The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series recently ran at Attica Raceway Park.
With the WoO-sanctioned Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic presented by Racing Optics coming up on July 13, this year will mark the first time since 1994 that the Outlaws have raced at Attica more than once in a single season.
In 1994, the WoO event was a two-night, back-to-back race that saw Stevie Smith win the first night and Sammy Swindell win the second night.
The May WoO race at Attica was won by David Gravel, but early in the event the story of the night was about one of the lower budget teams in the pit area.
Brandon Spithaler, who is having a great year so far and won a race earlier at ARP, was second-quick time in time trials, won his heat race and led the dash until the final corner, only to get passed by Sheldon Haudenschild, who had the partisan Ohio fans on their feet as he came from the last row to win it on the last lap.
That put Spithaler and Haudenschild on the front row of the A-Main and many people assumed Haudenschild would get the jump on Spithaler and drive away. But Spithaler raced wheel-to-wheel with Haudenschild for the first lap-and-a-half before the former ran out of room while on the outside of Haudenschild in turns three and four and, unfortunately, spun off the track.
The way he and the car looked – at least early on – Spithaler most likely would have had his highest Outlaw finish ever. But it wasn’t meant to be, as he had to restart at the tail and finished in the 17th position.
After several restarts in the first few laps, Gravel and Haudenschild had a great back and forth battle! They swapped the lead several times and every time Haudenschild would retake the lead, the crowd would roar their approval.
Finally, Haudenschild was able to separate himself from the field and, with more than a straightaway lead as he was coming off of turn four with the white flag in the air signaling one more lap to go, disaster struck.
A lapped car lost the left rear wheel and tire and spun out right in front of him and Haudenschild had nowhere to go. The two made contact, which damaged Haudenschild’s car and took him out of the race.
That put Gravel in the lead and he was able to hold off Donny Schatz, a four-time winner of the Brad Doty Classic at Attica, for the win. Schatz has been so close to getting his 300th WoO win on several occasions but, as of this writing, the milestone has eluded him for one reason or another.
There was another race at Attica Raceway Park – the 2016 Brad Doty Classic – when Haudenschild had a huge lead and it looked like he might have a shot at the win but a caution with 10 or so laps to go bunched the field up and saw him slip back to fourth at the end. Schatz, who started 15th, won the race.
Second-place went to Dale Blaney, and Daryn Pittman rounded out the podium after using a provisional and starting all the way back in 25th!
Haudenschild was driving the family-owned No. 93 car, which at that time was wrenched by veteran crew chief Dean “Bonzai” Bruns. Bruns was also the winning crew chief during the 2007 Brad Doty Classic with none other than Sheldon’s father, Jac Haudenschild, at the wheel.
Things are looking a whole lot better for this year’s Brad Doty Classic, with far less uncertainty than last year regarding the pandemic. But, of course, weather is always going to be a concern of mine.
The 2020 version of the Classic was definitely filled with a lot of mixed emotions and uneasiness due to COVID. None of us at Attica knew for sure if we would even be able to run the event until, literally, weeks before the race. We had what seemed like a good chance to get the race in, but with the virus and the ever-changing rules on what businesses could be open and to what capacity, it made it very difficult to advertise the event, organize things with our sponsors, get the event T-shirt designed and ordered and get the word out that we could run.
Even then, there was a chance that when race day approached we might have been told that the rules had changed and that we could not proceed with the race.
When it was all said and done, it turned out to be a great night with good weather and a great crowd.
We are fortunate to have some great marketing partners for the Classic and the event has grown to where we get fans from all over the country and, before the pandemic, several countries as well.
Attica Promoter John Bores and Director of Operations Rex LeJeune are constantly working to improve the racing and the facility, and this spring they added more than 1,000 new seats atop the grandstands.
The Outlaws race in May was packed, even with the additional seats, so for those considering attending this year’s running of the Brad Doty Classic, tickets are available at atticaracewaypark.com – just click on the event logo.
Fans can also go to worldofoutlaws.com/schedule and click on the Attica event’s buy tickets tab, or call (844) 347-8849.
Hope to see ya’ there!