PAIGE, TX - March 20, 2021 - Brad Sweet has made his mindset on World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championships very clear: win races, and the points will fall your way.
On Saturday night at Cotton Bowl Speedway, Sweet got back to his winning ways with his 60th career victory and his second of the season aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49.
The Big Cat led 28 of 30 laps and cruised to a 1.087-second advantage at the checkered flag. He joined Sheldon Haudenschild as the only two repeat winners of the 2021 World of Outlaws season through the opening eight races.
"It's pretty cool," Sweet acknowledged on his 60th career win. "They've all come with Kasey Kahne Racing too, and we've got Kasey here with us tonight. I can't thank him enough for the opportunity he's given us. It's been a fun ride so far, but it's far from over. It's always fun getting back in victory lane. These guys have been sticking by my side even through all my mistakes of late."
Sweet himself, however, admitted he didn't feel like the #49 was the car to beat on Saturday. He thought that honor belonged to Jacob Allen of Shark Racing, who looked poised for a second career win in the Drydene Texas Two-Step pres. by American Lube Suppy.
Pacing the opening 10 laps, Sweet was in command of the race lead until lap traffic halted his progress and allowed a hard charging Jacob Allen to close quickly. Taking advantage of the back markers, Allen picked off Sweet and took the Drydene Performance Products #1A to the top spot on Lap 11. He controlled two circuits before a mistake entering turn one sent him into the wall, flipping upside down, and eventually on fire.
The lovable Hanover, PA native was heartbroken, dejected, and upset with himself, but he still won over all the fans in attendance and those watching at home on DIRTVision.
"I stepped on it, that's what I did," Allen admitted. "The car felt phenomenal, I just screwed it up. There's no need for that. That's immature racing. I need to take a chill pill and finish these races to get myself a win. I'm racing with one of the very best in Brad Sweet and I need to capitalize, not end up on my lid."
Lap 12 offered the final restart of the race and Sweet promptly used the high-side to his advantage and checked out. Another bout with lap traffic made it interesting on Lap 19, but the two-time and defending Series champion prevailed and survived to run off with his second career win at the Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, TX.
"We've been knocking on the door lately," Sweet spoke on his strings of five-straight podiums. "I think Jake had the better car there, but he just made that mistake in lap traffic. It shows us we've still got to get a little bit better. I still fought some things with the car that I'd like to get fixed."
Brent Marks of Myerstown, PA finished a season-high second aboard his CJB Motorsports #5.
"We just needed lap traffic," Marks mentioned, who almost snookered Sweet in traffic with ten to go. "We got too tight there at the end and I couldn't run turns one and two like I needed to. All in all, a really great night. We've been struggling these last few races, so we needed this run. Make the 20+ hour drive back home a lot easier."
After a disappointing Friday night in the Last Chance Showdown, Cory Eliason and the Rudeen Racing #26 rebounded in a big way on Saturday with their second podium finish of the season.
"After our embarrassment last night we changed a lot off things and got way better tonight. Things really went our way tonight except for that double file restart. A podium for this team is awesome to get our sponsors the exposure they deserve."
Closing out the top five at Cotton Bowl was David Gravel aboard the Big Game Motorsports #2 with a 12th-to-fifth run and Friday's winner Sheldon Haudenschild in the Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing #17.
Rounding out the top ten was Logan Schuchart of Hanover, PA, Donny Schatz of Fargo, ND, Aaron Reutzel of Clute, TX, Brock Zearfoss of Jonestown, PA, and James McFadden of Alice Springs, N.T., AUS.
UP NEXT - The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series heads off to Missouri for a Show-Me State doubleheader next weekend. On Friday, March 26, US-36 Raceway in Osborn, MO takes the spotlight. On Saturday, March 27, the Series heads to Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO for the $15,000/Win Jason Johnson Classic.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 49-Brad Sweet [$10,000]; 2. 5-Brent Marks [$6,000]; 3. 26-Cory Eliason [$3,500]; 4. 2-David Gravel [$2,800]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,500]; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,300]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,200]; 8. 83-Aaron Reutzel [$2,100]; 9. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$2,050]; 10. 9-James McFadden [$2,000]; 11. 41-Carson Macedo [$1,600]; 12. 2C-Wayne Johnson [$1,400]; 13. 11-Ian Madsen [$1,200]; 14. 19-Parker Price-Miller [$1,100]; 15. 18-Gio Scelzi [$1,050]; 16. 21-Brian Brown [$1,000]; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 18. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,000]; 19. 2B-Josh Baughman [$1,000]; 20. 8M-TJ Michael [$1,000]; 21. 33M-Mason Daniel [$1,000]; 22. 3-Ayrton Gennetten [$1,000]; 23. 42P-Preston Perlmutter [$1,000]; 24. 99X-Dalton Stevens [$1,000]; 25. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,000]. Lap Leaders:Brad Sweet 1-10, 13-30; Jacob Allen 11-12. KSE Hard Charger Award: 2C-Wayne Johnson[+11]
Slick Woody’s Qualifying – 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 15.091; 2. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 15.64; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.692; 4. 9-James McFadden, 15.742; 5. 26-Cory Eliason, 15.765; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 15.894; 7. 5-Brent Marks, 15.9; 8. 41-Carson Macedo, 15.948; 9. 7S-Jason Sides, 15.964; 10. 21-Brian Brown, 15.994; 11. 18-Gio Scelzi, 16.029; 12. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 16.03; 13. 15-Donny Schatz, 16.071; 14. 83-Aaron Reutzel, 16.1; 15. 2-David Gravel, 16.128; 16. 8M-TJ Michael, 16.189; 17. 33M-Mason Daniel, 16.195; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 16.219; 19. 19-Parker Price-Miller, 16.235; 20. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 16.321; 21. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 16.333; 22. 11-Ian Madsen, 16.346; 23. 2B-Josh Baughman, 16.354; 24. 42P-Preston Perlmutter, 16.985; 25. 99X-Dalton Stevens, 17.124
DRYDENE Heat #1 (8 Laps) – Top 9 Transfer – 1. 49-Brad Sweet ; 2. 5-Brent Marks ; 3. 9-James McFadden ; 4. 21-Brian Brown ; 5. 15-Donny Schatz ; 6. 11-Ian Madsen ; 7. 8M-TJ Michael ; 8. 19-Parker Price-Miller ; 9. 99X-Dalton Stevens 
DRYDENE Heat #2 (8 Laps) – Top 9 Transfer – 1. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss ; 2. 26-Cory Eliason ; 3. 18-Gio Scelzi ; 4. 41-Carson Macedo ; 5. 83-Aaron Reutzel ; 6. 2B-Josh Baughman ; 7. 33M-Mason Daniel ; 8. 2C-Wayne Johnson 
DRYDENE Heat #3 (8 Laps) – Top 9 Transfer – 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 4. 2-David Gravel ; 5. 7S-Jason Sides ; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 7. 3-Ayrton Gennetten ; 8. 42P-Preston Perlmutter 
DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash (6 Laps) – 1. 26-Cory Eliason ; 2. 49-Brad Sweet ; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 4. 5-Brent Marks ; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 6. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss 
Photo - Trent Gower