Since winning an impressive eight times through the first 32 races, Sheldon Haudenschild experienced the opposite end of the spectrum as he was dealt a 21-race winless streak from late June into early September.
On Friday night, the Wooster, OH native compiled his Skagit Speedway expertise with a lightning-fast NOS Energy Drink #17 and a little bit of luck to finally end that drought and bring the Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing team back to Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
Rolling from the pole position after winning the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, Haudenschild fell to second off the initial start of the 30-lapper as outside polesitter James McFadden busted out of the gates strong. It seemed as if the cards were in the favor of J-Mac, who last won 70 races ago on the 2021 Friday portion of the Sage Fruit Skagit Nationals.
However, heartbreak soon struck and brought nothing but agony to the Roth Motorsports #83 team. The Australian, who commanded the opening 16 laps, slowed to a stop as a mechanical issue derailed his pursuit of that elusive first World of Outlaws win of the season.
McFadden’s loss was Haudenschild’s gain as the 29-year-old restarted with the race lead, and never relinquished it. He drove off to a 0.799-second margin of victory to claim his second win at the Alger, WA facility and the 31st of his career with The Greatest Show on Dirt.
“I was having a bit of deja vu thinking about those races last year here against James in the #9,” Haudenschild said. “I saw that big puff of smoke come out and you could smell him rolling around, so I knew something was up. It just feels great to be back on top. It feels like haven’t won a race in such a long time. We made some great times from yesterday, and hopefully, we can find a little more to be better for tomorrow’s big one.”
Chasing his good friend to the finish line in Friday’s Feature was Jacob Allen, who earned a career-best second-place effort at Skagit Speedway. The Shark Racing, Pells Tire Service, Low-E Insulation #1A is up to seven-straight top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws, another career-best mark for the Hanover, PA native.
“I really thought we had a legitimate shot to win rolling through lap traffic,” Allen noted, going for his fourth win of the year. “We just couldn’t get back to the field after James fell out, but I thought my car was really great. It’s always good to be on the podium with the World of Outlaws.”
Using a late surge to steal the third spot, Carson Macedo earned his Series-best 21st podium of the season in the Jason Johnson Racing, Albaugh #41. The Lemoore, CA native now turns his attention to Saturday’s showcase as the defending champion of the $26,000/Win Sage Fruit Skagit Nationals.
“It’s never easy with the Outlaws, especially when I force myself to go back and forth like that,” Macedo mentioned. “Logan [Schuchart] kind of showed me the bottom and once I found that, I could definitely make up some ground. We’ve got some work to do before the big one tomorrow night.”
One of the biggest stories of the night was Joel Myers Jr., of Sebastopol, CA, who finished fourth in his second-ever attempt with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. The #46JR pilot joins Corey Day (Clovis, CA) and Ryan Timms (Oklahoma City, OK) as the third 16-year-old gasser to record a top-five finish with the Series this season.
Rounding out the top-five was championship leader Brad Sweet with his 10th consecutive top-five finish at Skagit Speedway. A fifth-place run for the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 extended the title advantage to +80 points over David Gravel with 12 point races remaining until the season-ending World Finals on November 2-5.
Closing out the top-10 on Friday night was Pennsylvania’s Logan Schuchart in sixth, North Dakota’s Donny Schatz in seventh, Washington’s Trey Starks in eighth, Connecticut’s David Gravel in ninth, and California’s Dominic Scelzi in tenth.
NOS NOTEBOOK (Skagit Speedway, 9/3/22)
Sheldon Haudenschild’s ninth win of the season officially makes 2022 the winningest campaign of his six-year career with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. His 31st career victory with The Greatest Show on Dirt pushes him past Bobby Allen to claim sole possession of 21st on the All-Time Win List.
A runner-up result for Jacob Allen rewarded him with career-best statistics in three separate categories on Friday night. The P2 run marked his career-best seventh-straight top-10 finish, his career-best finish at Skagit, and gave him a career-best seven podiums on the season.
At 16 years, 4 months, 21 days, Joel Myers Jr. is the third youngest top-five finisher in World of Outlaws history behind Ryan Timms (16 years, 1 day) and Corey Day (16 years, 3 months, 27 days).
Brad Sweet made it back-to-back QuickTime Awards, topping My Place Hotels Qualifying this time at 11.651 seconds around Skagit Speedway. He earned another NOS Energy Drink Heat Race win, bringing his total to 212 career wins along with Sheldon Haudenschild (79th career), Logan Schuchart (104th career), and Jacob Allen (48th career).
For the second night in a row, Jesse Schlotfeldt won the MicroLite Last Chance Showdown. Tyler Thompson of Harrisburg, OR, earned the final transfer and then KSE Hard Charger honors with a 24th-to-16th drive in the 30-lap Feature.
UP NEXT (Sat) – The Sage Fruit Skagit Nationals concludes on Saturday, September 3 as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series battles for a $26,000-to-win top prize at Skagit Speedway in Alger, WA. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE, or watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (30 Laps) – 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$10,000]; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen [$5,500]; 3. 41-Carson Macedo [$3,200]; 4. 46JR-Joel Myers [$2,600]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,350]; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,150]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,100]; 8. 55-Trey Starks [$1,950]; 9. 2-David Gravel [$1,900]; 10. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$1,850]; 11. 21-Mitchell Faccinto [$1,400]; 12. 7S-Robbie Price [$1,200]; 13. 83JR-Kerry Madsen [$1,000]; 14. 21S-Jesse Schlotfeldt [$1,000]; 15. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,000]; 16. 7-Tyler Thompson [$1,000]; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 18. 20G-Noah Gass [$1,000]; 19. 5-Spencer Bayston [$1,000]; 20. 14-Corey Day [$1,000]; 21. 19-Colby Thornhill [$1,000]; 22. 83-James McFadden [$1,000]; 23. 17S-JJ Hickle [$1,000]; 24. 18-Jason Solwold [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: James McFadden 1-16, Sheldon Haudenschild 17-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 7-Tyler Thompson[+8]
NEW Championship Standings (54/72 Races): 1. Brad Sweet (7,268); 2. David Gravel (-80); 3. Carson Macedo (-96); 4. Sheldon Haudenschild (-160); 5. Donny Schatz (-194); 6. Logan Schuchart (-252); 7. James McFadden (-458); 8. Spencer Bayston (-468); 9. Jacob Allen (-638); 10. Brock Zearfoss (-780).