BEAVER DAM, Wis. – Brad Sweet capped off a pristine World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series weekend at Beaver Dam Raceway by completing a sweep of the Beaver Dam Bash at the third-mile dirt oval.
Sweet passed his car owner, Kasey Kahne, for the race lead on lap 11 of the 40-lap finale feature and dominated the remaining distance for his fourth World of Outlaws sprint car win of the year.
In a dominating performance, Sweet opened up a lead as large as four seconds during the main event, before a flurry of three cautions in the final eight laps wiped out his advantage and put the field on his tail tank.
Undeterred, Sweet pulled away on the trio of late restarts, eventually driving away by 1.769 seconds in the NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 to take the victory over 10-time series champion Donny Schatz.
The win was Sweet’s third in a row at Beaver Dam and his 54th career World of Outlaws sprint car score.
Combined with a disastrous night for incoming point leader Logan Schuchart, Sweet’s triumph catapulted him back to the top of the World of Outlaws standings and reaffirmed that his title defense is officially in full swing.
“Man, we’re just here to win races, and when we’re standing here we’re doing our job,” Sweet said in victory lane. “I know everyone is working really hard on our race team to get this car better and better, and as we keep getting better, we’re going to keep clicking these wins off. We were a lot better tonight than we were last night. Eric (Prutzman) keeps fine-tuning on this thing and it really came to life there about halfway through the A (main). I was just cruising there at first.
“When you get good race cars like that, it makes your job a lot easier as a driver, so hats off to my crew for giving me one,” added Sweet, whose win was worth $10,000. “They’re working their butts off. I hope I didn’t stink the show up too badly, but that was the best car we’ve had this year. Last year we hit on some things, and it’s carrying over. We’re on top of the mountain right now and everyone in the pit area is gunning for us, but we’re having a lot of fun.”
Sweet led the final 30 laps amid a wild race that saw Mason Daniel upside down on lap six, the first of several highlight-reel moments on the night. However, it was a Russel Borland spin with eight to go that set up the chaotic – and yellow-laden – run to the checkered flag.
On the lap-33 restart, Sweet escaped at first, but Schuchart began eating into the lead gap and was closing on Sweet with five laps left.
Schuchart’s undoing came moments later, though, as he jumped the turn-four cushion and smacked the outside wall with the Shark Racing No. 1s, causing front-end damage that ended his chances at victory.
The ensuing green flag saw Schatz chasing Schuchart, but he too could do nothing with Sweet once full race pace was deployed. One more lap was completed before the final yellow of the night waved with three laps to go after Jake Blackhurst spun in the fourth turn.
After that, Sweet cruised to victory, while Schatz was left to settle for second in his familiar Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 15 and wonder what more he needed on this particular night.
“They were good. Brad’s figuring things out and those guys are doing a good job,” Schatz said of Sweet and the No. 49 team. “They’ve had a good target to chase for a whiel, so it’s time to move that bar again.
“My guys are digging. It’s different when you start working on these engines from the ground up; it changes the whole dynamic of how these cars work,” Schatz added. “I’ve got the best guys in the entire industry standing behind us, and we’re all working to get better. Right now, it’s not the performances they want to have or the results they want, nor is it what I want, but it is what it is.
“This is a humbling sport and a humbling game, and we’re not hanging our heads. We’ll just keep digging.”
David Gravel came from seventh to complete the podium, followed by KSE Hard Charger Sheldon Haudenschild, who advanced from 16th on the grid to record a fourth-place finish.
Polesitter Shane Stewart completed the top five, ahead of Brent Marks, Carson Macedo, Kerry Madsen and Kasey Kahne, who led the first 10 laps before fading in the second half to ninth in the final rundown.
Jacob Allen filled out the top 10, one lap down to the leaders.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season continues June 12-13 at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway with the Brownell’s Big Guns Bash at the Marion County Fairgrounds half-mile.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.