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Sheldon Haudenschild in victory lane at Atomic Speedway. (Mike Campbell photo)

Haudenschild Hustles To Atomic WoO Score

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — They say there’s no place like home. It’s a place of comfort. It’s a place filled with family and friends always ready to welcome you.

Such was the case Saturday night at Atomic Speedway. Friday night ended in disappointment for Sheldon Haudenschild as he got into the wall and upside down running third. But the Ohio fans welcomed the Wooster, Ohio, native as warmly as ever the following night. The Buckeyes watched Haudenschild bloom into a star and appreciate every opportunity to cheer him on at home. And he made sure to give them a reason to cheer on Saturday.

Haudenschild started on the pole of the 30-lap feature and ran away to claim his fifth World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory of 2024. The 30-year-old worked through traffic and avoided disaster in the same spot that bit him on Friday night to get the job done.

“It’s so special,” Haudenschild said of winning on home turf. “It’s so cool to see these guys come support this race and all of the Ohio racing. I’ve got my parents here and some friends. Hats off to this whole NOS Energy Drink, West Tennessee Expediting, Frozen Farmer team. Everybody that helps out.”

Haudenschild also had his close friend and World of Outlaws icon Eloy Gutierrez, who is combatting health issues, on the mind.

“I’ve been wanting to win for Eloy,” Haudenschild said. “He’s back home and going through some stuff right now, and we’re thinking about him.”

The win gave Haudenschild 39 for his career with The Greatest Show on Dirt. It moved Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing up to 40. Five of Haudenschild’s career victories have come in his home state, and Atomic became the ninth track where he’s won multiple times. 

The field was brought to green by Haudenschild with David Gravel alongside. Haudenschild pulled ahead on the initial start as Carson Macedo slid ahead of Gravel in turns one and two, but Gravel countered with a crossover to hold onto the spot.

Haudenschild pulled away from Gravel slightly throughout the early circuits, but as traffic became a factor the lead began to dwindle. And then on lap eight came one of the race’s wildest moments. 

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Sheldon Haudenschild (Mike Campbell photo)

In turns one and two Haudenschild lapped Keith Baxter with a slide job, but Baxter crossed him over down the back straightaway as Gravel got a huge run behind them. Haudenschild looked to pass Baxter on the top of turns three and four as Gravel looked under him to take the lead. But Gravel slid into Baxter sending them both into the wall and leaving Gravel with heavy front end damage. Macedo came in and got a piece of the incident but was able to continue. The Big Game Motorsports team thrashed to fix the Huset’s Speedway No. 2 but couldn’t get Gravel back out before the restart.

When the green flag brought the action back to life Haudenschild darted away as Michael “Buddy” Kofoid snatched the runner-up spot from Macedo who had inherited it after Gravel’s misfortune. 

Traffic again quickly became a factor, but Kofoid struggled to narrow the gap between himself and Haudenschild. But right when it looked like Haudenschild might drive away comfortably, drama arose when he slapped the wall in between turns three and four on lap 19. Kofoid closed in right on his tail tank. 

But even with the near disaster for Haudenschild, Kofoid couldn’t find the run he needed to make a move. Haudenschild went on to cross the finish line with an advantage of just under seven tenths of a second, completing the ideal rebound after Friday’s crash.

“It seems like we do this every other week – crash one night and win one night,” Haudenschild said. “It just goes to show that my guys are willing to put the work in to win. We’ll just keep working.”

Buddy Kofoid drove the Roth Motorsports No. 83 to a runner-up finish for his ninth podium of 2024 and second in a row.

“I feel like our car has been really, really good here, and I feel like this is the best I’ve ever felt here,” Kofoid said. “We’ll take a second. I can’t thank these Roth Motorsports/Mobil 1/Toyota guys enough for the opportunity. Dennis and Teresa Roth, they’re watching at home. I couldn’t be driving for a better team.”

Carson Macedo came home third and took another step toward the top of the standings as he moved into second.

“That was race weird,” Macedo explained. “Early in the race I felt like I had a really good car. I felt like I could pace David pretty effortlessly. And then obviously David had the wreck, and I got into him a little bit and didn’t think I had any damage. But the right-side wing board was a little bit tore up. All of a sudden after that I felt like I was sliding in no man’s land. I was using the cushion as much as I could just to get going. It’s amazing how big of a difference that little bit of side board makes.”

Cole Duncan and Giovanni Scelzi completed the top five.

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[1]; 2. 83-Michael Kofoid[3]; 3. 41-Carson Macedo[4]; 4. 22-Cole Duncan[5]; 5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[6]; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart[11]; 7. 5T-Travis Philo[7]; 8. 99-Skylar Gee[12]; 9. 15-Donny Schatz[20]; 10. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]; 11. 21H-Brady Bacon[14]; 12. A79-Brandon Wimmer[18]; 13. 17B-Bill Balog[19]; 14. 11C-Kory Crabtree[15]; 15. 70-Kraig Kinser[17]; 16. 15K-Creed Kemenah[10]; 17. 24D-Danny Sams III[13]; 18. 2S-Nathan Skaggs[21]; 19. 5J-Jake Hesson[9]; 20. 83X-Nate Reeser[24]; 21. 2-David Gravel[2]; 22. 42-Sye Lynch[16]; 23. 1B-Keith Baxter[23]; 24. 4-Danny Smith[22]