Brad Sweet Sweeps Night 1 at Calistoga
CALISTOGA, CA – September 15, 2017 – California native Brad Sweet swept the program on Night 1 of the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown at Calistoga Speedway. Sweet passed Rico Abreu on lap three and withstood a charge from Abreu in lapped traffic to pick up his fifth win of the Season. Abreu was light at the scales after running out of fuel. 13th starting Logan Schuchart finished second with Shane Stewart completing the podium.
Sweet actually took the lead from Abreu on lap two but a caution flag gave the lead back to the Abreu Vineyards No.24. Sweet dove to the inside of Abreu to officially lead lap three and while he statistically led the rest of the way, it was not easy. Heavy lapped traffic allowed Abreu to pull side by side with Sweet on lap 11. Sweet would clear a lapped car and re-extend his lead. While Abreu stayed within striking distance for much of the race, Sweet was able to capture his fifth win of the season.
“I just tried to get through lapped traffic as good as I could. I knew Rico would be charging,” Sweet said upon exiting his Ollie’s Bargain Outlet No.49. “We have a lot of podiums, it’s nice to be on the top step tonight where this team belongs,” he added.
Numerous cautions, including one for fifth place running Kyle Hirst, led to a handful of teams running out of fuel coming to the finish. World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series officials allocated for 60 combined green/yellow flag laps before a fuel stop and that is exactly how many laps the teams ran as they took the checkered.
One more caution would have forced a fuel stop. Abreu, who crossed the line second, was one of the teams that was out of fuel and subsequently his No. 24 was light at the scales. David Gravel, who was running in the top five all race, was another competitor to slow on the final lap.
Logan Schuchart charged forward from his 13th starting position to finish second officially, “This Shark Racing team did a great job giving me a fast car. It was a lot of fun,” Schuchart, who also came forward four positions in his heat race, said.
Gold Cup Champion Shane Stewart finished on the podium once again and was quick to thank his Larson/Marks team for their continued hard work.
Donny Schatz battled issues all night. He did not run hot laps, time trials and limped through his heat race before switching to a backup car for the Last Chance Showdown, where he came from ninth to fourth. Schatz muscled his way through the field in the early stages, cracking the top ten (from 22nd) in under five laps. The eight-time Series champion crossed the line fourth. Daryn Pittman completed the all World of Outlaws top five.