The NAPA AUTO PARTS Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) team looked to continue their string of strong finishes as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series took on Lawton Speedway on Friday evening and Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday.
On Friday, the KKR team unloaded a fast NAPA AUTO PARTS car. When Brad Sweet went out for qualifying, he not only set quick time, but he also set a new track record when he posted a 12.49-second lap around the ¼-mile track. He went on to start first in the opening heat race of the night. Sheldon Haudenschild, who started second, took an early lead from Sweet in the eight-lap shootout and went on to finish in the top spot while Sweet finished second. Six cars advanced to the Fast Pass Dash, and the No. 49 was given a fifth-place starting position after the random draw. He went on to finish sixth, lining him up in that position for the 35-lap feature.
On the initial start, Sweet held on to his starting position, settling into sixth-place. He maintained that spot until the first caution came out on lap ten, when the second-place car of Parker Price-Miller went for a spin, putting Sweet inside the top five. After 15 laps, the No. 49 was scored fourth, but Sweet had his eyes set on the leaders. With ten laps remaining, Sweet had worked himself up to second behind Daryn Pittman. With seven laps to go, Sweet slid under Pittman in turn one, but Pittman came out ahead. He continued to challenge the leader throughout the remainder of the race, making his final, last-ditch effort on the last lap. Sweet wasn’t able to capture a win, but he came away with his eighth runner-up finish of the season.
“I kept getting a run off of turn four, thinking that I could slide around Pittman, and maybe show him the bottom and get him off the top,” said Sweet after the race. “I just didn’t do a good job there. He did a good job, covered all of his lines right, and got through traffic good enough that we couldn’t get him. My NAPA AUTO PARTS team brought a fast car. I wish we were the ones in victory lane, but it’s Daryn’s last run here, so I’m really happy for him and his family.”
On Saturday, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series traveled to Devil’s Bowl Speedway for the Texas Outlaw Nationals. After qualifying, Sweet was scored ninth on time out of 22 competitors. He started third in his heat race and went on to finish in that same position, just missing the Fast Pass Dash. Sweet was scored ninth in the lineup for the start of the 30-lap feature. He quickly went to eighth after the green flag and ran in that position for the first half of the race. In the final half, Sweet went to work. With 11 laps remaining, he had worked himself up to fourth and was challenging the third-place car of Haudenschild. Sweet continued to work on Haudenschild, but couldn’t get his NAPA AUTO PARTS car around him to claim the third spot. He went on to finish fourth in Saturday’s feature, winning the Hard Charger Award.
It continues to be a tight battle between Sweet and Schuchart in Championship Point standings. Sweet extended his points lead on Friday night, but Schuchart’s win Saturday leaves only an eight-point advantage to Sweet. The two will continue to battle it out with three races next weekend as they travel to Plymouth Speedway on Thursday, Wayne County Speedway on Friday and Lernerville Speedway on Saturday.
Start / Finish:
Friday, Sept. 18: 6 / 2
Saturday, Sept 19: 9 / 4
Points Standing / Total: 1st / 5688 pts. (+8)
Next Race: Sept. 24, Plymouth Speedway, Plymouth, IN; Sept. 25, Wayne County Speedway, Orrville, OH; Sept. 26, Lernerville Speedway, Sarver, PA
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.