It's Been A While: World of Outlaws Return to Wayne County Speedway Orrville, Ohio--Not too many people can remember the last time the World of Outlaws raced at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. Some of the Mean 15 driver's were still...
It's Been A While: World of Outlaws Return to Wayne County Speedway
Orrville, Ohio--Not too many people can remember the last time the World of Outlaws raced at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. Some of the Mean 15 driver's were still toddlers, the last time the track heard the road of the engines from an Outlaws machine. In fact, it's been over 20 years since the series last slid into the semi-banked oval. The date was August 6, 1985, to be exact.
One driver that remembers that race, and competed in it, was Jac Haudenschild, who lives just a stones throw away in Wooster. The driver of the No. 35 Wright One Construction Maxim certainly will be one of the contenders as the series takes to the track on June 1.
"We ran there quite a bit in the past, when we first started racing," said Haudenschild. "It's a little 3/8 mile track, and they put on some good racing. The track is usually pretty nice. It's always nice to race close to home, because you don't have far to go. We'll work out of the shop, and since all the races that week will be close, it will be a good week."
The series has visited the facility a grand total of four different times, between 1979-1985. The driver that finds their way to the winner's circle will be the third different winner at the track in World of Outlaws competition.
Another Ohio driver with close ties to the track is Chad Kemenah, who calls Findlay home. Not only is it a home state race for Kemenah, but he won sprint car titles at Wayne County in 1995 and 1996. At that time, the track was called Buckeye Speedway, before being changed back to it's originally name of Wayne County Speedway in 1998. Kemenah currently is the leader in the race for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt.
"It's definitely a place of its own," said Kemenah driver of the No. 15K Underground Utilities Inc. Eagle. "I haven't raced there for a few years, but I imagine Wayne County is still Wayne County. A lot of times it can be some pretty exciting racing there."
Kemenah probably has more laps at the track than any other Mean 15 driver, which could bode well for him when the cars roll onto the track.
"I don't know if you get a little bit of an advantage with these guys. They catch on pretty quick. We'll see what we can do over there, and hopefully the race track is what we remember, and they haven't changed it too much. I know there's a lot of diehard race fans over there, so we'll have a good show."
Similar to Kemenah, Haudenschild knows that there will be no gimme's at the track, despite his success on 3/8 mile ovals this season. He has won on the high-banks of U.S. 36 Raceway in Osborn, Missouri, as well as at Sharon Speedway. He also has led 84 laps this season, the most of any World of Outlaws competitor. In addition to this, he has three fast qualifier times to his credit, and five dash wins.
"We feel pretty good heading in there," said Haudenschild. "The Rick Wright car has been running good. We're looking forward to the races coming up."
Haudenschild knows how long and tough a season is on the World of Outlaws circuit. He and his team are taking it one race at a time, and look to build on their early season success. Since April 8, the team has finished inside the top-five in every "A-Main" event except one.
"The key is getting the car ready so we don't break down, and we have been lucky with that this year," said Haudenschild. "The guys have been doing a great job getting the cars ready. We just have to be consistent all year. We have a lot of races left. We're just getting started. If we're consistent, hopefully we'll be there at the end."
Tickets for the June 1 race can be purchased by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023
Adult Reserved Main Grandstand tickets are $33, while general admission is $29. Reserved tickets for children are just $12, while general admission seats for children five and under are free.