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HOOSIER-SHOD JAC HAUDENSCHILD WINS $200,000
IN MOPAR MILLION DOLLAR SPRINT AT ELDORA

9-22-03

Hoosier-shod Mopar Million Winner Jac Haudenschild (Picture courtesy of Russ Labounty & Mike Seifert)ROSSBURG, OH (September 19-20) -- Jac Haudenschild captured the largest paying sprint car race in history winning the 40-lap Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora. The 45-year-old World of Outlaws veteran pocketed $200,000 for besting the 138-car field that was on hand for the historic race. The Hoosier brand was not only the choice of the race winner, but also the choice of 100 other drivers vying for the prestigious win. Hoosier Open Wheel Dirt Product Manager Neil Cowman, along with Hoosier Engineers Jon Huffman and John Reynolds, attended the two-day special event. The race was a USAC sanctioned special event race with no points awarded in the series. 

On Friday, a total of 138 of the world's best sprint racers converged on the famous Eldora Speedway looking to take the lion's share of the $1,000,000 payout. Each driver took turns posting times in qualifying on the 1/2-mile dirt oval. After each driver circled the track once, they repeated the process again with the better of the two laps being used as each driver's qualifying time. 

Tracy Hines set fast time among the 138 hopefuls after circling the track in 15.918 seconds using a Hoosier RD12/D10 (LR/RR) combination. The 12 fastest times in qualifying were posted by drivers using the Hoosier brand with Hines, Tyler Walker, J.J. Yeley, Jay Drake, Jac Haudenschild, Shane Cottle, Dean Jacobs, Boston Reid. Russ Gamester, Troy Cline, Dave Darland and Danny Smith rounding out the 12 fastest times in qualifying.

The field was then divided up into 10 preliminary heats which would be used to gain entry into Saturday's main event. The Hoosier brand was on nine of the ten 12-lap heat race winners' cars. Amazingly, three different Hoosier compounds were used by the nine heat race winners showing the versatility of Hoosier's arsenal of compounds. Kevin Huntley won the first heat using a Hoosier RD12 on his right rear position, while Critter Malone won the second heat using a D12 as his right rear choice. Bill Rose won the fourth heat on a D12, while Jac Haudenschild (RD12), Jonathan Vennard (RD12), Dean Jacobs (D12), Rob Chaney (D12), Russ Gamester (RD12) and Brad Noffsinger (D15) won heats five through ten, respectively. 

On Saturday, a series of five "last-chance" races were contested with only the top four finishers of each transferring to the next "last-chance" race. Four of the five "last-chance" races were won by drivers riding on Hoosier tires. Justin Marvel won the 15-lap F-Main using a 98"D10 on his left rear position and a D10 on his right rear. Jimmy Laser won the E-Main on a 100" D12 left rear and a D12 right rear combination. The 15-lap D-main was won by Troy Cline using a 98" D10/RD12 combination. The C-Main was won by Boston Reid who ran the 20-lap race using a D12 compound on his right rear position. The 20-lap B-main had the top four finishers transferring to the night's feature race which produced two more Hoosier-shod entries (Bud Kaeding and Danny Smith) into the Mopar Million Sprint race.

The 138-car field was now whittled down to 26 for the 40-lap feature. It was finally time for the $200,000-to-win feature race to begin as 22 of the 26 starters rode on Hoosier tires. Third starting Dean Jacobs took the lead on the first lap, while front row starters Russ Gamester and Brad Noffsinger were busy battling each other. Jacobs held onto the race lead until the halfway point which was when 15th starting Dickie Gaines made the pass for the lead using a D12/D20 combination. Gaines led for eight laps until fifth starting Jac Haudenschild moved into the lead. Haudenschild, using a pair of D20's, led the race's final 12 laps to take the win in front of a cheering crowd of fans. Haudenschild collected $200,000 for being the top finisher. 

The Hoosier brand was used by 15 of the top 16 finishers including (earnings); Dickie Gaines ($100,000), J.J. Yeley ($60,000), Rob Chaney ($35,000), Bill Rose ($25,000), Dean Jacobs ($23,000), Tracy Hines ($21,000), Jonathan Vennard ($20,000), Russ Gamester ($19,000), Kevin Doty ($18,000), Dave Darland ($17,000), Ricky Gaunt ($16,500), Marc Jessup ($16,000), Danny Smith ($15,500) and Mike Brecht ($15,000) in third through 16th, respectively. The race paid $10,000-to-start, so even the last place finisher was guaranteed a $10,000 payout. The record payout had more than one driver enjoying the biggest payouts of their racing careers. 

Congratulations to all the competitors that competed in this historical event particularly those who opted to run using USA-made Hoosier tires. 

      

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