Racing roundup: Sweet sweeps Independence Day Spectacular |

Racing roundup: Sweet sweeps Independence Day Spectacular

Rossi earns top-5 finish at Mid-Ohio; DiBenedetto finishes in 10th at Road America

Grass Valley’s Brad Sweet opened the Fourth of July weekend with a pair of victories at the World of Outlaws’ Independence Day Spectacular held at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin.
By Trent Gower/Courtesy of World of Outlaws

Brad Sweet had a spectacular weekend.

Sweet, who drives the No. 49 NAPA AUTO PARTS sprint car for Kasey Kahne Racing, opened the Fourth of July weekend with a pair of hard-fought victories at the World of Outlaws’ Independence Day Spectacular.

Sweet, a Grass Valley native, won Friday’s race at Wisconsin’s Cedar Lake Speedway in thrilling fashion, taking the lead for the first time after a restart with just two laps left to go. Sweet passed runner-up Carson Macedo, who led 33 of 35 laps, on the final circuit and held on down the stretch to take the checkered flag, and the $10,000 top prize.

“Cedar Lake is always special to us,” Sweet said after Friday’s race. “We love this race track and all of the fans up here. We’ve got a good setup and this place just fits my driving style. There’s always multiple lanes to race on and that plays into my hand. Hopefully, we can keep the streak alive tomorrow night.”

Brad Sweet, who drives the No. 49 NAPA AUTO PARTS sprint car, won both Independence Day Spectacular feature races.
By Trent Gower/Courtesy of World of Outlaws

He did.

Back at Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday, Sweet started in fourth, worked his way to the front and battled Macedo throughout the race before ultimately grabbing his second $10,000 win in as many nights.

The victory was Sweet’s fifth straight at Cedar Lake Speedway.

“I wish the Kings Royal was here at Cedar Lake,” Sweet said after Saturday’s race. “We have this track figured out and have developed such a great package with our cars. Like I said, it really fits my driving style. We really tried a lot of stuff tonight. It doesn’t show how hard we’re working behind the scenes. There’s some big money ahead of us, so we’ll keep plugging away.”

Sweet, the two-time and defending World of Outlaws sprint car overall champion, now has 12 wins on the season, double that of any other driver in the series.

Next up for Sweet is the Badger 40 on Saturday at Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin. The series then heads to Ohio for the Brad Doty Classic (July 13), Joker’s Wild (July 14) and a pair of $175,000 Kings Royal races (July 15, July 17).


IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi finally cracked the top five in a race this season, grabbing a fifth place finish at the Honda Indy 200 held Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Rossi, a Nevada City native, started the race in sixth and was able to gain a spot during the 13-turn, 80-lap, natural-terrain road course. Josef Newgarden started on the pole and went on to win the race.

Mid-Ohio has always been a strong course for Rossi. He won at Mid-Ohio in 2018 and has placed in the top five in five straight races at the popular IndyCar stop.

Rossi, who drives the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda for Andretti Autosport, now has six top-10 finishes through 10 races this season, and currently sits in 12th place in the overall points standings.

Next up for Rossi and the IndyCar Series is the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on Aug. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee.


Grass Valley native and NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto raced to a top-10 finish at the Jockey Made in America 250 held Sunday at Road America in Wisconsin.

DiBenedetto, who drives the No. 21 Menard’s/Dutch Boy Mustang, started in seventh and worked his way to the front, even leading the race for 10 laps before finishing 10th overall. Chase Elliott took the checkered flag at the 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course.

Matt DiBenedetto (21) and Chase Elliott (9) compete during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race July 4 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Associated Press

With just six races left before the playoffs, DiBenedetto currently sits in 20th in the overall points standings. Sixteen drivers earn bids to the NASCAR Cup Series postseason.

Next up on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Quaker State 400 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email


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