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Sweet takes 2nd in Louisiana

Brad Sweet was in pursuit of his second victory of the 2021 season, but finished a fraction of a second behind winner David Gravel at The Rev, Saturday night in Monroe, Louisiana.

Brad Sweet, left, and David Gravel compete side-by-side during a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race Saturday at The Rev in Monroe, Louisiana.
By Trent Gower/Courtesy of World of Outlaws

Sprint car driver Brad Sweet knows first hand what it takes to win the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship. “The Big Cat” has done it twice — in 2019 and 2020.

Sweet also knows the competition this year may be the best he’s ever seen in his eight years on the sprint car circuit.

“I’ve never seen it as deep as it is now,” Sweet told The Union in February. “A lot of things got shaken up in the off season, and people ended up on different teams, but they all ended up in really strong positions.”



Sweet, who won the season opener in Volusia, Florida, on Feb. 5, is one of six different drivers to take the checkered flag across six World of Outlaws sprint car races so far this season.

The Nevada County native was in pursuit of his second victory of the 2021 season, but finished a fraction of a second behind winner David Gravel at The Rev Saturday night in Monroe, Louisiana.



Sweet, who drives the No. 49 NAPA Auto Parts car for Kasey Kahne Racing, started in fourth and worked his way into contention by lap 12. Sweet and Gravel exchanged the lead several times over the final 10 laps, concluding with Gravel edging out Sweet for the victory by 0.3 seconds.

“I hope you fans enjoyed it,” Sweet said to the crowd after. “From the drivers seat that was a blast. Trading the lead back and forth like that is so much fun, and it was clean, hard racing, too. I feel like we went back and forth like 10 times or something. We were really dicing through traffic there, that really amped it up. I felt like at times I had the better race car, but at other times he just outdrove me.”

Gravel joins Sweet, Logan Schuchart, Carson Macedo, Aaron Reutzel and Sheldon Haudenschild as race winners in 2021.

Sweet, a Bear River High School graduate, joined the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series full time in 2014. He’s since amassed 59 wins and two overall points championships. He currently is in second in this year’s overall standings, just two points behind Schuchart.

Next up for Sweet is the Drydene Texas Two-Step, which features a pair of races at Cotton Bowl Speedway starting Friday and going through Saturday.

To learn more about the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, visit worldofoutlaws.com.

DIBENEDETTO

Driver Matt DiBenedetto notched his best finish of the 2021 NASCAR Sprint Cup season so far, placing 14th at the Instacart 500 Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

Racing in the fifth event of the season, the Nevada County native was set to start 20th, but was moved up three rows after drivers ahead of him were sent back for rules infractions.

DiBenedetto, who drives the No. 21 Motocraft/Quick Lane car for Wood Brothers Racing, finished the first stage in 10th place, and was 12th after two stages. Handling issues plagued DiBenedetto in the third stage, leading to the 14th place finish.

For DiBenedetto it was the fourth straight race in which his finish was an improvement from the one before.

DiBenedetto and NASCAR now head to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. The race starts at noon and will be broadcast by FOX.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email wford@theunion.com.

 


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