Mike Christopher Jr. Wins First NASCAR Modified Race with TBR
May 29, 2022
For more than four decades, the Haudenschild name has been gracing victory lane all throughout the great state of Ohio. The only difference between now and 1980 is that the next generation is the one doing the winning now.
The passing of the torch from father-to-son continued on Saturday night as Sheldon Haudenschild earned his third World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win in his home state. The Wooster, OH fan favorite is following in the footsteps of his legendary dad, Jac, who scored 11 of his 72 career wins within state lines.
It was only fitting that Jac himself was in-person to witness his boy deliver a big-time performance at Waverly's Atomic Speedway, located a little more than two hours south of Wooster. The win upped Sheldon and Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing to four victories in 2022, tied with Carson Macedo and Jason Johnson Racing for the most on tour through 22 of 77 races.
His 26th career World of Outlaws win was a good one, too, as Haudenschild was forced to fend off the Shark Racing duo of Jacob Allen and Logan Schuchart. Both Hanover, PA gassers were making their first-ever appearance at the Atomic 3/8-mile, but no signs of inexperience were on display as the #1A and the #1S brought the heat onto Ohio's favorite son.
Officially, Sheldon led 27 of 30 laps in the Series' long-awaited return after a 13-year absence from the track. Allen, who continues to piece together a spectacular season, led Laps 18-20 and hounded Haudenschild throughout the closing stages in front of a packed crowd.
"That was such a blast," Haudenschild told a standing-room only crowd at Atomic. "I love the Shark boys, and man they were on it tonight. I knew the 1A and 1S would be there with a track like this and sure enough they gave me everything. Getting back home to Ohio is so much fun. The track crew did an amazing job. I know it wasn't ideal to start the night, but they brought it back to life and gave us a great place to race.
"I can't thank my guys enough for how hard they're working. [Kyle] Ripper, Stephen [Hamm-Reilly] and Jakob [Weaver] are the reason this boat turns around and goes so fast."
Earning his first DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash win of the year, Haudenschild earned the right to start pole position alongside Lockbourne, Ohio's Cole Duncan. The Atomic ace to his outside was chasing his first-career win with the Series, but the NOS Energy Drink #17 is who won the race into turn one.
Things got intense at the halfway mark when traffic became a factor and allowed the Shark duo of Allen & Schuchart to tighten things up. Allen used a brief lapse to sneak by the #17 and lead three circuits before more traffic allowed Haudenschild to get right back by him.
It was never out of question, though, as Allen & Schuchart both kept it close in the final laps with traffic still impacting Haudenschild's drive out front. The #17 eventually survived all challenges, but only with the margin of victory at 0.430-seconds.
"I knew I had to limit my mistakes in traffic and I still made a couple. but I was able to get my momentum back when Jacob got me," Haudenschild added. "The lappers were tough to negotiate tonight. I really needed to stay up on the banking to keep my speed rolling. You can be up one night and down the next against these guys, so we'll enjoy this one and hopefully build on it next week."
Finishing second with a last-lap, last-corner pass on his uncle was Logan Schuchart aboard the Shark Racing, DuraMAX Oil, Drydene Performance Products #1S. It's his fifth top-five finish in seven races since unloading a new Triple-X Chassis.
"It's always really fun when you can race so clean, but so hard with guys like that," Schuchart said. "I've never been to Atomic before tonight, but this place was really cool, raced great, and we got to see a packed crowd. Ohio fans never disappoint. We put this new Triple-X together before Bristol and we've been up front almost every single night. That goes to show how hard my guys Ron [Helmick], Todd [Berkheimer], my grandfather [Bobby Allen], and Bill [Klingbeil] are working.
Rounding out the podium in third place and continuing his spectacular season was Jacob Allen in the Shark Racing, Pells Tire Service, Low-E Insulation #1A. He led led three laps in the closing stages, but ultimately lap traffic is what cost him his third win of the 2022 season.
"That was a blast," Allen said with a joy. "You have Haud's son and Bobby Allen's son. He's up top, I'm on the bottom. Both of our dads are down here on the frontstretch, that is pretty awesome. I want to win and I had a good shot, but putting on races like that is just so much fun. If I can't win I'm glad to share the podium with an awesome group like this."
Championship leader Brad Sweet extended his advantage with a fourth place result in the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49. Ohio's own Cole Duncan finished fifth to score his fifth career top-five result with the World of Outlaws.
Closing out the top-10 at Atomic was Cale Thomas with a career-best sixth, David Gravel in seventh, Donny Schatz in eighth, Kraig Kinser in ninth, and Kasey Kahne with his first top-10 finish of the season.
UP NEXT (Mon) – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will keep the Memorial Day tradition alive with a Monday night under the lights at Indiana's Lawrenceburg Speedway up next. After that, next weekend takes the Series to the Dakotas with stops at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND on Friday, June 3 and then Huset's Speedway in Brandon, SD on Sunday, June 5. 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. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$6,000]; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen [$3,500]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,800]; 5. 22-Cole Duncan [$2,500]; 6. 101-Cale Thomas [$2,300]; 7. 2-David Gravel [$2,200]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,100]; 9. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$2,050]; 10. 9-Kasey Kahne [$2,000]; 11. 5T-Travis Philo [$1,600]; 12. 41-Carson Macedo [$1,400]; 13. 83-James McFadden [$1,200]; 14. 49X-Ian Madsen [$1,100]; 15. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,050]; 16. 7S-Robbie Price [$1,000]; 17. 11-Buddy Kofoid [$1,000]; 18. 5-Spencer Bayston [$1,000]; 19. 97-Greg Wilson [$1,000]; 20. 8D-Josh Davis [$1,000]; 21. O8-Brandon Conkel [$1,000]; 22. 20G-Noah Gass [$1,000]; 23. A79-Brandon Wimmer [$1,000]; 24. 4-Danny Smith [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Sheldon Haudenschild 1-17, 21-30; Jacob Allen 18-20. KSE Hard Charger Award: 5T-Travis Philo[+8]
NEW Championship Standings (After 22/77 Races): 1. Brad Sweet (3,046); 2. Sheldon Haudenschild (-48); 3. David Gravel (-52); 4. Carson Macedo (-54); 5. Logan Schuchart (-88); 6. Donny Schatz (-138); 7. James McFadden (-164); 8. Spencer Bayston (-170); 9. Jacob Allen (-216); 10. Brock Zearfoss (-364).
-World of Outlaws press release, Trent Gower photogrpahy