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
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
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.