2008 World of Outlaws Season Review: Jac Haudenschild Concord, NC-- December 8, 2008--Jac Haudenschild has been winning sprint car races and thrilling fans for the last 30 years and he continued that trend in 2008 during the 30th Anniversary...
2008 World of Outlaws Season Review: Jac Haudenschild
Concord, NC-- December 8, 2008--Jac Haudenschild has been winning sprint car races and thrilling fans for the last 30 years and he continued that trend in 2008 during the 30th Anniversary World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series campaign.
The native of Wooster, Ohio teamed up with the Carnahan Motorsports team this year based out of Minnesota to drive the No. R19. Consistency throughout the season led the veteran driver to a very solid fifth-place finish in the World of Outlaws championship standings, on the strength of five A-Feature wins, including his third career Gold Cup Race of Champions triumph, which was worth $50,000.
"It was a pretty good year," said Haudenschild. "We're glad we won some races. We got Chico (the Gold Cup) and that is a good one to get. The R19 was good all year and I am looking forward to running it again next year."
Haudenschild was paired with veteran crew chief Leonard Lee this season and the two quickly got up to speed, picking up a sixth-place finish on the second night of the season opening Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. He left the Sunshine state ninth in the series championship standings and continued to move closer to the Top-Five all season long, as he racked up 48 Top-10 finishes, with 22 of those being in the Top-Five.
"Leonard and I got together pretty quick," noted the veteran driver. "He has been working on cars for a long time, so it didn't take us long to get hooked up together."
Haudenschild was close to winning a number of times in the first half of the season and picked up his first win as the beginning of the second half of the 2008 campaign at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, to earn his first career win north of the border. He followed that up with his third win in the famed Gold Cup Race of Champions which earned him $50,000. His strong second half of the season continued with a victory in the World of Outlaws inaugural visit to Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri, in a thrilling race that saw him trade the lead with Craig Dollansky five times before picking up the win in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim.
A week later, Haudenschild picked up his fourth win of the season, again in exciting fashion, inching out Jason Meyers in a photo finish at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York. He restarted second after a caution with two laps remaining. After getting right up behind Meyers as the pair took the while flag on the blazing fast high-banked half-mile, Haudenschild drew even with him in turns one and two and used a strong run off the high side of turn four, just inches off the wall to edge Meyers in what was the closes finish all season, a mere 14-thousandsths of a second. Making the even more special was the fact that it was his 50th career A-Feature win with the World of Outlaws, a feat that has only been accomplished by nine drivers in the 30-year history of the series.
"After you get the first one, it gets a little easier," he shared when asked about his first win in August. "We're just glad that the car was good all year. We were fast every night and we are looking good for next year."
Haudenschild along with the rest of the World of Outlaws visited a number of tracks for the first time this season. He finished ninth or better in all of the inaugural events for the World of Outlaws in 2008. Along with his win at Lucas Oil Speedway, he was fourth at Virginia Motor Speedway, fifth at Dacotah Speedway in North Dakota and eighth at 34 Raceway in Iowa.
"It's exciting going to tracks that you have never been to before," noted the Ohio veteran. "We go to a lot of new tracks throughout the year. You never know what they will be like until you get on them, but we always look forward to them."
Haudenschild finished the season in impressive fashion, finishing ninth or better in 14 of the last 16 races of the season, to earn a fifth-place finish in points. It was the 14th time in his career that he has finished among the Top-10 in the championship standings. With 17 drivers competing full-time with the series at the end of the year, it was one of the most competitive seasons in series history. Haudenschild was among the Top-10 in laps led, was fastest in time trials three times and won the Crane Cams Dash five times to earn pole positions in A-Feature events.
"There are always a lot of fast guys out here and it always gets tougher," he said. "The Outlaws guys are definitely tough."
Haudenschild was part of two of the best races all season, as he and Steve Kinser battled for wins at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California and Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California on consecutive nights in October. The first night saw Haudenschild catch Kinser in traffic and run his trademark high line, nearly taking the lead from the 20-time series champion on several occasions, before finishing second at the ¼-mile. The following night it was dejà vu, as Haudenschild caught Kinser in heavy traffic and was able to use the high side of the track in traffic to take the lead and ultimately the win on the high-banked 1/3-mile.
"It's always fun racing against Steve and you know what to expect," Haudenschild said. "He runs hard and we have had some good races over the years."
Gearing up for next season, Haudenschild will again take part in some two wheeled racing over the winter. He will again be teamed the Carnahan Motorsports team on the World of Outlaws circuit in 2009, as he continues to add to his legendary sprint car career.
"I'll get a little time to rest," he said. "I'll do some indoor motocross racing with my son over the winter."
The 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series seasons kicks off February 6-8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.