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Empire State Proves a Challenge for Sweet & No. 49 Team

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series made its first and only trip to New York of the 2022 season for the Empire State Challenge at Weedsport Speedway. The double-header weekend would prove to be a challenge indeed for Brad Sweet, driver of the No. 49 NAPA AUTO PARTS sprint car, and his team.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

On Saturday, 29 cars signed into competition, with Sweet drawing the 17th pill for qualifying. Once the Kasey Kahne Racing driver hit the track for his qualifying run, he stopped the clock at 14.693 seconds, placing him sixth overall. The No. 49 started outside the pole in second for Heat Race 3 and held onto that position, punching his ticket to the Fast Pass Dash.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

Sweet drew the third starting spot for the dash and said, “This is a good time to get some momentum rolling.”

At the start of the six-lap dash, Sweet immediately jumped down low but moved back to the top due to slick track conditions. Holding third, he continued to run the top. On the last lap, Sweet went down low; competitor Sheldon Haudenschild ripped the top and took the third spot. Sweet took the checkered flag in fourth.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

The NAPA AUTO PARTS No. 49 was slated for a fourth-position start in the A-main event. When the green flag dropped, Sweet had a rocket of a start and quickly jumped to third. A caution came out after just a few laps, bringing the field to another side-by-side start. Sweet spun the tires on the restart, allowing competitors to get by him. As he tried to make his way back to the front, Sweet was challenged by a slick and very technical surface. A late-race caution gave the NAPA driver a chance to recover the lost positions. At the restart, the Big Cat picked off two cars and crossed the line in fourth.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

Sunday brought the final night of the Empire State Challenge and the final night of racing in New York for the 2022 season. With the same 29 cars signing into competition, Sweet drew the last pill for qualifying, 29th. Hitting the charts at 14.309 seconds, Sweet placed 14th overall. The Big Cat was scheduled to start fifth in Heat Race 2.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

Running the high line in Heat Race 2, the NAPA AUTO PARTS No.49 passed the boss, Kasey Kahne, on the second lap, but the Big Cat wasn’t done there. With two laps to go, Sweet passed competitor Paulie Colagiovanni for third and finished in that position. Next
up was Sunday’s feature race.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

Starting eighth, the NAPA AUTO PARTS team was ready for 30 laps around Weedsport Speedway. The field raced into action as the green flag dropped. Battling through competition, Sweet ran the high line, trying to gain traction where he could. The NAPA No. 49 was searching for lines on the very slick and technical surface, which proved to be tricky. Sweet managed to pass for seventh and held his line for the rest of the race, finishing seventh.

Brad Sweet NAPA AUTO PARTS 49 Weedsport 2022

Next up for the Outlaws is the biggest week in sprint car racing with the Ironman and the Knoxville Nationals. Sweet’s qualifying night for the Knoxville Nationals will be Thursday, August 11. Tune in to DirtVision to watch the No. 49 team compete all week long.

Start / Finish:
Saturday, July 30: 4 / 4
Sunday, July 31: 8 / 7
Points Standing / Total: 1st / 6,084 pts. (+36)

Next Race: Friday, August 5, I-55 Raceway, Pevely, MO
How to Watch or Listen: www.dirtvision.com

NAPA: @NAPARacing
Brad Sweet: @BradSweet49
Kasey Kahne Racing: @KKRdirt

Kasey Kahne Racing View All

Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR), based in Mooresville, NC, was formed in 2005 by NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. Since the team's inception, KKR has amassed over 200 wins and four World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championships. Those include the 2019, 2020, and 2021 championships with Brad Sweet, driver of the No. 49 NAPA AUTO PARTS sprint car.

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