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Keeping Pace

Haudenschild Looks Forward to Eldora Speedway

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Among Jac Haudenschild's wins at Eldora, have been three in the Kings Royal, which puts him in elite company along with 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, as the only drivers that have been victorious three or more times in the annual $50,000 to win event.

Rossburg, OH—May 7, 2009—Jac Haudenschild took to the famed high banks of Eldora Speedway in Ohio for the first time in 1978 with the World of Outlaws, finishing fourth in his debut at the track, and 31 years later the Ohio native is still battling for wins at the legendary track in his home state.

Haudenschild won his first race at Eldora in 1982, in a non-wing sprint car race and followed that victory up later in that same season with his first World of Outlaws win at the half-mile. Over the years, he has racked up 23 victories at the track, with seven of those coming in World of Outlaws events. He will have two opportunities this weekend to add to his impressive record at the track, which includes well over 100 Top-10 finishes, as the World of Outlaws make their first visit of the season to Eldora on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 for two full nights of racing with $10,000 on the line to the winner each night.

“We like racing there,” said Haudenschild. “The (No.) R19 has been going pretty good this year. I always like running Eldora. It’s one of the tracks that is fun to race on. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can get the R19 up front.”

Among his wins at Eldora, have been three in the Kings Royal, which puts Haudenschild in elite company along with 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, as the only drivers that have been victorious three or more times in the annual $50,000 to win event. Haudenschild also made history winning the Mopar Million non-wing sprint car race in 2003 at the track. He also won the Historic Big One in 1993 which paid $100,000.

“All of the bigger races you win, you remember the most, especially the big money races,” he noted. “The Kings Royal wins are always fun and hopefully we can win there again. We haven’t won there for a while.”

Over the years, the surface has changed at Eldora, especially in the last few years as the track was reconfigured a couple of times, making it one of the most challenging tracks on the circuit. Over the last 31 years, the race cars have evolved as well, which has also led to changes in the way that the drivers have to tackle the high banked, high speed oval.

“It’s a little different,” shared Haudenschild, who has driven winged and non-wing cars at the track, as well as Silver Crown cars. “They took some of the bank out of it and then tried to put the bank back in it. They have dirt from the middle up so you can’t drive across the track like you used to be able to. The track is a little bit different than the way it used to be, hopefully it will get back to how it was.”

Haudenschild is in the midst of his second season driving the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim for the Carnahan Motorsports team based out of Minnesota, with veteran crew chief Leonard Lee turning the wrenches. Haudenschild enters the pair of events at Eldora this weekend just 22 points out of the Top-10 in the championship standings, with six Top-10 finishes on the year. He also had a couple of strong runs cut short by bad luck earlier this year, including while running second at Lone Star Speedway in Texas.

“You want to be consistent right off the bat, which we haven’t been,” explained Haudenschild. “We’ve been running around 10th-place and you want to get the car up to the top spot.”

Haudenschild won five times last year in his first season with the team and wound up fifth in points, though he did not pick up his first win until late August when the series was in Canada at Castrol Raceway. He looks to knock off that first win of the year sooner rather than later in 2009. Six times in his career he has picked up his first win of a season at Eldora, where he finished in the Top-10 in four of five starts last year.

“The R19 is always fast and we’ll definitely get it up front,” said the driver who will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this year. “I think that win is just around the corner.”

The World of Outlaws will compete three separate times at Eldora in 2009 for a total of five events. In total, the series will race eight times in the state of Ohio this season which will give Haudenschild plenty of opportunities to race in front of his home state fans who have been supporting him for well over 30 years.

“We always like racing in Ohio and used to get to race there a lot,” he said with a smile. “Ohio is a great place to race. They have good tracks and great fans.”

Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.