WOO: Sweet Wrangles Big Gator Trophy; Doubles Up With Second Outlaws Win at DIRTcar Nationals

RaceChaser Staff Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Other Sprint Cars, Southeast, Sprints & Midgets, World of Outlaws Sprint Cars 0 Comments

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — official series release — Chris Seelman photo —

Brad Sweet scored his second World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature victory in three nights and claimed the coveted Big Gator trophy by winning the Sprint Week championship during the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.

“It’s unbelievable,” Sweet said. “The competition is so stiff that you have to put yourself in position each and every time you’re on the race track and it’s not easy, one mistake and you’re behind the eight ball. Tonight we did pretty much everything right, and luckily the dash draw helped us there because it was going to be a tough track to pass on.”

Sweet, who won the season opening series event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday night, edged Greg Hodnett, who had been the picture of consistency all week, by just four points to win the Big Gator. With Daryn Pittman’s 2015 Sprint Week championship, it is the second year in a row Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb has claimed the Big Gator trophy.

The win rounded out a good night for Sweet who kicked it off by scoring the quick time in his No. 49 Razorback Professional Tools car.

Joey Saldana, in his opening week with new team Roth Motorsports, led the field to the green flag. Before a lap could be completed there was a yellow flag for a crash and when the 30-lap feature got underway again a red flag waved.

As the feature got underway, Saldana led early with Sweet on his heels. Saldana caught traffic in his No. 83 car on lap eight. A caution again flew, this time on lap nine. The moment proved pivotal for Sweet as he battled past Saldana when the race returned to green. Through the next 20 laps, Sweet was the class of the field, adeptly maneuvering through the field and building distance between he and Saldana.

As the laps wound down, Saldana had his hands full with the No. 1z of Lucas Wolfe. After a multi-lap battle, Wolfe, the 2008 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, got side-by-side with Saldana in turn one and completed the pass on the back straight.

Through the closing laps Saldana worked to hold off David Gravel, as Wolfe tried to run down Sweet. However, when the final checkered flag fell on sprint week, it was another Sweet victory.

Sweet with the celebratory wing-walk after his second World of Outlaws victory of the 2016 season. (Chris Seelman photo)

Sweet with the celebratory wing-walk after his second World of Outlaws victory of the 2016 season. (Chris Seelman photo)

“Hats off to these guys, it’s an unbelievable car to drive,” Sweet said. “To show up down here like that, and we had a chance to win every single night, and all three of the Outlaw nights. Tonight going fast time, winning the heat and the main event, the only thing we didn’t do is win the dash, so it’s a hat off to [my crew].”

Through the first three features of the season, Sweet leads the standings by 27 points over Hodnett.

For Wolfe, a second-place showing Sunday night was a rebound over Saturday where he failed to make the feature.

“It was a great way to end the whole week for all of us at Zemco racing,” Wolfe said. “It was a good race for us, we were able to catch a few breaks there at the start moving us up a row, and I was competitive the whole race which was good. I was able to get by Joey and Brad getting caught behind the lapped car there allowed me to catch up, but once he got around him I was faced with the same thing and never got quite clear of him. It was a good result for us, I think we were strong enough to challenge Brad at the end there just could never get to him. So we’re going to go back home and get everything ready for our season back down there.”

Saldana worked through the week to find a rhythm with his new team and build toward the season ahead.

“Tonight we put the whole night together, we qualified well and did everything right, we just got a little free and messed up on a restart,” Saldana said. “I think even if I choose the outside, I would get beat on the bottom. But hats off to Brad, he had the speed. When we got to the lapped cars at the end I could hang with him, but when we had to move around I couldn’t move, I was kinda stuck on the cushion. It was a great effort by the whole Roth team, I can’t thank Theresa and Dennis enough for the opportunity and their commitment to the Outlaws. Hopefully we can do better than we did tonight in a couple of weeks.”

Jason Johnson was the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing six positions to finish 12th.

The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series begins their march west with a stop at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas on Feb. 26.

 

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.; Feb. 14, 2016

A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 2. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe [5]; 3. 83-Joey Saldana [1]; 4. 5-David Gravel [4]; 5. 27-Greg Hodnett [8]; 6. 1-Sammy Swindell [9]; 7. 2-Shane Stewart [10]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [12]; 9. 71M-Dave Blaney [6]; 10. 1B-Dale Blaney [7]; 11. 29-Kerry Madsen [11]; 12. 41-Jason Johnson [18]; 13. 7-Paul McMahan [13]; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart [14]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides [15]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser [17]; 17. 24-Terry McCarl [23]; 18. 9-Daryn Pittman [3]; 19. 59-Austin McCarl [19]; 20. 2L-Danny Lasoski [20]; 21. W20-Greg Wilson [24]; 22. 1A-Jacob Allen [16]; 23. 10H-Chad Kemenah [21]; 24. O7-Doug Esh [22].

Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-9, Brad Sweet 10-30.

KSE Hard Charger Award: 41-Jason Johnson [+6]

Qualifying – 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.913; 2. 83-Joey Saldana, 13.020; 3. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe, 13.040; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.049; 5. 71M-Dave Blaney, 13.065; 6. 5-David Gravel, 13.076; 7. 1B-Dale Blaney, 13.138; 8. 27-Greg Hodnett, 13.139; 9. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.145; 10. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.151; 11. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.155; 12. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13.167; 13. 7-Paul McMahan, 13.178; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.213; 15. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 13.254; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.272; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.281; 18. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.297; 19. 71MX-Paul May, 13.332; 20. 59-Austin McCarl, 13.350; 21. O7-Doug Esh, 13.354; 22. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.369; 23. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.375; 24. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.384; 25. 24-Terry McCarl, 13.451; 26. 45-Tim Shaffer, 13.506; 27. 71A-R.J. Johnson, 13.666; 28. 4-Danny Smith, 13.957; 29. 13-Clyde Knipp, 14.194; 30. 17W-Bryan Clauson, nt

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet [1]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [2]; 3. 1B-Dale Blaney [3]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart [4]; 5. 7-Paul McMahan [5]; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen [6]; 7. 10H-Chad Kemenah [8]; 8. 4-Danny Smith [10]; 9. 71MX-Paul May [7]; 10. 24-Terry McCarl [9]

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 83-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 71M-Dave Blaney [2]; 3. 27-Greg Hodnett [3]; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen [4]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart [6]; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser [5]; 7. 59-Austin McCarl [7]; 8. 45-Tim Shaffer [9]; 9. W20-Greg Wilson [8]; 10. 13-Clyde Knipp [10]

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 5-David Gravel [2]; 2. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe [1]; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell [4]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz [3]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides [6]; 6. 41-Jason Johnson [8]; 7. O7-Doug Esh [7]; 8. 2L-Danny Lasoski [5]; 9. 71A-R.J. Johnson [9]; 10. 17W-Bryan Clauson [10]

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 83-Joey Saldana [2]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [1]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman [4]; 4. 5-David Gravel [3]; 5. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe [6]; 6. 71M-Dave Blaney [5]

Last Chance Showdown – (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 59-Austin McCarl [2]; 2. 2L-Danny Lasoski [1]; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah [4]; 4. O7-Doug Esh [3]; 5. 24-Terry McCarl [6]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson [5]; 7. 45-Tim Shaffer [7]; 8. 71A-R.J. Johnson [8]; 9. 13-Clyde Knipp [10]; 10. 4-Danny Smith [9]; 11. 17W-Bryan Clauson [11]; 12. 71MX-Paul May [12]

CREDIT: World of Outlaws

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