by WoO | Pics by Rocky Ragusa
Sheldon Haudenschild took the lead on a Lap 3 restart and never looked back, scoring his fourth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory of the season in the Series inaugural visit to Fairbury American Legion Speedway in the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown. Jacob Allen matched his career-best with a runner-up finish with Kyle Larson completing the podium.
The night didn’t start off as planned for Haudenschild, as Sheldon was just 21st quick in Qualifying and started seventh in his Heat. Haudenschild, in true Haudenschild fashion, charged from seventh to second in his Heat to secure a spot in the Sears Craftsman Dash.
Sheldon Haudenschild went on to win the Dash, earning the pole for the 40-lap Feature but it was fellow front row starter Hunter Schuerenburg getting the jump at the drop of the Green. Schuerenburg, in search of his first career Outlaw triumph, paced the field, pounding the cushion before a caution on Lap 3 for a backwards Shane Stewart halted action.
Schuerenburg elected the top on the double-file restart, but his No.20 machine stumbled on the restart as Haudenschild, who restarted alongside him, powered to the lead. Schuerenburg drastically fell to the back of the field with a flat tire. Things went from bad to worse as Tanner Thorson jumped Schuerenburg’s rear tire and went for a tumble. Thorson was uninjured in the accident and the Red Flag allowed Schuerenburg to change his tire and restart at the rear of the field.
When action resumed, Haudenschild motored away from the field and reached lapped traffic quickly around the bullring. Jacob Allen, who shattered the FALS track record in Qualifying, moved into second with his Shark Racing teammate, Logan Schuchart in tow running third. Haudenschild put on a lapped traffic clinic, slicing and dicing his way through the field.
A hellacious battle between Kyle Larson and Brent Marks for fifth was momentarily halted when a lapped car got loose and forced both Larson and Marks to take evasive action with 17 laps remaining. The duo did synchronized 360’s, but kept going, in turn two, forcing the rest of the field to check up. Greg Wilson had nowhere to go and got upside down. Gio Scelzi and Paul Nienhiser’s top-ten runs also came to an end in the accident. Wilson was uninjured but done for the evening while both Scelzi and Nienhiser tagged the rear.
With rubber prominent on the high line, World of Outlaws officials ruled single-file restarts for the remainder of the evening. Haudenschild continued to show the way as he reached traffic with the rest of the field directly on his tail.
With eight laps remaining, Schuchart pulled a slider on his teammate Allen to secure second and set his sights on Haudenschild. Haudenschild remained locked down in the rubber as Schuchart looked for a way to steal the lead. Schuchart peeked a car-length higher than Haudenschild in turn two with three laps remaining, but that was the end of Schuchart’s night as a flat tire on the No.1S brought out the final caution of the evening.
Haudenschild distanced himself from Allen, who was in search of his first career Outlaw win, on the late restart while Larson and Cory Eliason waged war for third. The pair of Californian’s exchanged sliders back and forth with Larson grabbing the final podium spot.
Sheldon Haudenschild went on to win his fourth Feature of the year aboard the NOS Energy Drink sponsored Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall No.17.
“My car was really good early and really good in the rubber,” Haudenschild said with a smile in Victory Lane. “I was able to get good drive on the early restart, grab the lead and get to the top. Other than a couple of times where I tagged the wall, I felt really good and felt like I was making good laps in traffic,” the Wooster, OH native added.
Allen’s second-place finish tied a career-best and was his first top-ten finish of 2018. “My team has worked really hard. Sheldon’s been one of my best friends for a long time, obviously I would have liked to get my first Outlaw win, but I’m extremely happy with second,” Allen said. When asked about racing with his teammate and relative Schuchart, Allen explained, “We’ll race each other hard, but clean. We both want to win, it’s unfortunate he got a flat tire ending his night. It’s always fun running up front with Logan.”
Kyle Larson, who slipped out of the top ten early, was pleased to get back to the podium. “I was pretty good as the race went on. I’m really loose until the fuel burns off, I was happy to get back to third after our start,” Larson said. Cory Eliason settled for fourth with Saturday’s winner in Wisconsin Brent Marks coming from 14th to fifth. The finish was Marks’ third consecutive top-five finish. KSE Hard Charger honors went to David Gravel and CJB Motorsports, as they came from 22nd to complete the top ten.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$10,000]; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen [$5,500]; 3. 57-Kyle Larson [$3,200]; 4. 83-Cory Eliason [$2,800]; 5. 19-Brent Marks [$2,500]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman [$2,300]; 7. 4-Parker Price-Miller [$2,200]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,100]; 9. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,050]; 10. 5-David Gravel [$2,000]; 11. 41-Jason Johnson [$1,500]; 12. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$1,200]; 13. 20-Hunter Schuerenberg [$1,100]; 14. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [$1,050]; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 16. 10V-Matt Vandervere [$900]; 17. 2-Shane Stewart [$800]; 18. 7S-Jason Sides [$800]; 19. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$800]; 20. 21X-Carson Short [$800]; 21. W20-Greg Wilson [$800]; 22. 25-Jacob Blackhurst [$800]; 23. 18-Ian Madsen [$800]; 24. 3C-Tanner Thorson [$800]
Lap Leaders: Hunter Schuerenberg 1-3, Sheldon Haudenschild 4-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 5-David Gravel[+12]
Qualifying: 1. 1A-Jacob Allen, 10.893; 2. 57-Kyle Larson, 11.193; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 11.278; 4. 4-Parker Price-Miller, 11.313; 5. 21-Brian Brown, 11.336; 6. 3C-Tanner Thorson, 11.354; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman, 11.354; 8. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 11.377; 9. 21X-Carson Short, 11.39; 10. 25-Jacob Blackhurst, 11.435; 11. 20-Hunter Schuerenberg, 11.437; 12. 49-Brad Sweet, 11.439; 13. 15-Donny Schatz, 11.449; 14. 19-Brent Marks, 11.476; 15. 10V-Matt Vandervere, 11.477; 16. 71-Giovanni Scelzi, 11.495; 17. 83-Cory Eliason, 11.533; 18. 41-Jason Johnson, 11.544; 19. 5-David Gravel, 11.544; 20. 2-Shane Stewart, 11.598; 21. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.613; 22. 18-Ian Madsen, 11.636; 23. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.657; 24. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.682; 25. W20-Greg Wilson, 11.703; 26. 98-Clinton Boyles, 11.917; 27. 13-Clyde Knipp, 12.083
Heat #1 (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer: 1. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 2. 4-Parker Price-Miller ; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 4. 71-Giovanni Scelzi ; 5. 15-Donny Schatz ; 6. 25-Jacob Blackhurst ; 7. 5-David Gravel ; 8. 18-Ian Madsen ; 9. W20-Greg Wilson 
Heat #2 (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer: 1. 57-Kyle Larson ; 2. 20-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 3. 83-Cory Eliason ; 4. 9X-Paul Nienhiser ; 5. 19-Brent Marks ; 6. 2-Shane Stewart ; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 8. 21-Brian Brown ; 9. 98-Clinton Boyles 
Heat #3 (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer: 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 3. 49-Brad Sweet ; 4. 41-Jason Johnson ; 5. 7S-Jason Sides ; 6. 10V-Matt Vandervere ; 7. 13-Clyde Knipp ; 8. 3C-Tanner Thorson ; 9. 21X-Carson Short 
Sears Craftsman Dash (8 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 2. 20-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 4. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 5. 4-Parker Price-Miller ; 6. 57-Kyle Larson 
Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer: 1. 3C-Tanner Thorson [-]; 2. W20-Greg Wilson [-]; 3. 21X-Carson Short [-]; 4. 5-David Gravel [-]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [-]; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [-]; 7. 21-Brian Brown [$300]; 8. 13-Clyde Knipp [$250]; 9. 98-Clinton Boyles [$225]
Simon Wins Late-Race Thriller at Fairbury
Landon Simon was the victor Tuesday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Illinois with the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Wildcard Sprint League. It was his first WAR win of the 2018 season as he won multiple WAR races in 2017. Thomas Meseraull (2nd) and Mitch Wissmiller (3rd) completed the podium.
After earning the LRB Inc. “High Point Man” award from his stellar heat race performance, Simon pulled the ace for the redraw which left him to start on the pole of the 25-lap feature event. Once the green flag dropped at “FALS” for the WAR Sprints, Mitch Wissmiller would assume the lead by utilizing the bottom groove. He would remain in a comfortable lead until halfway through the race when the top groove started to come in and Landon Simon would take over the lead railing around the top of the high banked, ¼ mile track. Meseraull would also get around Wissmiller on the high side.
The final laps left Simon and Meseraull banging the cushion fighting for the $2,000 payday, but Simon would prevail as he rocketed toward his 3rd WAR win of his career.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 24-Landon Simon (1); 2. 00-Thomas Meseraull (4); 3. 1-Mitch Wissmiller (5); 4. 6-Mario Clouser (3); 5. 22S-Slater Helt (11); 6. 88-Terry Babb (9); 7. 99-Korey Weyant (2); 8. 20-Steve Thomas (12); 9. N2-Nic Harris (6); 10. 11-Mark Brucker (13); 11. 56-Mitchell Davis (8); 12. 114-Brent Moore (7); 13. 77K-Katlynn Leer (10); 14. 31-Austin Sears (14); DNS: 21-Carson Short, 98-Clinton Boyles, 24X-Kyle Simon
Heat #1 (8 Laps): 1. 99-Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL (2); 2. 24-Landon Simon, Tipp City, OH (7); 3. N2-Nic Harris, Atlanta, IL (3); 4. 114-Brent Moore, Loda, IL (1); 5. 77K-Katlynn Leer, Moulton, IA (4); 6. 20-Steve Thomas, Rantoul, IL (6); 7. 31-Austin Sears, Macomb, IL (5); DNS: 21-Carson Short, 24X-Kyle Simon
Heat #2 (8 Laps): 1. 6-Mario Clouser, Auburn, IL (2); 2. 00-Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA (3); 3. 1-Mitch Wissmiller, Saybrook, IL (4); 4. 56-Mitchell Davis, Auburn, IL (1); 5. 88-Terry Babb, Decatur, IL (5); 6. 22S-Slater Helt, Harrisonville, MO (7); 7. 11-Mark Brucker, Elliot, IL (6); DNS: 98-Clinton Boyles