OCALA, Fla. — One night after being collected by a lapped car while fighting at the front of the field at Bubba Raceway Park, Sheldon Haudenschild rallied back, took off from the pole and wired the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions field.
The win in the 30-lap finale to a tripleheader weekend at Bubba Raceway Park marked Haudenschild’s first in the state of Florida and the 17th of his All Stars career.
It was also his first win since joining Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing in the offseason.
“That was a blast tonight,” said Haudenschild. “To get through the first week with this NOS Energy, Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing team feels good. They’ve been killing it and we’re having a lot of fun. That is what matters in the end.”
Haudenschild survived a pair of cautions and multiple waves of heavy traffic during his campaign at the front of the running order.
But despite traffic, Haudenschild never faltered, extending his advantage to nearly three seconds by the midpoint of the 30-lap program. By the time caution flags flew for the first time on lap 17, Haudenschild’s advantage was over five seconds.
“I knew to get to lapped traffic in a hurry,” Haudenschild explained. “You just have to be careful and get through them really fast. It is definitely tough especially with how narrow turn four gets. I had to take a chance there a couple of times with lapped cars. Luckily it all worked out.”
Caution flags appeared for the second and final time on lap 22, once again erasing a commanding two-second lead for the reigning World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year.
However, the final nine circuits proved to be no distraction for Haudenschild, eventually crossing under the final checkers with a near-two second lead over Kerry Madsen and Chad Kemenah.
“I knew [Kerry Madsen] and [Tim Shaffer] were going to be fast because they’ve been fast all week,” Haudenschild said. “To beat guys like that feels really good. I wanted to be fast this week and I knew we would be. This team has really good equipment and it is filled with great crew guys. We were able to put it all together.”
Earning a second consecutive runner-up finish, Madsen climbed ahead from sixth on the main event grid, charging to fourth by lap 10 before utilizing the two restarts to eventually advance into second.
“I’m a little disappointed for us,” admitted Madsen. “I think we could have been up there and challenging a little bit harder. We got close at the end, but the laps burned out pretty quick and we ran out of time. Regardless, it was a good run for the team. I want to send out a special thanks to the team and everyone back at the shop.”
Kemenah picked up 13 positions during the All Star Circuit of Champions finale at Bubba Raceway Park to garner hard charger honors for the second time in three days, driving forward from 16th on the grid to finish third.
“I had a little driver error there during qualifying that put us behind,” said Kemenah. “I hated to see that last caution there toward the end. I needed the lapped cars and lapped traffic if I was going to get to the guys ahead of us. We’re not going to complain. This is a really good car and a really good team. We’ll head over to Volusia [Speedway Park] and see how we go.”
CREDIT: All Star Communications