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

Sheldon Haudenschild Trent Gower Photo

By Alex Nieten
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