SARVER, Pa. — In spite of a night that appeared as though World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series rookie contender Sheldon Haudenschild was going to score his first-career series win, Donny Schatz still had the last word.
Schatz won Tuesday night’s Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway — his fifth win in the event, 15th of the season and 244th of his Outlaws career — after Haudenschild lead the first 35 laps of the feature but flipped out of the lead with five laps to go thanks to a nasty meeting with the Turn 4 cushion.
“It’s been a good week,” said Schatz, fresh off his Kings Royal win at Eldora Speedway last Saturday. “This race team is incredible, what they do. When they get the race car good, you get in that zone, and they fine tune things and just keep making strides and making it better. It’s good to have that feeling for sure.”
Schatz has now won $75,000 with the World of Outlaws over the last four days.
Haudenschild dominated the first 35 laps of the 40-lap feature, jumping to the lead right from the start and leaving pole-sitter Daryn Pittman between he and Schatz, as he continued to lengthen the distance between them.
Meanwhile, Schatz had a rocky start, as his front tires lurched up on the front stretch outside turn four on lap three, and he went over the cushion outside turn one on lap nine and fell back to sixth.
But the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver regained some ground before an engine failure on the Shark Racing No. 1s of Logan Schuchart forced a restart at the 15th round. Seven rotations later, Schatz had the No. 15 Arctic Cat J&J back in third again.
On lap 24, Schatz passed Pittman, but Haudenschild was driving hard and still had a good three-second lead.
It took the veteran driver another eight laps to gain enough ground to start pushing on the rookie, but on lap 33 the exchanges began. Schatz passed Haudenschild. Haudenschild took it back. Schatz did it again, and again Haudenschild took it back.
A beautiful battle transpired until another caution — this time for Brent Marks spinning outside turn four with five to go — forced another restart.
With $25,000 on the line, the feature continued with a single-file restart and Haudenschild at the helm. He did what he had to do and shot out to a strong lead again, but hit the cushion so hard in turn four, he simply ran out of cushion.
At that point, the No. 93 hit the wall and flipped several times down the front stretch.
“[The cushion] was getting pretty thin,” said Schatz from victory lane. “In case anyone didn’t notice there were crashes. That’s why we had that [caution] before [Sheldon] did it. There was two cars sitting there, and the cushion was kind of rolled up over the edge of the track. It just kept getting slower and slower. When it starts slowing down… I guess old age is making me slow down a bit too.”
From there, it was all Schatz, who took the checkers 2.24 seconds ahead of Pittman in the end.
David Gravel, Tim Shaffer and Chad Kemenah completed the top five.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…