Saldana Out Of No. 17, Haudenschild To Fill In

Joey Saldana has been released as driver of the No. 17 Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing sprint car. He will be replaced — at least for this weekend — by Jac Haudenschild. (Ken Simon photo)

WEST LIBERTY, Iowa — Jac Haudenschild will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series machine for at least the next two events.

Haudenschild will replace veteran driver Joey Saldana, who was released as the team’s driver.

Team officials confirmed to SPEED SPORT Friday afternoon that Haudenschild, who is returning to competition after missing more than a week because of a broken nose, will be in the car at West Liberty Raceway tonight and Saturday night at Wisconsin’s Beaver Dam Raceway.

As well, the team’s twitter account confirmed Saldana’s release: “Today we and @JS17Racing have decided to part ways. Joey helped us build this team and we wish him the best in future endeavors.”

Haudenschild will not be the permanent replacement and another driver is expected to be named within the coming weeks.

Saldana, who has 99 career WoO victories, was winless in 36 races with only four top-five finishes this season. He ranks eighth in the standings.

The writing may have been on the wall for Saldana after Kyle Larson drove a second Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing entry to victory at Nebraska’s Eagle Raceway on June 13.

The team, which was formed during the winter, combined the resources of team owner Matt Wood with those of NASCAR Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Haudenschild’s son, Sheldon, is a full-time competitor on the World of Outlaws circuit. Jac Haudenschild has 56 World of Outlaws victories.

Editor’s Note: Jac Haudenschild made his debut in the Stenhouse Jr./Wood Racing No. 17 on Friday at West Liberty Raceway. He set quick time, won his heat, finished sixth in the dash and started sixth in the main event. He was unable to move forward, eventually fading to 16th at the finish.