Sheldon Haudenschild won the Kokomo WoO stop Saturday (Mark Funderburk Racing Photo) (Video Highlights from DirtVision)
WoO and Non-wing
44 WoO cars
34 Non-wing cars
Sorry for the late report, It was chilly, but two divisions of sprint cars at Kokomo is a must-see particularly on one of the last shows of the year. The car count of 78 didn’t disappoint. Five drivers performed double duty including Tyler Courtney, Paul Nienhiser, Justin Grant, Chase Stockon and Clinton Boyles. The crowd turned up despite the temperatures.
Paige Polyak’s night ended in hot laps with an encounter with the always looming turn two wall. Sammy Swindell’s eight year old track record of 10.950 was challenged by Brad Sweet, who was the third to last car to time, checking in at 10.981 seconds. Jacob Allen (8th car to time) set the standard in the first of two flights with an 11.031 second lap on the quarter mile. Donny Schatz (6th car out) was second quick, followed by Aaron Reutzel (21st), Shane Stewart (11th) and Tim Kaeding (22nd) in Tony Stewart’s #14. Following Sweet in the second flight were Cory Eliason (29th), Parker Price-Miller (35th), Dominic Scelzi (23rd) and Tyler Courtney (28th). Carson Macedo got one lap in the second group after changing an engine.
Heat one (started): 1. Allen 1a (1) 2. Reutzel 87 (2) 3. Logan Schuchart 1s (4) 4. Spencer Bayston 71x (6) 5. Wayne Johnson 2c (5) / 6. Jason Sides 7s (9) 7. Nate Dussel 1 (10) 8. Carson Short 21 (8) 9. Bill Rose 6 (11) 10. Kaeding 14 (3) 11. Kerry Madsen 2m (7)
10-lap heats took the top two to the Dash and top five to the feature. Kaeding tangled with K. Maden before a lap could be completed, with both getting upside down. Kaeding would return to the B, while Madsen loaded up with a busted frame. Allen led the distance from there, with a battle forming for the fifth and final transfer. Bayston, driving one of three Indy Race Parts entries, would snatch it from Sides at the midway point and then set his sights on Johnson, passing him at the white flag for fourth.
Heat two (started): 1. Stewart 71 (2) 2. Schatz 15 (1) 3. Buddy Kofoid 67 (4) 4. Hunter Schuerenberg 55 (5) 5. Paul Nienhiser 5K (6) / 6. Zane DeVault 27z (9) 7. Brinton Marvel 21x (7) 8. Mason Daniel 33m (8) 9. Ryan Ruhl 5R (3) 10. Justin Grant 6m (10) 11. Tyler Rankin 16c (11)
Stewart led wire to wire, beating Schatz to turn one. Schuerenberg bested Nienhiser on lap two for fourth. DeVault moved up nicely from row five and looked like he might challenge for the final transfer before settling for sixth.
Heat three (started): 1. Sheldon Haudenschild 17 (4) 2. Sweet 49 (1) 3. Courtney 7BC (3) 4. James McFadden 9 (7) 5. Price-Miller 71P (2) / 6. DJ Foos 16 (6) 7. Chris Windom 19 (9) 8. Gary Taylor 18 (8) 9. Chase Stockon 5s (10) 10. Frank Rodgers III 6x (11) 11. David Gravel 41 (5)
The most entertaining of the heats started with a Windom spin that negated a McFadden run from row four into the top five. Sweet led PPM and Haudenschild early. Haudenschild worked by PPM for second on lap two before Gravel snapped a rear axle battling with Foos for fifth. McFadden jumped from sixth to fourth on the restart, and Courtney got by PPM for third. The top three were three-wide for the lead for a moment. Haudenschild takes the lead from Sweet on lap five for good.
Heat four (started): 1. Eliason 26 (1) 2. Scelzi 83 (2) 3. Ian Madsen 11 (4) 4. Carson Macedo 2 (8) 5. Kraig Kinser 11K (3) / 6. Daryn Pittman 72 (5) 7. Justin Peck 5x (6) 8. Austin McCarl 101 (7) 9. Clinton Boyles 98 (9) 10. Koby Barksdale 22 (10) DNS – Paige Polyak 19P
Macedo jumps the start a row before the green into a transfer, much to the chagrin of Pittman who lets him know under a caution for a stopped Boyles a lap in. Eliason led the distance with Scelzi and I. Madsen in tow. Macedo was fourth, while Kinser held off Pittman, whose hard night was just beginning.
C main (started): 1. Rose (1) 2. Stockon (2) / 3. Ruhl (3) 4. Boyles (4) 5. Barksdale (7) 6. Grant (5) 7. Rankin (8) 8. Rodgers (6) DNS – K. Madsen, Polyak
The 10-lap C main took two to the B. Rose led throughout. Grant spun four laps in. The best racing was for third between Michigander Ruhl and Boyles.
Dash (started): 1. Haudenschild (4) 2. Schatz (2) 3. Reutzel (3) 4. Sweet (8) 5. Stewart (6) 6. Eliason (7) 7. Allen (5) 8. Scelzi (1)
The 8-lap Dash determined the top eight starting spots for the feature, and proved very entertaining. Schatz led Scelzi and Reutzel early. Haudenschild shot by Reutzel on lap two for third and set his sights on Scelzi. They were a bit too close as Sheldon knocked Scelzi’s rear bumper into a spin. Reutzel worked by Haudenschild back into the second spot, before Haudenschild let it all hang out on the final lap, shooting from third to first to nip Schatz at the line by a tenth of a second.
B main (started): 1. Kaeding (1) 2. Gravel (2) 3. Sides (3) 4. Foos (4) / 5. Peck (10) 6. Windom (8) 7. Dussel (7) 8. Short (11) 9. Marvel (9) 10. Taylor (12) 11. Rose (15) 12. Daniel (13) 13. Stockon (16) 14. McCarl (14) 15. Pittman (6) 16. DeVault (5)
Graven led Sides and Kaeding early. Kaeding rode the cushion around Sides and then took the lead from Gravel on lap three, while Foos nabbed the final transfer spot from Pittman. Foos continued his charge in the Burmeister 16, getting by Sides for third on lap five. A battle ensued that saw Sides get back under for the spot on lap seven. Pittman worked by Foos for fourth on lap eight, but Foos returned the favor in a great battle on the next lap. Contact with Peck sent Pittman into a spin, and he retired. The restart had Kaeding ahead of Gravel, Sides, Foos and Peck. With one to go, McCarl contacted an infield tire and got upside down. Pittman also suffered damage and went pitside. Peck surged into fourth, but Foos battled back on the last circuit to reclaim the final transfer by a tenth.
A main (started): 1. Haudenschild (1) 2. Schatz (2) 3. Schuchart (9) 4. McFadden (14) 5. Macedo (16) 6. Allen (7) 7. Courtney (10) 8. I. Madsen (12) 9. Gravel (22) 10. Reutzel (3) 11. Sweet (4) 12. Sides (23) 13. Price-Miller (18) 14. Foos (24) 15. Kaeding (21) 16. Eliason (6) 17. Bayston (13) 18. Kinser (20) 19. Scelzi (8) 20. Pittman (25, prov.) 21. Schuerenberg (15) 22. Kofoid (11) 23. Nienhiser (19) 24. Stewart (5) 25. Johnson (17)
The 40-lapper saw Haudenschild jump out to a lead ahead of Schatz and Reutzel. Stewart was on the move, and got under Reutzel for third on lap three. The leaders were in lapped traffic on lap seven. Two circuits later, Schatz took advantage of heavy lapped traffic and worked his way to the lead, putting some distance between he and Haudenschild before a caution for a Stewart spin came 11 laps in. Kinser headed to the work area at the same time. Schatz chose the inside groove on the restart and retained the lead until a lap 19 incident. Kaeding contacted Schuerenberg who spun, with Kofoid. Nienhiser couldn’t avoid and flipped. The incident also collected third running Reutzel, who joined Kaeding as the only cars to continue. Schatz led four more laps before Scelzi and Gravel contacted and spun collecting Pittman, who was done for the night, and Sides. Scelzi also retired. Schatz restarted with Haudenschild got on his tail. On lap 25, Haudenschild made his move for the lead and entered lappers with ten to go. He caught clean air when Price-Miller spun on lap 31. Kaeding who won the B, was on the move and into fifth by that restart. On lap 33, Schuchart gained third from Sweet and Gravel brought the caution with four to go, along with fifth running Kaeding, who retired. Sweet, who was running fourth went up in smoke with three to go, losing several spots. Haudenschild pulled away for the win. Gravel was the hard-charger, recovering to a ninth place finish.