The state of Wisconsin has been a winning destination for Brad Sweet and the NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 team, and victory Friday night at the Independence Day Spectacular at Cedar Lake Speedway reinforced that record. The Kasey Kahne Racing driver earned his sixth win of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season, marking seven wins at Cedar Lake in 20 starts and tying him with Sammy Swindell for the most all time.
With 32 cars in contention on the first night of racing, Sweet was slated to run ninth in the qualifying order. He hit the speed charts with a lap time of 11.531 seconds, placing him sixth overall and second to start Heat Race 2. Sweet went head-to-head with competitor Robbie Price and, displaying his skill and determination, ultimately claimed the lead and the heat race win and punching his ticket to the Fast Pass Dash.
“I’ve had a lot of success here at Cedar Lake… a great race track, and it fits my driving style for some reason,” Sweet said during the Dash draw.
After drawing the second starting spot for the Dash, Sweet lined the NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 machine on the outside of the front row, and competitors took the green flag. Sweet battled with competitor Logan Schuchart for the lead, but Schuchart had the advantage, leaving the second spot to Sweet. The NAPA car crossed the line in second, placing the No. 49 team second to start the main event.
Rolling off from second to start the 35-lap A-main, Sweet knew he needed to jump out front as soon as possible. The four-time and defending Outlaws champion showcased his exceptional abilities from the moment the green flag dropped, maneuvering at high speeds on the demanding Cedar Lake race surface. As the laps dwindled down, the crowd witnessed an exhilarating battle for the lead. When the checkered flag flew, it was The Big Cat in front. The first night of the Independence Day Spectacular belonged to Sweet.
Saturday night gave the No. 49 team a chance to sweep the weekend as it did in 2020 and 2021. With two more cars in attendance, Sweet was scheduled to qualify fifth among the 34 car field. The NAPA No. 49 clocked a time of 11.545 seconds, placing fifth overall and second to start Heat Race 1. Sweet spun the tires of the NAPA No. 49 at the start of the heat race, allowing third-place runner Donny Schatz to make the pass for second. Crossing the checkered flag in third caused Sweet to miss the Dash and sent him straight to the A-main.
Rolling off from the ninth spot in the 35-lap main event, the NAPA driver had work to do. When the green flag dropped, Sweet engaged all 900 horsepower in an effort to move forward. Running different lines on the surface, the No. 49 found its way through traffic and took the checkered flag in sixth place.
Start / Finish:
Friday, June 30: 2 / 1
Saturday, July 1: 9 / 6
Points Standing / Total: 1st / 4,844 pts. (+4)
Next Race: Friday, July 7, 34 Raceway, West Burlington, Iowa
How to Watch or Listen: www.dirtvision.com
Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR), located in Mooresville, NC, was formed in 2005 and employs more than ten people dedicated to sprint car racing. The organization fields two entries in the World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series; Brad Sweet (NAPA No.49) and former NASCAR Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne (No.9). Collectively, KKR has 5 World of Outlaws Championships (Daryn Pittman in '13 and Brad Sweet in '19,'20,'21 &'22). Since the team's inception, KKR has amassed over 211 World of Outlaws wins.