While drivers in the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models Series would once again see their hopes to return to racing washed away by wet weather, the champions of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series were not going to let anything stop them from the action at Kokomo Speedway. This includes two of the hardest working drivers in the series who put up one heck of a battle at Indiana’s famed quarter mile dirt track. To claim the win in his 300th Sprint Car start, Sheldon Haudenschild only had one driver that could stand in his way -10-time Series champion Donny Schatz.
After both drivers would start on the front row for the 40-lap Feature, Haudenschild would lead the opening laps and pull away from Schatz in the early stage of this race. After the young driver would hit lap traffic by Lap 6, Schatz would begin to reel in his nemesis and a few laps later the two would find themselves racing side by side. That is until Schatz used clean air at the bottom of the track to pull his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing CARQUEST NO. 15 to the race lead on Lap 9.
As Schatz continued to use his experience to school the competition, Haudenschild used the knowledge obtained from his teacher to sneak underneath Schatz on Lap 17 and drag race with him down the front stretch. When they found their way back to Turns 1 and 2, Haudenschild and Schatz ran side by side, inches apart, in perfect tandem through the corner.
These two drivers remained that way down the back stretch before Haudenschild made better work of the low lane than Schatz could of the top and reclaimed the lead on Lap 25. Once Haudenschild reclaimed the lead from Schatz, he never relinquished it and the 10-time Series champion would see his hopes for a 300th Series win go up in the dust.
“This win is a dream come true,” said Haudenschild. “I feel like having the crew and the team behind you gets your confidence to another level. “I feel like I’m just getting a glimpse of what Donny Schatz has had for a long time. Just trying to keep the same guys together and keeping the team together and growing as a team. Not just as myself. That has been my biggest goal this year, just work good with my guys and work on myself as a driver and just try to get the whole package together.”
Obviously, the competition can see this young driver’s goal coming to fruition as Schatz could not help but admit that “he was better than we were,” said Schatz.
“He made the top in (turns) one and two work. I was not going to do it. He was up the fence and it just was not me. I tried to make something else work and he got the best of us on that. That’s what got the win.”
Although Schatz was once again the bridesmaid versus the bride, one of the winningest drivers in Sprint Car Series history will get another chance to earn his 300th win at the final race of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series 2020 season – the World of Outlaws Last Call at the Dirt Track at Charlotte, November 6-7. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for the latest from the World of Outlaws as well as for all