WAYNESFIELD, Ohio — Brad Sweet isn’t a big guy. But, he has a big racing heart and a strong desire to win and that propelled him to victory Sunday night at Waynesfield Raceway Park for night three of the 31st annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
On a physically demanding, lightening fast, high-banked one-third mile track, Sweet was faced with constant traffic while having to hold off a charging Kyle Larson. A brief rain shower right before the final heat race was completed left a very fast track. When the checkered waved for the 40-lap feature, Sweet had lapped up to sixth place.
It marked the third career University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions victory for the Grass Valley, Calif., native.
“Those cautions came at good times…I needed a breather there. I work out and I’m in pretty good shape but this place is grueling and with guys like Kyle Larson and Shane Stewart chasing you you know have to be on the wheel every lap,” said Sweet beside his Kasey Kahne Racing/Ollie’s Bargain Outlet/ASE/Great Clips/Sage Fruit backed No. 49.
“My guys gave me a great car. We were able to get out front and get through lapped traffic pretty good. I knew I was setting a pretty good pace but like I said with Kyle and Shane you just never know so I drove every lap like it was a qualifying lap. It worked out for us. It’s pretty cool to come back here and defend our win here last time….I’m really starting to like this place,” added Sweet, also thanking Factory Kahne Shocks and Speedway Engines. “It’s our last race for the week, so it’s great to end it with a win.”
Larson too felt the affects of the race’s quick pace.
“We were really good. I thought we had a better car than Brad,” Larson said. “He got through traffic good and I was chasing in there and we were getting through it just about as good as each other and then Sheldon (Haudenschild) fell off the backstretch there and came back on and I thought he was going to run the top so I ran down in the bottom and ran right into the side of him and bent our wheel and knocked the jacobs-ladder off. It was a hand full after that. I was bouncing around a lot and just tough to drive. But we still finished second.”
Shane Stewart flew in from competing in the Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway on Saturday and finished third.
“It’s a busy race track. It’s fast and it feels fast,” Stewart said. “I told the guys after the dash you kind of just lean your head against the head rest and gas it. This was just driver error on my part. When we got to traffic I felt like I had a decent enough car to stay with Brad and I left off a little bit and it got on the right front and drove me straight off the track. I wasn’t ready for it. We were lucky to come back and salvage a podium finish.”
Danny Holtgraver and Byron Reed completed the top five.
Brad Sweet, Kyle Larson, Shane Stewart, Danny Holtgraver, Byron Reed, Tim Shaffer, Caleb Griffith, Brandon Wimmer, Sheldon Haudenschild, Cap Henry, Greg Wilson, Dallas Hewitt, Dean Jacobs, D.J. Foos, Caleb Helms, Ryan Broughton, Bryan Sebetto, Justin Henderson, Dave Blaney, Danny Smith, Cole Duncan, Jac Haudenschild, Dale Blaney, Travis Philo.