Sweet made it very clear he had his sights set on Schatz from there and began reeling him in by running around the top. On lap 27, Sweet got the run he needed and passed Schatz through turns three and four as he led down the front stretch. It was a short-lived lead, however, as Sweet pushed too hard into one and brushed the wall just enough to allow Schatz back by. Sweet kept it close, but could never make another push for the lead.
Schatz’s STP/Armor All J&J appeared to come in late, but early enough to make it count.
“We had something break in hot laps and killed a car, and it was kind of our baby car,” said Schatz. “It happens and we’ll keep working on it and make it better. I’m glad we got the win and it was a fun race. The race track worked where there was a top groove a bottom groove and guys running everywhere. Just to get the inversion with nearly no laps in the car it was great. We’re glad to get the win and now we’ve got the work to do.”
Sweet, who tapped the wall in turn 1 after taking the lead, looked strong for the second consecutive night in the Kasey Kahne Racing Ollie’s Bargain Outlets GF1 as he continues to gain on Schatz.
“At the end of the race we really got the top working well and gave Donny a run for his money,” said Sweet. “It’s a shame because they’re so hard to win right now because Donny is so fast. I think we had the superior car, but just a driver mistake getting into one and bouncing it off the wall and that was all she wrote.”
Kerry Madsen looked destined to sweep the weekend in his Keneric Racing EarthEx KPC before late-race problems.
“We lost something there at the end, we don’t know what yet,” said Madsen. “Either a tire sealed up or the driver. It was a great weekend and we think we have a great baseline going into next week. Somehow Donny got around me while we were in lapped traffic, but I just kept my line in three and four and got back around him.”
Darrah remained in the hunt and nearly tracked down Sweet after his mistake, but going into the final lap Darrah charged into turn three trying to get around Sweet on the high side and drove in too deep and climbed the wall before the car died leaving Darrah in the final corner to finish 13th.
Schatz’s night got off to a rough start after totaling his primary car in hot laps after a piece in the front end broke, sending him into the outside turn four wall hard and flipping car. The team brought out a backup car and he qualified 12th.