INDIANAPOLIS — Stenhouse Jr./Wood Racing announced Friday afternoon that the team has parted ways with driver Joey Saldana, just over a third of the way through the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series season.
The team made the announcement via their official Twitter page.
Today we and @JS17Racing have decided to part ways. Joey helped us build this team and we wish him the best in future endeavors.
— SJWRacing (@SJWRacing) June 23, 2017
After losing his ride with Roth Motorsports at the conclusion of last season, Saldana teamed up with co-owners Ricky Stenhouse and Matt Wood, who wished to go full-time Outlaw racing following the tragic passing of former Wood Racing driver Bryan Clauson at the Belleville Midget Nationals last August.
However, through 37 races this season, the pairing’s results have been much less than expected.
Saldana has only four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this year. As of the series’ most recent race at Granite City Speedway on Tuesday, Saldana ranked eighth in points, 626 markers behind leader Donny Schatz.
The 99-time World of Outlaws winner is still chasing the century threshold, and his future plans are now unclear after losing his third ride in the last three seasons. His last World of Outlaws win came Sept. 17, 2016 at US 36 Raceway, when he beat Jason Johnson for the crown in the FVP Missouri High-Banked Nationals.
Saldana formerly drove for Motter Motorsports in 2015 and Roth Motorsports last season before teaming up with Stenhouse and Wood during the offseason.
Team officials confirmed Friday afternoon that Jac Haudenschild will drive the No. 17W in at least the next two World of Outlaws events — tonight at West Liberty Raceway and Saturday night at Wisconsin’s Beaver Dam Raceway — though he is not planned to be Saldana’s long-term replacement.
SPEED SPORT first reported the news of Haudenschild’s tabbing for the car.
This weekend will mark Haudenschild’s return to sprint car racing, following more than a week off for recovery from a broken nose.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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