How sweet in Cedar Lake
Brad Sweet in the victory lane at Cedar Lake Speedway. (Photo by Trent Gower)
NEW RICHMOND, Wisconsin – Defending two-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion Brad Sweet notched his fourth straight win at Cedar Lake Speedway on Friday night, in spectacular fashion on the final lap.
Jumping on the green-and-white checkered restart, Sweet played Carson Macedo like a violin and slipped by his fellow Californian to steal the victory from No.41 Jason Johnson Racing, who commanded the first 33 of 35 laps.
It’s his 69th career victory and the 11th in his dominant season, extending their advantage in the points standings with a third straight championship on the line for Kasey Kahne Racing with No.49 Mike Curb.
“I thought we had a pretty even car to be honest,” Sweet said of Macedo. “He did a great job in the lap traffic and got us covered there. I knew there was a bit of humidity at the bottom so I was surprised to see that it stayed high on restart. It was just a matter of timing, I had to let him be in front of the cone, but I got as close as I could. I think he knew he had the tires spinning and went into protection mode, but I went into attack mode and it worked.
After completing the first 33 laps, Macedo survived several challenges from Sweet on restarts and through multiple traffic stages to prove his might as a race leader. The poleman was ready for a flag-to-flag score until top-five Logan Schuchart and David Gravel suffered a flat tire to highlight the warning.
On restart with two take out, school was in session.
Macedo swung high, but Sweet kept him low. The rules say you can’t get past the cone at the start and finish line, and Sweet played by them, but surely he timed perfectly and got as close as possible to the back of No. 41.
Pulling on the high side of turns one and two, Sweet built up momentum and loaded his No.49 into the back straight at full steam. In turn three, he threw a slider and tiptoed towards the cushion as he cleared Macedo from turn four and saw the white flag waving.
Sweet ran his business on the 35th and final circuit, pulling away from Macedo and crossing the checkered flag with a victory of 0.895 seconds.
His 11th win of the season combined with Gravel’s misadventure means his points advantage has climbed to 84 points over Gravel.
This is Sweet’s fourth straight win at Cedar Lake and his fifth win in the last seven races.
“Cedar Lake is always special to us,” Sweet said of his successes. “We love this racetrack and all the fans here. We have a good setup and this place fits my driving style perfectly. There are always several lanes to run on and that works in my favor. Hopefully we can keep the streak alive tomorrow night.
Macedo finished second.
“I feel bad for my team,” admitted Macedo. “I think we had the car to win. I feel like I made good decisions so far. I just spun my tires on this restart and it killed us. I saw Brad peel off and tried to block, but he threw the cursor and cleared me. It sucks, but we will come back and try to get that victory tomorrow.
Aaron Reutzel, Sheldon Haudenschild and Jason Sides round out the top five.
To see the full results, go to the next page.