Brad Sweet Powers to Emotional Calistoga Speedway Victory
Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb has three straight wins at the half-mile oval
CALISTOGA, Calif. – April 11, 2015 – Brad Sweet, Joey Saldana and Rico Abreu put on a show in front of a packed Calistoga Speedway Saturday night, trading the lead and battling for the win on the opening night of the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown.
Ultimately, it was Sweet who powered his No. 49 Razorback Tools car to the front and scored his second World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
“I don’t know if we dominated,” Sweet said in victory lane. “But we drove our butts off and worked hard. We’ve been struggling, having a little bad luck and the boss got on us a little bit – so it was nice to be able to bring it to victory lane.”
Sweet’s win gave Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb its third straight win at the track since 2014. The Grass Valley, Calif.-native dedicated the win to his grandmother, who was with him and his team in victory lane at the track last season.
“This one is for my grandmother JoAn,” said an emotional Sweet in victory lane. “She passed away not too long ago and she was standing right here last year with us, so this one’s for her.”
After a quicktime and Dash win earlier in the night, Joey Saldana, who holds the Calistoga Speedway track record, led the field to the green flag, but it was Rico Abreu who led the first lap.
Abreu held onto the lead through a red flag on lap five. When the field returned to green, Saldana struck back, taking over the lead once again, while Sweet moved into second.
“The restarts were key to getting second,” Sweet said. “Clean air was a big deal.”
A caution fell on the next lap and setup another restart. Sweet looked for the lead and battled Saldana side-by-side through lap seven, but Saldana held on. By lap 12, Sweet had again closed the gap with Saldana.
A two lap clash for the lead ensued. Through three and four on lap 15, Sweet got the momentum he needed to get around Saldana and lead the lap.
“Once we got in front of Joey there, my car really took off,” Sweet said. “We were good. That cushion got thicker and thicker. Luckily I was able to get through lapped cars.”
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and King of the West Series return to Calistoga Speedway Sunday night for the conclusion of the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown. General admission and reserved tickets are still available for Sunday night’s event by visiting the track box office. Fans can watch and listen live on http://www.DIRTVision.com and follow live timing and scoring at http://www.WoOSprint.com/live-scoring.
Follow the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WorldofOutlaws, like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws, or check out the latest videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws.