PAIGE, Texas – Brad Sweet made his mindset on World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championships very clear at the start of the season: win races, and the points will take care of themselves.
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 with Mike Curb-prepared, NAPA Auto Parts-backed No. 49.
Sweet led 28 of 30 laps and cruised to a 1.087-second advantage at the checkered flag. He joined Sheldon Haudenschild as just the second repeat winner of the 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, however, admitted he didn’t feel like the No. 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 presented by American Lube Supply.
Pacing the opening 10 laps, Sweet was in command of the race lead until lap traffic halted his progress and allowed a hard-charging Allen to close quickly. Taking advantage of the back markers, Allen picked off Sweet and took the Drydene Performance Products No. 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 left his car on fire.
The Hanover, Pa., native was heartbroken, dejected, and upset with himself, but he still won over all the fans in attendance and those watching online at home.
“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 Outlaw champion prevailed and survived to run off with his second career win at Cotton Bowl.
“We’ve been knocking on the door lately,” Sweet, who is on a run of five-straight podium finishes, noted afterward. “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 finished a season-high second aboard the CJB Motorsports No. 5.
“We just needed lap traffic,” said Marks, who almost snookered Sweet in traffic with 10 laps 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. Makes the 20-plus hour drive back home a lot easier.”
Cory Eliason, David Gravel and Friday winner Sheldon Haudenschild filled out the top five.
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, Jacob Allen 11-12, Brad Sweet 13-30.
KSE Hard Charger Award: 2C-Wayne Johnson [+11]