BADGER MASTER: Sheldon Haudenschild Hangs on for Fourth Beaver Dam World of Outlaws Victory

The Wooster, OH native ends a recent rough stretch with second win of the campaign

BEAVER DAM, WI (June 17, 2023) - Sheldon Haudenschild may be from Ohio, but he feels right at home in the state of Wisconsin. The fans admire him. The racetracks suit him. And he continues racking up victories in “The Badger State.”

On Saturday night, Haudenschild drove to Beaver Dam Raceway Victory Lane for the fourth time in his last five starts at the 1/3-mile. The 29-year-old got by David Gravel on a mid-race restart and fended off Gravel’s last gasp on the final lap to secure the win in the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial finale.

Haudenschild’s 33rd career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory and second of 2023 was worth $20,000. His fourth win at Beaver Dam equals him with Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman as the winningest drivers in Series history at the Wisconsin oval. Beaver Dam is also now tied as Haudenschild’s personal winningest track with the World of Outlaws. He also owns four triumphs at Pevely, MO’s Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.

“I feel like I’m really free as a driver,” Haudenschild reasoned for his Beaver Dam success. “I can kind of do what I want and am able to move around. I feel like I use a lot more brake here than I do at any other place and can roll this bottom, for some reason, better than I do at a lot of other tracks. It all comes down to having a good car and starting up front with these guys.”

After topping the Toyota Racing Dash, Haudenschild brought the field to green for the 40-lap main event. As the race got underway, Haudenschild powered ahead in the first set of corners and settled in ahead of David Gravel, who rocketed from fourth to second on the opening circuit.

As they clicked off the early laps, Gravel maintained pace with Haudenschild with lapped traffic ahead. Right when they were beginning to encounter heavy traffic, the race’s first caution flew for a spinning Bill Rose on lap eight.

On the restart, Gravel aced the timing from the outside and had the advantage heading into Turn 1. The Watertown, CT native was able to rip around the cushion to take over the top spot as they roared down the back straightaway.

Gravel held the lead over the quick green flag run before the yellow lights again flashed – this time for a left-rear tire shredding on Noah Gass’ car with 26 laps to go.

When racing resumed, Haudenschild returned the favor on Gravel by making his own move for the lead. Gravel chose the outside and nosed ahead entering the first turn. But Haudenschild stayed close enough to throw a slider and clear the Big Game Motorsports #2. As they raced down the backstretch, Gravel couldn’t gather enough momentum for a crossover.

“I thought I got a good jump when I was in the lead and chose the outside,” Gravel recalled. “But I didn’t use the straightaway grip on the bottom of the straightaway good enough, and Sheldon had a run on me and slid me and got the lead.”

After reclaiming the lead, Haudenschild displayed how fast his Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17 machine was by pulling ahead of Gravel. The Wooster, OH native sliced through traffic to extend his advantage as the Feature moved beyond halfway.

Then as the laps began to wind down, Gravel suddenly came back to life. Lap by lap he chipped away at Haudenschild’s advantage. Whenever Haudenschild cleared a slower car, Gravel was quick to mirror the move.

Finally, the white flag flew and, just like the night before, Gravel saw one last opportunity to win. He prepared to try a slide job in Turns 3 and 4, but what he didn’t expect is exactly what Haudenschild did. The driver so known for his fierce driving style on the cushion chose to roll the bottom, forcing Gravel to lift and allowing Haudenschild to cross the finish line first.

A little film study helped Haudenschild make the winning decision on the last lap.

“I could hear David there, especially coming to the checkers,” Haudenschild admitted. “It had to be pretty close. I watched last night’s film, and honestly David probably should’ve won last night by sliding Gio (Scelzi). I knew he’d learn from that, and he wasn’t going to not finish the slider in (Turns) 3 and 4. So, I tried to roll the bottom and not miss it.”

Gravel saw some irony in Haudenschild’s choice.

“Sheldon Haudenschild went to the bottom, and it won him a race,” Gravel said with a grin.

On a more serious note, Gravel’s effort marked his third consecutive top two finish. He now sits at a Series-best 15 podiums in 2023 and has plenty of momentum as the Summer of Money heats up with the $250,000-to-win Billion Auto Huset’s High Bank Nationals presented by Menards next week.

“Obviously, it’s a big week,” Gravel said. “It’s only show-up points, so we’re going there to win races.”

For the second straight night, Brad Sweet followed Gravel to the checkered flag to complete the top three. The Kasey Kahne Racing pilot had to work hard for the result after starting 11th. Advancing eight spots to collect his 14th podium of the season was enough to net him the KSE Racing Hard Charger Award.

“It was a great racetrack tonight, very racy,” Sweet commented. “We were really good on the restarts and able to run whatever line we could to pass cars, sometimes the middle and sometimes the bottom. Hats off to my Napa Auto Parts guys. They did a great job bailing us out from 11th.”

Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart rounded out the top five.

By finishing one spot better than Sweet again, Gravel now sits only 10 points behind him for the points lead.

Jacob Allen picked up his first Simpson Performance Products QuickTime of the year and the 16th of his career.

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to Jacob Allen (55th Heat Race win of career). Micro-Lite Heat Two was topped by David Gravel (227th of career). NOS Energy Drink Heat Three was claimed by Logan Schuchart (112th of career). 

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series head to Brandon, SD for the Billion Auto Huset’s High Bank Nationals presented by Menards. The massive four-night event is set for June 21-24. The three prelims will award a stout $20,000-to-win before the finale features the largest payday in Series history with $250,000 going to the winner. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[1]; 2. 2-David Gravel[4]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet[11]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[5]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[6]; 6. 5-Spencer Bayston[2]; 7. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[7]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen[3]; 9. 83-James McFadden[10]; 10. 15-Donny Schatz[12]; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]; 12. 9-Kasey Kahne[13]; 13. 7S-Robbie Price[9]; 14. 17B-Bill Balog[15]; 15. 20G-Noah Gass[14]; 16. 1-Brenham Crouch[17]; 17. 49J-Josh Schneiderman[16]; 18. 23-Russel Borland[19]; 19. 6-Bill Rose[18]; 20. 87A-Austin Hartmann[20]; 21. 26-Preston Ruh[22]; 22. 19B-Jack Berger[21]; 23. (DNS) U2-Jack Vanderboom; 24. (DNS) 49T-Jarrod Schneiderman

HOT SUACE HANGS ON: Gio Scelzi Survives Last Lap Slider for Beaver Dam Victory

The Series rookie earns his first win of 2023 and the sixth of his career

BEAVER DAM, WI (June 16, 2023) - Two years ago, Gio Scelzi felt he gave a win away at Beaver Dam Raceway. After leading the opening 19 circuits, Scelzi got held up in lapped traffic allowing Sheldon Haudenschild by. Scelzi was forced to settle for second that night.

On Friday night at the Wisconsin oval, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car rookie contender had no intentions of déjà vu. Scelzi led all 30 laps of the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial opening night – sealing the deal by holding off a final corner slide job from David Gravel.

“First off, thank you (David Gravel) for racing me like a true competitor. I think anybody else would’ve slid up into me and forced me out of my line,” Scelzi said in Victory Lane. “I’ve given a lot of these away here, especially in 2021, so it’s cool to win one. I’m happy for Adam Clark to get his first win as a crew chief.”

The victory was the first of Scelzi’s rookie World of Outlaws campaign. It’s the sixth of his career and first since Bakersfield Speedway on March 25 of last year – snapping a 64-race winless streak with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The Fresno, CA native is the 17th different driver to win a World of Outlaws race at Beaver Dam and only the second from California. 

After the disappointment of 2021 and the enthusiasm of the crowd, Scelzi’s first win in the state of Wisconsin felt especially rewarding.

“This is cool,” Scelzi said. “I’ve wanted to win in Wisconsin. I don’t know why, but the fans seem to be so enthusiastic here, and they love seeing the World of Outlaws.”

Scelzi began the NOS Energy Drink Feature from the pole courtesy of topping the Toyota Racing Dash. The 21-year-old rocketed ahead of Gravel when the green flag flew.

As they clicked off the early laps, Gravel stayed close behind Scelzi with Brad Sweet not too far behind him. The racing surface proved to be multi-grooved with neither the top or the bottom on either side of the track proving to be the better line. Scelzi was able to use either line and maintain speed as were those pursuing him.

James McFadden slipped by Carson Macedo in the early going and closed in on the top trio as they neared traffic.

Once they reached the tail of the field, Scelzi began to slice through slower cars and extend his advantage. The race approached the halfway point, and Gravel and Sweet began to find their footing in traffic and close back in on the KCP Racing #18.

Scelzi, Gravel, and Sweet were all under a blanket as the laps moved beyond halfway, and as the action was heating up in traffic, the race’s one and only yellow flag flew on lap 23. Lapped cars collided, and fourth-running McFadden was collected, but he managed to keep rolling and maintain his position for the restart with eight circuits remaining.

When the green lights came back on for the restart, it appeared Scelzi may pull away comfortably for the win. But on the last lap, Scelzi guessed which line the lapped car in front of him was going to use in Turns 1 and 2. Scelzi went to the bottom and slipped up slightly on corner exit.

“Brenham (Crouch) was running the top there almost the whole race in (Turns) 1 and 2, and I thought he would and kind of pinned myself behind him and wheelied and kind of hung myself off Turn 2, and you’ve got to know the slider is coming,” Scelzi explained.

The slider did come as Gravel turned down the hill out of Turn 2 and got a massive run on Scelzi heading into the final set of corners. The Watertown, CT native threw the Big Game Motorsports #2 in hard but respectfully left Scelzi a lane – one he used to drive by and get to the checkered flag first.

With his first win of the year under his belt, Scelzi is already hungry for more. Tomorrow’s Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial finale puts $20,000 on the line – a paycheck Scelzi is eager to take home.

“Tomorrow will be huge,” Scelzi said. “Tomorrow is the big money, so we’ll bring our A-game.”

The second place finish for Gravel marked his fifth podium in the last seven Beaver Dam races. He’s now up to a Series-high 14 top threes this year as he continues to pursue his first World of Outlaws title. Gravel said he felt that running second was an advantage but that he miscalculated the last corner slider, leaving him desiring a do-over on the last lap.

“I just think with him leading and me running second I could react to where he was going,” Gravel commented. “I think the bottom was for sure faster in (Turns) 1 and 2, and when lap traffic was running there, he had to move around. That made me be able to run the diamond move down there. I wish I could take the last lap back. I really think I could’ve won that race. I just tried to dive too low on my slider, and when I slid across, I hit the black and got real sideways and lost all my speed.”

Completing the top three was four-time and reigning champion and the current points leader – Brad Sweet. “The Big Cat” earned his 13th podium of the season aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 and his sixth in 13 starts at Beaver Dam. The Grass Valley, CA native enjoyed how versatile the racing surface was and noted he needed only a little more speed to have a shot to win.

“The racetrack was awesome, top, bottom, middle at times, and super racy,” Sweet said. “I just think the two guys in front of me were just a little bit better, and track position was kind of key. I think if I was out front, I would’ve had a car that was capable of winning tonight. That’s all you can ask for. We’ll just try to come back tomorrow and make some subtle improvements.”

James McFadden and Sheldon Haudenschild rounded out the top five.

With Gravel’s second place effort, he cut slightly into Sweet’s championship lead, trimming it down to 12 markers.

Brenham Crouch earned the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger in his first World of Outlaws Feature start.

Sheldon Haudenschild claimed the night’s Simpson Performance Products QuickTime for the first time this season and the 26th time of his career.

Haudenschild also topped CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One (89th Heat Race win of career). Micro-Lite Heat Two went to Carson Macedo (101st of career). NOS Energy Drink Heat Three was claimed by Gio Scelzi (28th of career).

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are back at Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday, June 17 for the $20,000 to win finale of the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[1]; 2. 2-David Gravel[2]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet[3]; 4. 83-James McFadden[5]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[6]; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen[7]; 7. 41-Carson Macedo[4]; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart[11]; 9. 15-Donny Schatz[8]; 10. 5-Spencer Bayston[9]; 11. 9-Kasey Kahne[10]; 12. 17B-Bill Balog[12]; 13. 20G-Noah Gass[16]; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[13]; 15. 7S-Robbie Price[14]; 16. 23-Russel Borland[15]; 17. 49J-Josh Schneiderman[19]; 18. 1-Brenham Crouch[22]; 19. U2-Jack Vanderboom[20]; 20. 87A-Austin Hartmann[17]; 21. (DNF) 6-Bill Rose[18]; 22. (DNF) 19B-Jack Berger[21]