Wooster, OH Veteran Captures 8th Eldora All Star Win in Leg #2 of Ohio Sprint Speedweek as Sutter & Craig Shine
ROSSBURG, OH (June 22) – By no means is he a kid anymore, but his moniker remains ‘the Wild Child’ and Jac Haudenschild lived up to those expectations with a classic Eldora Speedway run Saturday night. For the 55-year old Wooster, OH native, it was his 8th career UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car victory on the famed .500-mile clay oval and it came in leg #2 of the annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
Completing the tripleheader program as feature winners were Ryan Sutter in his first UMP DIRTcar Modified trip to the stage and Barney Craig for his fourth Stock Car win of the season.
Haudenschild played out the ‘spoiler’ role, as his determined rim-riding run denied Tim Shaffer his first-ever All Star win at Eldora. Shaffer, the defending and four-time All Star champion captured the pole starting berth for the 30-lap A-Feature event by virtue of his victory in the Dash event earlier in the night.
As the green flag unfurled over the lightning quick field, Shaffer shot out as if fired from a cannon. Within three laps he had built up a comfortable six car length lead; yet Haudenschild had him in sight. Riding up against the outer wall, Haudenschild moved from fourth to second before the completion of the first lap, and as his momentum built him, he began to narrow the distance.
By the sixth circuit, the blistering pace found the leaders approaching lapped traffic and that played right into the hand of Haudenschild. Before the seventh lap could be completed, Haudenschild had moved to the front and that was his position to protect throughout the remainder of the chase.
That protection held up through a pair of caution flags that had bunched up the field. One of the yellow flag periods was for Brandon Wimmer who tagged the third turn wall after finding a groove that was moving him forward quickly from his 8th place starting position.
Also on the move was current point leader Dale Blaney who started the race in 11th spot, but by lap 20 was up to third and joined a spirited battle with Brad Sweet, Randy Hannagan and his brother, Dave Blaney.
Things really heated up in the waning laps, as the gap that Haudenschild had built up narrowed down to a matter of a few car lengths. Shaffer, sensing his first Eldora All Star win, zeroed in on Haudenschild, but time ran out and had to settle for runner-up honors, with Sweet nosing out Dale Blaney for third. Hannagan crossed the line in fifth position, with Dave Blaney sixth.
Normally a nemesis, a rash of caution flags proved to be an ally to Sutter, who turned a solid effort. A 15-minute time placed on the event expired as a result of the numerous yellow flags, with a strong running Sutter out in front.
It was doubtful that anyone had anything for the determined young charger had the race gone the distance. Aaron Orr tried every trick in the book to outsmart Sutter, as did eventual third-place finisher Brandon Vaughan. But with every restart, Sutter was able to maintain his groove and drove a smart race knowing that the clock was ticking in his favor.
Following those three across the line were Zach Schroeder and Jerry Bowersock. With Sutter’s victory, it marked the fifth different winner this season, tying a 1996 fete as the most consecutive run of different winners in a season.
Paul Pardo shot into the early lead of the Stock Car finale, knowing that defending champion Craig was not too far behind him. Craig didn’t disappoint Pardo in his expectations of a battle, as within a matter of three laps the duo was engaged in a battle of supremacy. That lasted until the half-way point, at which time Craig slid into the lead he was to hold to the finish. Pardo hung on for second, while Dean Pitts turned in his best performance of the year to finish third. Jordan Conover and Shawn Phillippi completed the top five.
Eldora’s focus on Sprint Car racing now carries over to the 30th annual Kings Royal weekend, set for the weekend of July 12 and 13. Tickets and campsites for the event, as well as all of the other remaining events on the 60th season of racing at Eldora, can be purchased online at www.EldoraSpeedway.com