HAUBSTADT HEATER: Brady Bacon Outduels Gravel for Second Straight Tri-State Victory

The Macho Man swaps the top spot multiple times with David Gravel before driving away to win

HAUBSTADT, IN (April 20, 2024) - Brady Bacon has Tri-State Speedway figured out.

Last year “The Macho Man” finally broke through at the Haubstadt, IN bullring. After countless near misses and cases of heartbreak with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars at Tri-State, he made the elusive trip to Victory Lane for his first Series win in 2023. And he came back for an encore in 2024.

The Broken Arrow, OK native started third in Saturday night’s Feature, had a fierce battle with David Gravel for the top spot, and then drove expertly through lapped traffic to go back-to-back at the “Hoosier State” facility.

The Haubstadt crowd that’s grown to love Bacon throughout his endless wingless success in the state of Indiana welcomed him to Victory Lane with a massive roar.

“I had a really good car on the bottom,” Bacon said. “It was going to be hard to pass him (Gravel) just in open track, but I could move around a little bit more than him, I think. And then once we got out front with those yellows, I just couldn’t make mistakes on those restarts. He got close to me on one of them. I thought we had a really good car in open air, so I was liking those yellows at the end, but we could still maneuver in traffic.”

Last year Bacon’s win made him the 150th driver to win a World of Outlaws race. Saturday’s victory made him the 101st with at least two. He became only the fifth driver to top consecutive World of Outlaws race at Tri-State Speedway, joining Doug Wolfgang, Andy Hillenburg, Paul McMahan, and Carson Macedo.

The 40-lap main event was led to green by David Gravel and Logan Schuchart. Gravel darted ahead to secure the early lead while the third-starting Bacon slipped under Schuchart for second.

The game of cat and mouse began as Bacon locked his sights on the Big Game Motorsports #2. The battle intensified when traffic became a factor. Bacon quickly closed in aboard the TKH Motorsports #21H.

On Lap 9 Bacon rolled under Gravel to grab the lead and ignite a war for the top spot. The next lap Gravel launched a slide job to snag the spot back. Bacon promptly returned the favor by sliding Gravel in Turn 1. Down the back straightaway Gravel crossed over and drove back ahead entering Turn 3 and pulled ahead to calm the battle for a little while.

It didn’t take long to heat back up as Bacon reeled him back in as they worked through more traffic. Bacon looked low in Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 16 to pull alongside Gravel but couldn’t quite clear him. In the next set of corners, “The Macho Man” mustered the strength he needed to power ahead on the bottom and lead the 16th circuit. And this time he had no intentions of letting Gravel back by.

Over the second half of the race, Bacon delivered a masterclass in working through traffic. He moved wherever he needed to on the quarter mile. He sliced through cars on the top and the bottom of Tri-State Speedway. By the time the checkered flag flew, Bacon had lapped up to 11th as he secured his second straight Haubstadt victory with The Greatest Show on Dirt.

Bacon had so much fun on Saturday night, it had him itching to strap the wing on more often.

“A lot of people come together to make this happen,” Bacon said. “If we could a little more help, we could probably do this wing stuff a little more often, so anyone can give us a call.”

After leading early, Gravel held on for the runner-up spot. The result served as an encouraging bounce back after a crash on Friday at Paducah. He and the Big Game Motorsports crew are already up to a Series-leading eight podiums in 2024. Saturday also allowed him to extend his lead atop the standings to 34 markers ahead of Donny Schatz.

“I thought we were maybe equally as good early, but once the fuel load came off he (Bacon) was superior,” Gravel said. “I thought I got through lapped traffic really, really good, and I saw him underneath me, and I did an aggressive move in lapped traffic, and that’s how he got the lead from me. Man, he just diced through lapped traffic there in the last 10 laps. Obviously, he was the best car last year and the best car this year.”

Rounding out the top three for the third straight race was Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in the Roth Motorsports #83. The Californian us up to four consecutive podiums as he and his team continue to build momentum amid Kofoid’s rookie year.

“It’s funny at a track like this, running winged Sprint Cars you’re always trying to drive straight and everything, and here you throw all that out the window and get her backed in,” Kofoid said. “We just tried to get that feeling more comfortable and getting stuck like that here is huge. We made great improvements from the Dash to the Feature. I feel like I could move around a lot more and turn down and not get too free and make speed off the bottom, which is something I’ve struggled with here even in Midgets.”

Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart completed the top five.

A 17th to 11th run gave Donny Schatz the KSE Racing Hard Charger.

David Gravel picked up his second Simpson Quick Time of the year and the 112th of his career.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One, Three, and Four went to David Gravel (249th Heat Race win of career), Danny Sams III (first of career), Sheldon Haudenschild (105th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two belonged to Carson Macedo (118th of career).

David Gravel won the Toyota Racing Dash.

Brock Zearfoss won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars make a springtime stop at Knoxville Raceway for two nights (April 26-27) next weekend. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps): 1. 21H-Brady Bacon[3]; 2. 2-David Gravel[1]; 3. 83-Michael Kofoid[4]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[5]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2]; 6. 17B-Bill Balog[9]; 7. 16T-Cole Macedo[12]; 8. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[7]; 9. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[13]; 10. 27-Emerson Axsom[6]; 11. 15-Donny Schatz[17]; 12. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[14]; 13. 70-Kraig Kinser[11]; 14. 99-Skylar Gee[18]; 15. 12S-Adyn Schmidt[15]; 16. 24D-Danny Sams III[8]; 17. 122-Joe B Miller[16]; 18. 12-Robert Ballou[23]; 19. 97-Scotty Milan[10]; 20. 7S-Landon Crawley[24]; 21. 16TH-Kevin Newton[19]; 22. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[21]; 23. 23B-Brian Bell[20]; 24. 15K-Creed Kemenah[22]

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON: Sheldon Haudenschild Rides the Haud Line to Paducah Victory

Haudenschild rips by Bill Balog early and drives to third World of Outlaws win of 2024 (Trent Gower Photo)

PADUCAH, KY (April 19, 2024) - The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Haudenschild family.

Almost 14 years to the date that Jac Haudenschild drove to the win at Kentucky’s Paducah International Raceway, his son – Sheldon Haudenschild – put together a very similar race to make his own trip to Victory Lane.

Back in 2010, Jac slipped by Jason Sides exiting Turn 4 on the opening lap and led the entire distance for the win. On Friday night, Sheldon blasted by Bill Balog in Turn 4 on Lap 2 and controlled the remainder of the race to triumph with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. In Haudenschild fashion, neither shied from Paducah’s intimidating topside on their path to victory.

The Paducah crowd that hadn’t seen The Greatest Show on Dirt come to town since 2012 erupted as Haudenschild climbed atop the Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17 in Victory Lane.

“Hats off to (Kyle) Ripper, Steve (Kinzer Dussel), and Luke (Vaughn),” Haudenschild said. “They’ve been putting the work in, and it pays off. Happy to get this whole NOS Energy Drink team back in Victory Lane. We’ve got all the guys from J&J (Auto Racing) here. I’m so happy to be back in their cars and on a good program.”

Haudenschild is up to 37 career World of Outlaws wins, giving him sole possession of 20th on the all-time win list. It was the Wooster, OH native’s first win in the state of Kentucky, making the “Bluegrass State” the 17th different he’s won inside the borders of. Paducah is the 24th different racetrack where he’s topped a World of Outlaws race. After winning three races all of last year, Haudenschild has already reached three victories through only 14 races in 2024.

Bill Balog and Haudenschild brought the 30-lapper to green. The “North Pole Nightmare” jumped out to the early advantage, but Haudenschild didn’t let him get far. The 30-year-old fired a slide job in Turn 1 on the second lap that cleared the Anderson’s Maple #17B. Balog battled back down the back straightaway with a crossover to regain the spot. Balog slid toward the top in Turns 3 and 4, but Haudenschild roared around him on the top exiting the corner to secure the lead.

Throughout the opening laps Haudenschild opened up the advantage as he ripped the cushion. While Haudenschild set sail up front, battles broke out behind him all over the 3/8-mile. Shortly before Haudenschild put 10 laps in the books he began to encounter traffic. The slower cars along Balog to close back in, trimming the lead from nearly two seconds to under a second in only a couple laps. 

But right when it appeared a battle for the lead may be shaping up, Haudenschild put multiple lapped cars between himself and Balog to extend the lead as they neared the halfway mark.

Carson Macedo and David Gravel began to close in on Balog to create a three-car battle for second. Gravel slipped ahead of Macedo for third, and then a couple laps later the trio started to slice and dice leading them to driving three-wide down the back straightaway for the spot. A caution for a spinning Danny Sams III put the battle on hold.

The ensuing restart brought chaos. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took advantage of a huge run down the back straightaway to slide both Gravel and Balog to take second. The Roth Motorsports #83 narrowly cleared Balog, who looked to turn underneath Kofoid but made contact with Gravel. The impact sent Gravel spinning toward the infield and led to contact with Brock Zearfoss, sending them both over and bringing out the red flag. Gravel’s night was done, and his point lead shrank to 16 markers as a result.

The crash lined the field up for a restart with 13 laps remaining, but Haudenschild had no intentions of allowing any late-race drama. The 2017 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year took off on his way to a commanding victory as the World of Outlaws returned to Paducah for the first time in a dozen years.

“I felt like it was a little hard to pass, and I felt like if anybody was going to pass me with how fast I was able to rip the top, it would’ve been pretty difficult to throw a slider,” Haudenschild said. “I felt like my entry was really good, so if I needed to I could kind of come off of it a little bit and be a little safer. When you know you’ve got to make speed, you’ve got to keep it straight up there and not drag the wall.”

Balog held on to notch the runner-up spot, marking his best finish of the year and first podium outing. He’s now posted three consecutive top five finishes after a pair last weekend in Pevely. Balog continues to exceed his own expectations with yet another strong run with his B2 Motorsports team.

“It’s awesome,” Balog said of his night. “This has been just an awesome adventure. I’m as surprised as you are some of these nights. The car has been good, and we keep getting greedier and greedier. I didn’t really have anything for Sheldon there, but we were able to race pretty good and hang on to second.”

Kofoid brought the Roth Motorsports #83 home third. He and the Roth crew continue to build momentum with three consecutive World of Outlaws podiums.

“I can’t thank Dennis and Teresa Roth enough for the opportunity to drive this iconic, beautiful race car,” Kofoid said. “And Mobil 1 and Toyota for continuing to back us and make it possible.”

The brothers Cole and Carson Macedo completed the top five.

A 13th to sixth effort aboard the KCP Racing #18 earned Giovanni Scelzi the KSE Racing Hard Charger.

Carson Macedo snagged his fourth Simpson Quick Time of the year in Seafoam Qualifying.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One and Three belonged to Carson Macedo (117th Heat Race win of career) and David Gravel (248th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two went to Buddy Kofoid (20th of career).

Bill Balog won the Toyota Racing Dash.

Kevin Newton won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

Brock Zearfoss earned the Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars make their only 2024 Indiana visit with a night at Haubstadt’s Tri-State Speedway on Saturday, April 20. Tickets will be available at the gate.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[2]; 2. 17B-Bill Balog[1]; 3. 83-Michael Kofoid[6]; 4. 16T-Cole Macedo[9]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo[4]; 6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[13]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz[12]; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart[14]; 9. 97-Scotty Milan[7]; 10. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[3]; 11. 21H-Brady Bacon[8]; 12. 15K-Creed Kemenah[11]; 13. 70-Kraig Kinser[17]; 14. 7S-Landon Crawley[18]; 15. 24D-Danny Sams III[15]; 16. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[10]; 17. 34-Sterling Cling[20]; 18. 99-Skylar Gee[21]; 19. W20-Greg Wilson[24]; 20. 29-Logan McCandless[16]; 21. 16TH-Kevin Newton[19]; 22. 6-Bill Rose[23]; 23. 2-David Gravel[5]; 24. 122-Joe B Miller[22]