FINDLAY, Ohio — Despite Mother Nature’s attempt to end the evening just after qualifying time trials, Sheldon Haudenschild cruised to his sixth Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory of the season on Sunday night at Millstream Speedway, leading all 30 circuits over fellow championship contenders Chad Kemenah and Dale Blaney.
Haudenschild, pilot of the Southern Pacific Farms/Finzer Farms/Haudenschild Racing No. 93, survived six cautions — including a fuel stop — to clinch his spot in victory lane, increasing his career win total to 12 with the Arctic Cat All Stars.
“This is huge, you know,” Haudenschild said. “We’ve struggled with qualifying here in the past. We never could get ourselves into a dash, so qualifying for the dash tonight was really important to us. That little bit of rain we got earlier in the night made the track pretty fast. It was definitely important to start up front. I can’t thank my guys enough for what they do. It wouldn’t be possible without all of them, as well as everyone else who is on the car.”
Haudenschild jumped ahead during the initial start, taking advantage of his pole position to control the opening lap over Kemenah and Blaney. An early caution on lap five, as well as a pair of cautions on lap 10 and lap 13, may have stalled feature competition, but they never disturbed the top three in the running order.
Haudenschild mastered his preferred line at the top of the speedway, which proved to be the dominant line around the Findlay, Ohio half-mile.
Kemenah attempted to make the middle of the speedway work during segments of the main event, while Dale Blaney utilized the bottom groove; each proving to be unsuccessful against Haudenschild.
A late caution on lap 27 would force the feature field to refuel, setting up a four-lap dash for Haudenschild, Kemenah, and Blaney.
On the restart, Kemenah and Blaney each attempted to overtake Haudenschild from underneath, but a clear track and clean air proved to be too powerful for Haudenschild, driving away nearly unchallenged to score the $5,000 victory.
The win, Haudenschild’s 15th top-five finish of the season, allowed the second generation racer to close in on the championship chase by another two markers and cut Kemenah’s advantage to 68 points.
“The track was just a little too fast to get by Sheldon (Haudenschild),” Kemenah explained after his runner-up finish. “The cushion was the fastest way around the race track and he’s good on the cushion.”
RESULTS: Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions; Millstream Speedway; Aug. 28, 2016
A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 2. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 3. 1-Dale Blaney ; 4. 49-Tim Shaffer ; 5. 5T-Travis Philo ; 6. 23-DJ Foos ; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 8. 8M-TJ Michael ; 9. 17-Jared Horstman ; 10. 38-Dean Jacobs ; 11. 09x-Carson Macedo ; 12. 35-Stuart Brubaker ; 13. 11N-Randy Hannagan ; 14. 5M-Max Stambaugh ; 15. 95-Hunter Mackison ; 16. 57X-Andrew Palker ; 17. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 18. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 19. 60-Kory Crabtree ; 20. 4-Danny Smith ; 21. 59N-Bryan Nuckles ; 22. 21-Cap Henry ; 23. 40-Caleb Helms ; 24. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 25. 22B-Ryan Broughton .
CREDIT: All Star Communications