Brad Sweet and the NAPA AUTO PARTS No. 49 team started the weekend off with a rain out Friday night at Terre Haute Action Track for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. That allowed the Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) team to load up and head west to the famed Knoxville Raceway for some extra laps before the biggest sprint car event in the world, The Knoxville Nationals, held in August.
With 31 teams in attendance, the NAPA AUTO PARTS No. 49 timed in fourth-quick overall, with a lap time of 15.391 seconds. Knoxville weekly shows invert six in heat race action, lining up Sweet in the fifth starting position. After eight laps around the famous half-mile, he advanced one position to finish fourth. Sweet and the KKR team then put together a perfect 25-lap main event, picking up Sweet’s seventh career victory at Knoxville Raceway from the fourth starting spot.
“I think we found something really good there,” Sweet said. “We have been struggling on the half-miles lately so this was a good run for us. It was nice to be able to come here and not have points on our mind. It was a solid field of cars tonight and wasn’t an easy win.”
Monday night, the NAPA AUTO PARTS No. 49 was back with the World of Outlaws at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Sweet and the KKR team has had success at Lawrenceburg Speedway previously, picking up a win in 2018. Sweet went out seventh in the qualifying order with 25 cars in attendance. He stopped the clock at 12.113, qualifying seventh overall.
Sweet was scheduled to start third in heat race action. When coming to green, the No. 49 and another car made contact, causing Sweet to flip upside down. He headed straight to the trailer where the crew was hard at work getting a backup car ready. Per World of Outlaws rule book, if you are forced to a backup car, you start the main event from the tail. With a feature distance of 35 laps, Sweet advanced 17 positions to finish seventh and earn the KSE Hard Charger award.
Through adversity, the NAPA AUTO PARTS team rebounded with a decent main event finish, maintaining the championship points lead and giving them a 66-point advantage over second-ranked David Gravel.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the NAPA AUTO PARTS No. 49 heads west. Friday night, they will be at River Cities Speedway located in Grand Forks, ND, a 3/10-mile, high-banked bullring. Sweet finished fifth the last time they were in attendance on August 21, 2020. Saturday, they run Granite City Motor Park in Sauk Rapids, ND. In June of 2019, Sweet earned a $10,000 payday with a win there as well.
Start / Finish:
Saturday, May 29: 4 / 1
Monday, May 31: 24 / 7
Points Standing / Total: 1st / 3,792 pts. (+66)
Next Race: June 4, River Cities Speedway, Grand Forks, ND; June 5, Granite City Motor Park, Sauk Rapids, MN
How to Watch or Listen: www.dirtvision.com
Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) is based in Mooresville, NC, and was formed in 2005 by NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. Since the team’s inception, KKR has amassed over 190 wins and two World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championships, including the 2019 championship with Brad Sweet, driver of the No. 49 NAPA AUTO PARTS sprint car.