Ohio’s Strong Ties to the World of Outlaws: A Look into the Buckeye State’s Connection

Ohio’s landscape is marked by dirt tracks that span approximately 40,000 square miles, stretching across the entire state. Within this vast expanse, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars have left an indelible mark, with a rich and storied history that has unfolded across the varied terrains.

In 2024, the history of racing in the “Buckeye State” is set to experience a healthy growth. The upcoming 25-day stretch of the Greatest Show on Dirt will showcase seven races at five different tracks. The excitement kicks off with two nights at Eldora Speedway on May 3-4, followed by stops at Attica Raceway Park on May 17, Sharon Speedway on May 18, Atomic Speedway on May 24-25, and Fremont Speedway on May 27.

Ohio has been a popular destination for the World of Outlaws racing series, with over 300 races held in the state since its inception in 1978. The band of racers wasted no time in making their way to Ohio, with the second-ever World of Outlaws race taking place at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg. It was Bobby Allen from Pennsylvania who emerged victorious in that historic race.

During their debut campaign, the World of Outlaws made an impressive appearance at “The Big E” a total of eight times. Ohio’s very own Rick Ferkel stood out among the crowd, making fellow Buckeyes proud by claiming victory in four of those races. This strong start set the stage for a long and fruitful connection between Eldora Speedway and the World of Outlaws Series.

In 1978, the nation’s top Sprint Car drivers showcased their skills at two additional Ohio ovals. Ferkel emerged victorious at Limaland Motorsports Park, while Steve Smith from New Oxford, PA claimed the Series’ sole visit to Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, OH. With a total of 13 races held in Ohio that year, it was the state with the most races on the Series calendar.

Ohio took the lead in terms of hosting the most events during the first four seasons of World of Outlaws action. Eldora remained a staple venue, and it was joined by Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, New Bremen Speedway, Mansfield Motor Speedway, and Millstream Speedway in Findlay. These tracks collectively added to the excitement and popularity of the series during that four-year period.

During the 1980s, Eldora Raceway continued to be a regular part of the racing schedule, hosting multiple races every season. Although Millstream and Wayne County occasionally held events, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that two new tracks were introduced. Attica Raceway Park and Fremont Speedway made their debut weekend in May of 1990, with Steve Kinser sweeping the races. On July 15, 1990, Millstream Speedway had the honor of hosting Ohio’s 100th World of Outlaws Race.

In the 1990s, a significant milestone was achieved in the relationship between the World of Outlaws and the Kings Royal. This tradition has continued to this day, as the Series prepares to return to Eldora on July 19-20 for the 41st edition of the event, with a whopping $175,000 prize awaiting the winner.

In 2002, Danny Lasoski made history by winning the Series debut at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, marking the first new track addition in over a decade. The following year, The Greatest Show on Dirt made its way to Atomic Speedway, previously known as K-C Raceway, becoming the 11th track visited by the series.

Ohio’s numerous racetracks have propelled many local talents into the national spotlight with the World of Outlaws. Out of the 152 drivers who have claimed victory in World of Outlaws races, an impressive 16 of them hail from Ohio.

Dave Blaney of Hartford, OH has established himself as a trailblazer in the world of racing, securing an impressive 95 victories in the World of Outlaws series. This remarkable achievement places him in the eighth spot on the all-time victories list. Blaney’s journey to success began in 1985 when he clinched his first triumph at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL. However, it was in the mid-1990s that Blaney truly soared to new heights. Teaming up with Casey Luna, he became an unstoppable force, conquering an astounding 56 Features between 1993 and 1996. This triumphant period also saw Blaney claim the well-deserved 1995 championship title.

The father-son duo of Jac and Sheldon Haudenschild, hailing from Wooster, OH, have established themselves as two of the most accomplished drivers from Ohio. Jac, known for his fearless driving style, earned the moniker “The Wild Child” and secured an impressive 72 victories throughout his career. Notably, he triumphed under the banner of 15 different car owners, with his most successful stints occurring while driving Jack Elden’s #22 car, which propelled him to 32 wins. On the other hand, Sheldon has garnered 37 checkered flags since joining Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing in 2018, including an impressive trio already in 2024.

Rick Ferkel, the first winner from the state of Ohio, is the next driver on the list. Known as “The Ohio Traveler,” Ferkel achieved an impressive 21 victories, with eight of them earned in his home state. Another successful driver from Millersburg, OH, Brad Doty, secured 18 checkered flags before his career came to an unfortunate end in 1988.

In addition to the aforementioned Ohio winners, a number of other talented drivers have also achieved notable victories. Dale Blaney, hailing from Hartford, showcased his skills on the track. Chillicothe’s own Danny Smith proved his mettle, while Kenny Jacobs from Holmesville left a lasting impression. Findlay’s Chad Kemenah demonstrated his prowess, and Troy’s Jack Hewitt showcased his exceptional talent. Fremont’s Frankie Kerr, Benton Ridge’s Greg Wilson, Elmore’s Randy Ford, Gibsonburg’s Johnny Beaber, Belpree’s Rick Ungar, and Wooster’s Dean Jacobs all added to the list of successful Ohio drivers.

In just one day, the highly anticipated arrival of the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway will take place, further solidifying the track’s rich history in Ohio. With an impressive record of 235 previous visits, Eldora Speedway stands as the most frequented venue for the top talent in the nation.

Ohio racing fans have plenty to look forward to in 2024. The World of Outlaws will be hosting a total of 12 races in Ohio, spread across six racetracks. This includes five nights of racing in May, followed by three races in July, and two more in September. The calendar also marks a return to Wayne County Speedway, adding to the rich history between the World of Outlaws and the “Buckeye State.” With each race, new chapters will be written, further cementing the impact of this exhilarating sport on Ohio’s racing scene.

World of Outlaws 2024 Ohio Races

The Eldora Speedway in Rossburg will be hosting an exciting event on May 3-4.

On May 17, Attica Raceway Park in Attica will be hosting an exciting event.

On May 18th, an exciting event took place at Sharon Speedway in Hartford.

The racing event is scheduled to take place on May 24-25 at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe.

On May 27th, an exciting event took place at Fremont Speedway in Fremont.

On July 16, a thrilling event took place at Attica Raceway Park in Attica.

On July 19-20, Eldora Speedway in Rossburg will be hosting an exciting event.

On September 27th, an exciting event took place at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville.

On September 28th, the action unfolded at Sharon Speedway in Hartford.

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 7043

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *