World of Outlaws–Brad Sweet Scores a Port Royal Win for the Outlaws

Brad Sweet Scores a Port Royal Win for the Outlaws
Battles Lucas Wolfe and his Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Daryn Pittman
PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Oct. 24, 2015 – Brad Sweet had to battle the Pennsylvania Posse, his teammate Daryn Pittman and the weather Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway, but nothing could keep him down as he cruised to his fifth World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season.

Sweet, who led through the middle portion of the feature, gave up the lead to his Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb teammate, Pittman, as the two worked their way through traffic. With Donny Schatz close behind, a caution flew with six laps remaining.

“I messed up too many times in traffic and you’re not going to win races with Donny and Daryn (like that). They’re champions for a reason,” Sweet said. “For me to regroup there and I just kind of made it happen on that restart.”

And make it work, he did. A wheel-to-wheel battle with Pittman ensued on the restart with Sweet giving it everything he had, making his No. 49 Razor-Back Professional Tools car work on the top side of turns three and four, and leading Pittman at the start finish line.

“I was in a win it or wear it mentality. I know my crew chief (Lee Stauffer), he’s from around here, he was probably cussing at me when I lost the lead and he’s pretty happy. At least we got up on the wheel and got this Razor-Back Professional Tools car back in victory lane.”

With the win, Sweet, who sits third in the championship standings, matches his win total from 2014 and ties Pittman with the third most wins of the 2015 season. He also gave the Outlaws one more win against the Posse, making it four wins to two wins in Central Pennsylvania this season with the advantage to the Posse.

The lingering threat of heavy rain just to the west of Port Royal, led to an expedited evening for the track and World of Outlaws. Even with 47 sprint cars in the pits, the whole night, including the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds, was completed in just under three hours. The rain eventually began to fall as the modifieds took the checkered flag to end the night.

Reigning Port Royal track champion and 2008 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Lucas Wolfe started the 30-lap Outlaws feature on the pole with Outlaws regular Shane Stewart beside him in row one. Wolfe jumped out to a comfortable lead early on.

Sweet had his hands full in the first ten laps with Myerstown, Pennsylvania’s Brent Marks. Marks ran down Sweet in third, and got around him down the back straight as they worked to complete lap three. He maintained the position for four more laps, but Sweet worked his way back by.

As Lucas Wolfe caught traffic on lap 11, Sweet began running down Stewart in second. Sweet took second and then set his sights on the lead. As Wolfe raced down the back straight to complete lap 14, Sweet powered past him and cleared him into turn three.

With Wolfe fading, Schatz surged, racing into third, after being as far back as eighth, on lap 16. Through the next several laps, Schatz stayed close with second-place Pittman, at one point almost finding a way around as Pittman got caught up in traffic. Pittman pulled away and then drove his No. 9 Great Clips car around Sweet for the lead on lap 22 as the two drivers dove into turn one.

A three lap battle for second commenced between Schatz and Sweet until the pivotal caution of the night fell with six laps remaining.

“I didn’t think he could make it stick there on the outside of three and four – that’s kind of how he lost the lead,” Pittman said of Sweet. “I didn’t really feel like I ran any slower than I had been down there, he just ran it in there for all it had.”

Sweet took the lead on the restart and the field spread out through the remaining several laps. He took the checkered flag after leading nearly half of the feature and joined Pittman and Schatz in the Outlaws sweep of the podium.

With new crew chief Lee Stauffer on board, Sweet said the team has been doing a better job putting the car in position.

“I think you create your own luck and we’ve had a lot faster racecars and we’ve been running up front, staying up front, and it helps you stay out of trouble when you’re like that,” Sweet said. “I can’t thank these guys enough – Lee Stauffer, Rob Beattie and Austin Wenrich. They work their butts off and it’s nice to be this strong at the end of the year and have something to look forward to next year.”

A disappointed Pittman said it was cool to run one-two with Sweet but that he hated to see the win slip away like it did.

“I hate to be down for running second but it’s hard to give those away especially when you feel like it falls on the driver,” Pittman said. “This car is too fast to not be in victory lane. (My crew members Kale Kahne, Kolten Gouse, Josh Heidkamp), they work their tails off and give me a really fast car. It’s a lot of fun to drive – I’ve just got to step up and get the job done.”

Pittman took over the fourth position in the championship driver standings, leading Kerry Madsen by just six points.

After clinching the 2015 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship at Williams Grove Speedway two weeks ago, Schatz and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team have been working on their car and preparing for next season. Schatz credited the effort to improve.

“These guys are incredible at what they do and sometimes you’ve got to take a step backwards to take a couple of steps forward,” Schatz said. “This whole Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team has done a great job. At one point I think we were back in eighth, got ourselves rallied up through there, got to him in traffic, got by Brad and we were right there with Daryn in traffic. I was just able to move around the race track a little bit. Once that restart came out it was every man for himself and we kind of got spread out. I’m happy for my guys, they do a phenomenal job, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Schatz has not finished worse than third since 4-Crown Nationals on Sept. 25, where he finished fourth. Incredibly, through 73 completed features this season, Schatz has finished outside the top five just 13 times.

Dale Blaney was the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger, driving his Big Game Tree Stands No. 1 car 17 positions to sixth.