Jac Haudenschild Wins $50,000 Bonus at the Back to the Front Challenge

From TJ Buffenbarger

Oskaloosa, IA — (August 9, 1999) — Jac Haudenschild needed some caution flags and a lot of luck if he wanted to collect on the $50,000 bonus to win the feature Monday night at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. What happened was just an amazing series of events that ended with Joey Saldana hitting an infield marker tire while leading on the last lap to hand Jac the win and a $50,000 bonus from McTwo promotions. The capacity crowd went crazy as Haudenschild stopped on the front stretch.

Haudenschild won the fast car dash and had the option of starting from the pole or taking the challenge to start at the rear of the field to collect a $50,000 dollar bonus if he won the feature. Haudenschild took the challenge and put Kim Mock and Joey Saldana on the front row for the main event. Saldana got the advantage during the first start and jumped into the lead. Back in the pack Ronnie Day hit the wall between turns one and two and did a nasty helecoptered down the track. Day was uninjured. The second try at starting the event had Saldana getting the lead again, only to have Dave Westercamp hit the fence in turn four to bring out the caution.

The third start was a charm as Kim Mock got the lead into the first turn over Saldana. By lap two Saldana was able to side up in front of Mock and take the lead at the start finish line. One lap later fast qualifier Lance DeWease passed Mock for the second position and set sail after Saldana. The majority of the crowd though had their eyes on Haudenschild who was picking off several cars a lap on his journey to the front. By the sixth lap Haudenschild had already cracked the top ten after passing Phil Gressman.

The battle for the lead heated up on lap nine when Saldana encountered the lapped car of Jarrod Hull. Saldana and DeWease split Hull high and low down the front stretch with Saldana still up front. Then on lap nine Kim Mock blew a tire and came to stop on the front stretch to bring out the caution. This allowed Haudenschild to close in on rest of the top ten cars.

During the restart Lee Nelson got pushed high in turns one and two, hit the fence, and went for a nasty series of end over end flips. Nelson was awake and talking to the safety crew, but was transported to a local area hospital complaining of neck pain.

Once the race was restarted again, DeWease was able to get a run on Saldana and took the lead with a slide job in turns three and four on lap 10. One lap later Calvin Landis, who had a strong top five run going, had his left rear tire fly off the car and went for a wild slide down to the entrance of turn one. Landis was able to restart. The crowd once again roared as the charging Haudenschild was able to move up to the sixth position right behind the leaders.

Up front Saldana and DeWease continued their battle for the top position. Saldana was able to wrestle the lead away from DeWease, while Haudenschild moves into the third position. Another caution was brought out by Tim Kaeding’s stalled car on the front stretch. This set up a six-lap window for Haudenchild to pass DeWease and Saldana to collect the bonus.

The green appeared, and DeWease dove for the lead under Saldana while Haudenschild followed in third. For the next two laps the top three dived high and low looking for a way to capture the top position. Haudenschild got a run on DeWease going down the backstretch on lap 22 and was able to take away second. Saldana was able to build up a straightaway lead though and was heading to victory. Then while coming down to get the white flag Saldana hit an infield marker tire and came to a halt in turn four. Haudenschild assumed the lead as the crowd went crazy over the series of events.

This set up a two laps shootout to see of Haudenschild could win the bonus, or if DeWease could ruin Jac’s bid for the extra money. Haudenschild was able to pull away at the restart and won the race by a half a straightaway over DeWease, Brad Furr, Don Droud, Jr., and Randy Anderson to the roar of the capacity crowd.

Lance DeWease set a new track record at the Southern Iowa Speedway in time trials with a lap of 15.584 seconds. The heat races were won by DeWease, Skip Jackson, Day, and Tony Lutar won the heat races, Haudenschild won the dash, and Gressman won the B-Main event. Jeff Mitrisan won the Wesmar Engines $1,000 to win foot race.

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