DODGE CITY, Kan. — Sheldon Haudenschild sped to his fifth World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory of the season on the final night of the Boot Hill Showdown Saturday at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Haudenschild had a 7.5-second lead erased when Tim Kaeding stopped with a flat tire with five laps remaining.
But Haudenschild sped away on the restart and beat Parker Price-Miller to the checkered flag by 1.493 seconds to earn the $10,000 victory.
“We qualified a little bit better tonight, and I can’t [stress] how much that means,” Haudenschild said. “Gotta start on the front row of them heats and get in them dashes. Even after you do that, you’ve gotta draw good for that dash.”
And draw well he did. Haudenschild pulled the No. 2 out of the NOS Energy Drink redraw can, setting him up for a runner-up finish in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and a front-row starting spot for the 30-lap NOS Energy Drink feature.
Price-Miller jumped out to the early lead and hit the tail of the field inside the first five laps. Maneuvering around the first two lapped cars with ease, Price-Miller then approached the rear of Bill Rose with Haudenschild now right on his bumper.
Entering turn one on the cushion, Price-Miller took a look underneath Rose at the exit of Turn 2 but lost some speed in the process, opening the door for the Haudenschild on the top. Haudenschild threaded the needle in between Price-Miller and Rose down the backstretch and sailed into the lead entering turn three.
“You gotta get through lappers with these guys, and can’t hesitate,” Haudenschild said. “Parker was really good, but just one little, not even really mess-up, he just lost his speed there and I was able to go around him.”
What followed was a powerful display of speed and swiftness in lapped traffic by the NOS Energy Drink No. 17, similar to his intensity seen in last year’s Ironman 55. By lap 14, his advantage was at three seconds. Five laps later, a 4.6-second lead. With 10 laps to go, he was 5.5 seconds ahead.
Haudenschild built that big lead right on the top side of the three-eighths-mile oval – the preferred groove for many drivers throughout the race. After all, it’s what helped him grab the lead earlier on.
“It was just so slick around the bottom, wasn’t much you could do,” Haudenschild said. “Kinda had to get to the top and wait for them to make a mistake and get through the lappers. That’s what decided this race.”
Even after the caution flag flew in the closing laps, Haudenschild was still able to open a gap back up before the finish. He stuck it right on the top side and got back to work on the restart, leading the field back around to the checkers for his 12th career World of Outlaws Feature win.
Price-Miller held strong inside the top-three all night and brought the Dietz Motorsports No. 14 home in second.
“I feel bad for my guys; I feel like I didn’t do a good enough job in lapped traffic,” Price-Miller said. “I just wasn’t aggressive enough, Sheldon’s really good about being aggressive, being up on the wheel. He just kinda sucked my doors off there.”
David Gravel also had a solid night inside the top-three, keeping pace with Price-Miller throughout the Feature while dicing through traffic on the top.
“Sheldon was the class of the field tonight,” Gravel said. “In open track, me and Parker could keep up. But once we got in lapped traffic, we just got too tight and wasn’t able to compete with him.”
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