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Sweet captures 75th World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win in Vado Speedway Park debut

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March 29, 2022  |  by Brian Walker

They say that patience is a virtue, but Brad Sweet was tired of waiting.

While the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series made its long-awaited debut at New Mexico’s Vado Speedway Park on Tuesday night, "The Big Cat" went ahead and made his long-awaited return to victory lane with the series.

Sweet led all 30 laps at the 3/8-mile dirt oval but had to fend off a fury of challenges from Sheldon Haudenschild throughout lap traffic to win the inaugural race at the state-of-the-art facility.

Amazingly enough, it had been 26 races and seven months since the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 last won a World of Outlaws race. That streak is now snapped and the Grass Valley, Calif., native hopes this is the momentum his team needs to really begin the run for a fourth consecutive Series championship.

“Yeah, it has felt like forever,” Sweet said on the length of his victory lane absence. “We just got stuck points racing last year and didn’t take those risks you need to win against these guys. As far as this year though, we’ve been fast all season and knocking on the door of getting this win. I’m happy for my guys. Eric (Prutzman), Joe (Mooney) and Andrew (Bowman) have been working hard, now we’re gonna get them the wins they deserve. This is the time to be getting better.”

The added significance in Tuesday’s triumph is that Sweet reached a milestone 75th career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win. He’s now only nine wins away from tying Stevie Smith (84) for a spot inside the coveted top-10 on the all-time wins list.

After qualifying sixth and finishing second in his Heat, Sweet won the dash to put himself in prime position to capitalize come showtime. From there, he survived some brief hiccups in lappred traffic to make Vado Speedway Park the 42nd track he’s won at, while New Mexico became the 21st state he’s won in.

“These are honestly some of the hardest ones to win,” Sweet added. “Track position is just so key and lap traffic is tough when the track gets like this. It was hard to time the runs, and there was one time when Sheldon came across but luckily enough I was ready. I really didn’t want to catch any lappers, I just wanted clean air to control my own mistakes. You have to use your mind as much as you possibly can out there.”

Sheldon Haudenschild briefly led for a split second on Lap 7, but never could control the top spot enough to wrangle it away from Sweet. The Wooster, Ohio, native finished only 0.768 of a second behind with a second-place effort.

Donny Schatz returned to the podium Tuesday. The ten-time series champion finished third after taking a few shots at Haudenschild for the second spot.

Closing out the top five new track record holder James McFadden in fourth and David Gravel with a fifth-place run.

Rounding out the top 10 were Spencer Bayston, Carson Macedo, Cory Eliason, Logan Schuchart and Giovanni Scelzi.

Tuesday’s Feature at Vado Speedway Park was only the second of 11 races this season that featured no lead changes.


Qualifying: 1. 83-James McFadden, 12.215[8]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 12.217[14]; 3. 26-Cory Eliason, 12.224[10]; 4. 1A-Jacob Allen, 12.243[6]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.361[20]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.409[15]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides, 12.448[21]; 8. 5-Spencer Bayston, 12.455[18]; 9. 41-Carson Macedo, 12.534[16]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 12.536[4]; 11. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.609[12]; 12. 19AZ-Tanner Thorson, 12.624[17]; 13. 2-David Gravel, 12.640[19]; 14. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 12.674[5]; 15. 20G-Noah Gass, 12.710[2]; 16. 6-Bill Rose, 13.009[9]; 17. 19-Wes Wofford, 13.173[3]; 18. 115-Nick Parker, 13.181[11]; 19. 7-Lorne Wofford, 13.227[13]; 20. 2B-Brett Becker, 13.338[7]; 21. 6C-Logan Calderwood, 13.530[1]; 22. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.530[22]

Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 83-James McFadden[1]; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen[2]; 3. 2-David Gravel[5]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser[4]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides[3]; 6. 6-Bill Rose[6]; 7. 7-Lorne Wofford[7]; 8. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]

Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. 15-Donny Schatz[2]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[1]; 3. 5-Spencer Bayston[3]; 4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[5]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[4]; 6. 19-Wes Wofford[6]; 7. 2B-Brett Becker[7]

Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. 26-Cory Eliason[1]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet[2]; 3. 41-Carson Macedo[3]; 4. 20G-Noah Gass[5]; 5. 115-Nick Parker[6]; 6. 6C-Logan Calderwood[7]; 7. 19AZ-Tanner Thorson[4]

Dash (6 laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet[2]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[1]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz[4]; 4. 1A-Jacob Allen[3]; 5. 83-James McFadden[6]; 6. 26-Cory Eliason[5]

Feature (30 laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet[1]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[2]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz[3]; 4. 83-James McFadden[5]; 5. 2-David Gravel[7]; 6. 5-Spencer Bayston[8]; 7. 41-Carson Macedo[9]; 8. 26-Cory Eliason[6]; 9. 1S-Logan Schuchart[14]; 10. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[11]; 11. 1A-Jacob Allen[4]; 12. 11K-Kraig Kinser[10]; 13. 19AZ-Tanner Thorson[19]; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[20]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides[13]; 16. 6C-Logan Calderwood[17]; 17. 20G-Noah Gass[12]; 18. 6-Bill Rose[16]; 19. 7-Lorne Wofford[18]; 20. 115-Nick Parker[15]; 21. 2B-Brett Becker[21]