast swing of the season that saw them compete in a stretch of seven races in a 13-day period that kept him and his team busy.
A pair of races in the Buckeye state dot the calendar this weekend at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio on Friday, June 1 followed by a visit to Eldora Speedway on Saturday, June 2. Haudenschild won at Sharon Speedway last season. He ran in the Top-three during the first half of the $10,000-to win event, and on the 23rd lap he used a textbook slidejob to move into the runner-up position and one lap later he sliced around Brooke Tatnell to take the lead and ultimately the win.
“We ran good there last year,” said Haudenschild, driver of the Wright One Construction Maxim. “The car is running pretty well right now. We’re looking forward to heading over to Sharon.”
Last season at the 3/8-mile track, Haudenschild began the night by turning in the fifth fastest lap in time trials, with a very strong 44 car field in attendance. He followed that up with a third-place finish in the third heat to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, which he won to earn the pole position for the 40-lap A-Feature. The win last season at the 3/8-mile track was his second of four on the campaign.
“You have to have your car balanced well at Sharon,” explained the native of Wooster, Ohio. “Lately, we have had a little bit of a hard time qualifying. If we can get qualified up front, we should be right up in there.”
After two weeks on the East Coast, Haudenschild and his team quickly loaded their trailer after the event on Monday night at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, to make the nearly 400 mile trip back to Ohio. After logging over 1,200 miles on the road last week after the series went from Pennsylvania to Charlotte, then back to New York, the journey to Ohio did not seem as daunting for Haudenschild and his team.
“We’ll head home before the race on Friday,” he said. “It’s a long drive, but we’ll get back and get the car all ready.”
While on the East Coast, Haudenschild had a chance to do some sightseeing after the event at New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey on May 20. He drove an hour and a half north to New York City. While he is used to dealing with traffic on the race track, the traffic he encountered in the “Big Apple” was like nothing he had ever seen.
“There were a lot of cars up there and it was pretty congested,” smiled Haudenschild, recalling how he drove his motorhome through the tight city streets. “We took the motorhome up there and I don’t care if don’t go back for quite a while.”
With a quarter of the season in the books, Haudenschild is 10th in World of Outlaws championship points on the strength of 10 Top-10 finishes, with four of those being in the Top-Five. He earned a season-best finish of second earlier in the year at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. He has led 46 laps on the season and also won a Crane Cams Dash to earn a pole position. On top of this he has earned the KSE Race Products Hard Charger Award once as well.
“I think we’ll get a win here before too long,” he commented. “We’ve been pretty quick, and we have run up front quite a bit.”
With a very strong team behind him, Haudenschild heads to the race track confident each night knowing he will have a strong race car, and he can focus all of his energy on getting it to the front of the field. With nearly 90 races on the schedule a steady pace is a key as the season wears on.
“The guys do most of the work on the car and they always have the car ready to go,” said Haudenschild. “That helps me stay fresh not having to do too much of that. I just have to make sure that I am at the track and rested up.”
With a record number of cars on the road this season with the World of Outlaws battling for the 24 starting spots in the A-Feature each night, each time the veteran driver hits the track is important. He stresses how important the early part of the night is in determining how the rest of the racing program will go for a driver this season.
“Qualifying at the beginning of the night determines a lot out here right now,” he said. “It determines where you will start the heat races. Right now I would say that it is the most important part of the night out here.”
Though he only gets to race at Sharon Speedway once or twice a season, the track holds a special place to Haudenschild who has raced at countless tracks from coast-to-coast and continues to gain a loyal legion of fans every time he pulls into a pit area.
“We used to run at Sharon a long time ago when we first started racing,” he shared. “We never ran there a whole lot, but it is always nice to go back to Ohio to see all the fans.”
On Friday, June 1, at Sharon Speedway adult reserved tickets will be $27, with adult general admission tickets $25, while tickets for children (6-13) will be just $5, and kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge. For ticket information call the ticket office at: 330.772.1186 or visit http://www.sharonspeedway.com.