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Friday, August 10, 2018

Brad Sweet Dominates Night Two of Nationals to Earn Pole for Saturday’s Finale

KNOXVILLE, IA – August 9, 2018 – Brad Sweet made an exclamation point to the Sprint Car world on the second night of the 5-Hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals, storming from sixth to the lead on the opening lap. Sweet never looked back and cruised to the Feature win and accumulated enough points to start on the pole for Saturday’s $150,000 to win Knoxville Nationals Finale. Rico Abreu finished second with David Gravel coming from 11th to third to complete the podium.

The front row for the 25-lap Feature was North Dakota’s Mark Dobmeier and California’s Rico Abreu, but it was the current runner-up in the World of Outlaws Points Standings Brad Sweet blasting from his sixth starting position to lead the opening lap.

“Rob Cappetta has really found something in these engines, we’re not blowing people away in time trials by two-tenths or anything, but it runs excellent for the first lap. I think that’s what people saw on Sunday [in the Pole Shuffle at the Capitani Classic] as well, combine that with a car that handles great and we’ve been pretty good," Sweet said in his post-race press conference. Sweet was dominant in his Heat Race opening lap as well, fueling his charge from eighth to second in that event.

A pair of cautions during the opening two laps kept the field close to Sweet, but that was as close as the competition would get to the driver known as ‘The Big Cat’.

“I’ve never had this much confidence heading into Nationals, but I know the job is far from done,” Sweet said about earning the pole for the biggest Sprint Car race in the world. “Donny [Schatz] and Kyle [Larson] and a whole bunch of others are going to be right there, but we’re certainly going to give it our best shot,” Sweet said about his NAPA Racing No.49 team on Saturday.

Rico Abreu quickly moved into second and never relinquished that position, despite heavy pressure from 11th-starting David Gravel.

“We just keep getting our car better and better this year. I’m really proud of my young team, we’ve battled a lot of issues this year, but we’ve become a good unit because of it. Three years in a row to be locked into the A Main at the Knoxville Nationals shows how good this team is,” an enthusiastic Abreu said after being interviewed post-race.

Gravel muscled his way forward through the field quickly from his 11th-starting position, obtaining seventh by Lap 2 and getting to third by Lap 8. Despite finishing third, because of a poor Qualifying time and 4th-place run in his Heat, Gravel will start seventh in the B-Main/Last Chance Showdown on Saturday.

“We know we have the car speed at the end of the night and tonight showed that, but we were pretty disappointed with our Qualifying run. We really needed to win our Heat to help our points,” Gravel said in the post-race press conference. “We know at the end of the night, we have a very good car and there’s a lot of good cars up front in the B, but we have a lot of confidence that we can pass some cars,” Gravel said in confidence about his CJB Motorsports No.5 team.

Tim Kaeding was strong all night in a second Jason Sides Motorsports entry and finished fourth to lock-in to Saturday’s finale. Terry McCarl finished fifth in the Feature and accumulated just enough points to lock-in to Saturday’s Feature as well.

KSE Hard Charger Honors went to Shane Stewart who surged from 23rd to eighth and locked in to Saturday’s Feature with the 15th highest point total. Carson Macedo aboard the Jason Johnson Racing No.41 set Quick Time and came from 21st to ninth and locked the JJR No.41 into the Saturday Feature with the eighth highest point total.

Feature (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Brad Sweet (6); 2. Rico Abreu (2); 3. David Gravel (13); 4. Tim Kaeding (5); 5. Terry McCarl (4); 6. Chad Kemenah (8); 7. Cory Eliason (10); 8. Shane Stewart (23); 9. Carson Macedo (21); 10. Kraig Kinser (11); 11. Mark Dobmeier (1); 12. Jacob Allen (7); 13. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (15); 14. Parker Price-Miller (22); 15. Spencer Bayston (9); 16. Wayne Johnson (18); 17. Jamie Veal (24); 18. Sammy Swindell (17); 19. John Carney II (3); 20. Chris Martin (19); 21. Gary Taylor (20); 22. Dave Blaney (16); 23. Harli White (12); 24. Josh Schneiderman (14). Lap Leader: Sweet 1-25. Hard-charger: S. Stewart (+15)

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 41, Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA (9), 15.520; 2. 10H, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (6), 15.608; 3. 1A, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (20), 15.627; 4. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (1), 15.634; 5. 71P, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (41), 15.643; 6. 28, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Au (19), 15.691; 7. 44, Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA (5), 15.748; 8. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (10), 15.767; 9. 2, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (50), 15.783; 10. 7, Carson McCarl, Altoona, IA (18), 15.810; 11. 91T, Cale Thomas, Fairland, IN (3), 15.838; 12. 1X, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (2), 15.857; 13. 3, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA (47), 15.861; 14. 17X, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (36), 15.862; 15. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (35), 15.894; 16. 7C, John Carney II, El Paso, TX (21), 15.902; 17. 24R, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA (33), 15.925; 18. 99G, Skylar Gee, Leduc, ALB, Can. (14), 15.942; 19. 48, Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA (16), 15.948; 20. 35, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (34), 15.97; 21. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (26), 15.977; 22. 39, Spencer Bayston, Lebanon, IN (40), 15.980; 23. 21AU, Jordyn Brazier, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (13), 15.982; 24. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (44), 15.985; 25. 83, Cory Eliason, Selma, CA (49), 15.989; 26. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (23), 15.993; 27. 26, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (42), 16.001; 28. 17W, Harli White, Lindsay, OK (12), 16.005; 29. 5, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (46), 16.020; 30. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (31), 16.026; 31. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (45), 16.032; 32. 9R, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (15), 16.059; 33. 70, Dave Blaney, High Point, NC (11), 16.076; 34. 1, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (51), 16.084; 35. 2C, Wayne Johnson, Tuttle, OK (39), 16.121; 36. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (29), 16.123; 37. 44M, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (7), 16.125; 38. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (48), 16.137; 39. G1, Gary Taylor, Snohomish, WA (37), 16.150; 40. 25, Bobby McMahan, Elk Grove, CA (22), 16.204; 41. 21K, Thomas Kennedy, Winnipeg, MB, Can. (28), 16.214; 42. 35P, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (17), 16.244; 43. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (25), 16.258; 44. 71A, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (43), 16.259; 45. 28AU, Allan Woods, Brisbane, QLD, Aust. (32), 16.274; 46. 81, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (30), 16.308; 47. 3X, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (24), 16.308; 48. 91, Kyle Reinhardt, Neptune City, NJ (27), 16.332; 49. 18J, Jenna Frazier, Rio Linda, CA (8), 17.756; 50. 84, Tom Harris, Banbury, OXFD, UK (38), 18.088; 51. 2MM, Matt Moro, Polk City, IA (4), NT.

Final Combined Points:

A Main: 1. 49 Brad Sweet 491; 2. 10H Chad Kemenah 479; 3. 57 Kyle Larson 475; 4. 15 Donny Schatz 474; 5. 87 Aaron Reutzel 473; 6. 2M Kerry Madsen 473; 7. 49X Tim Shaffer 471; 8. 41 Carson Macedo 469; 9. 71 Gio Scelzi 468; 10. 3 Tim Kaeding 467; 11. 18 Ian Madsen 467; 12. 1A Jacob Allen 465; 13. 24R Rico Abreu 463; 14. 27 Greg Hodnett 462; 15. 2 Shane Stewart 458; 16 24 Terry McCarl 455

B Main: 17. 71P Parker Price-Miller 454; 18. 24W Lucas Wolfe 453; 19. 9 Daryn Pittman 452; 20. 4 Brock Zearfoss 444; 21. 83 Cory Eliason 440; 22. 13 Mark Dobmeier 437; 23. 5 David Gravel 431; 24. 5H Sammy Walsh 431; 25. 2KS Austin McCarl 429; 26. 11K Kraig Kinser 426

Any driver not listed above will Qualify again on Friday with a clean slate and a complete racing program. The top-four in Friday’s Feature will lineup 17th-20th in Saturday’s finale. The remains of the B, C, D and E will be lined up based on Friday’s finishing order.

The Knoxville Nationals are halfway over, but the action is just getting started.

Heat one (started), 10 Laps, 2:42.8: 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 2. Mark Dobmeier (4); 3. Kraig Kinser (3); 4. John Carney II (5) / 5. Scott Bogucki (7); 6. Carson Macedo (8); 7. Matt Covington (1); 8. Cale Thomas (6) / 9. Lee Jacobs (10); 10. Thomas Kennedy (9)

Heat two (started), 10 Laps, 2:47.1: 1. Chris Martin (1); 2. Rico Abreu (5); 3. Spencer Bayston (4); 4. Chad Kemenah (8) / 5. Rager Phillips (2); 6. Jac Haudenschild (10); 7. Joey Saldana (3); 8. Trey Starks (7) / 9. Skylar Prochaska (9); 10. Don Droud Jr. (6)

Heat three (started), 10 Laps, 2:45.9: 1. Dave Blaney (2); 2. Tim Kaeding (6); 3. Harli White (3); 4. Jacob Allen (8) / 5. Skylar Gee (5); 6. Greg Wilson (9); 7. Jordyn Brazier (4); 8. Paige Polyak (7) / 9. Kyle Reinhardt (10); 10. Brian Brown (1)

Heat four (started), 10 Laps, 2:44.2: 1. Sammy Swindell (2); 2. Brad Sweet (8); 3. Gary Taylor (1); 4. David Gravel (3) / 5. Shane Stewart (7); 6. Brooke Tatnell (4); 7. Josh Baughman (6); 8. Danny Dietrich (5) / 9. RJ Johnson (9); 10. Jenna Frazier (10)

Heat five (started), 10 Laps, 2:45.1: 1. Cory Eliason (4); 2. Wayne Johnson (2); 3. Josh Schneiderman (3); 4. Terry McCarl (6); 5. Parker Price-Miller (8); 6. Jamie Veal (5); 7. Carson McCarl (7); 8. Allan Woods (9); 9. Bobby McMahan (1); 10. Tom Harris (10)

C main (started), 10 Laps, 2:18.1: 1. Don Droud Jr. (1); 2. RJ Johnson (4); 3. Bobby McMahan (2); 4. Lee Jacobs (5) / 5. Skylar Prochaska (3); 6. Tom Harris (6) DNS - 7. Thomas Kennedy; 8. Kyle Reinhardt; 9. Brian Brown; 10. Jenna Frazier; 11. Matt Moro

B main (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Carson Macedo (1); 2. Parker Price-Miller (2); 3. Shane Stewart (6); 4. Jamie Veal (12) / 5. Scott Bogucki (3); 6. Danny Dietrich (11); 7. Don Droud Jr. (19); 8. Cale Thomas (8); 9. Josh Baughman (9); 10. Greg Wilson (18); 11. Skylar Gee (10); 12. Brooke Tatnell (14); 13. Rager Phillips (16); 14. Lee Jacobs (23); 15. Allan Woods (17); 16. RJ Johnson (22); 17. Paige Polyak (5); 18. Trey Starks (4); 19. Joey Saldana (15); 20. Carson McCarl (7); 21. Jordyn Brazier (13); 22. Jac Haudenschild (20); 23. Bobby McMahan (21); DNS - 24. Matt Covington

Final Combined Points

A main
1 49 Brad Sweet 491
2 10H Chad Kemenah 479
3 57 Kyle Larson 475
4 15 Donny Schatz 474
5 87 Aaron Reutzel 473
6 2M Kerry Madsen 473
7 49X Tim Shaffer 471
8 41 Carson Macedo 469
9 71 Gio Scelzi 468
10 3 Tim Kaeding 467
11 18 Ian Madsen 467
12 1A Jacob Allen 465
13 24R Rico Abreu 463
14 27 Greg Hodnett 462
15 2 Shane Stewart 458
16 24 Terry McCarl 455

B main
17 71P Parker Price-Miller 454
18 24W Lucas Wolfe 453
19 9 Daryn Pittman 452
20 4 Brock Zearfoss 444
21 83 Cory Eliason 440
22 13 Mark Dobmeier 437
23 5 David Gravel 431
24 5H Sammy Walsh 431
25 2KS Austin McCarl 429
26 11K Kraig Kinser 426

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