Sweet remains in front: DiBenedetto struggles in Sonoma; Rossi looks to get back on track | TheUnion.com

Sweet remains in front: DiBenedetto struggles in Sonoma; Rossi looks to get back on track

Brad Sweet
Courtesy of WorldofOutlaws.com

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is about a third of the way through the 2021 season, and driver Brad Sweet is where he’s been for the past two and a half years — at the front of the pack.

The two-time and defending series champ has won about a third of his races so far this season, claiming the checkered flag nine times across 28 starts. Sweet’s nine wins are more than double that of any other driver on the circuit, and the Grass Valley native currently holds a 56-point lead in the overall points standings.

Sweet, who drives the No. 49 NAPA Auto Parts car for Kasey Kahne Racing, didn’t add to his win total over the weekend, but did earn a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s race at Granite City Motor Park in Minnesota. It was his 18th top-five finish of the season.

“We had a decent night Saturday with a QuickTime and a heat race win,” Sweet said. “We were just a little off in the feature. I’m looking forward to getting back to Knoxville this coming weekend and seeing what we can do.”

David Gravel, who is second in the overall points standings, won Saturday’s race at Granite City Motor Park.

Sweet now heads to the Brownells Big Guns Bash in Iowa for a pair of races at the Knoxville Raceway. Seven of Sweet’s 67 career World of Outlaws wins have come at Knoxville Raceway.


NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto couldn’t replicate his 2019 success at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, finishing 23rd at the Save Mart 350.

It was two years ago when DiBenedetto, a Grass Valley native, scored his first ever top-five finish in a NASCAR Cup Series race, earning fourth on the California road course. He would go on to tally two more top-five finishes that season.

Through 16 races in the 2021 season, DiBenedetto has two top-five finishes and currently sits in 17th in the overall points standings.

Taking the checkered flag in Sonoma this year was Kyle Larson, a fellow driver from Northern California. The Elk Grove native has been on a tear recently, winning two straight NASCAR Cup Series races, and also nabbing a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory at the Memorial Day Spectacular on May 31.

Next up for the NASCR series is the All-Star Open on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. If DiBenedetto is to have a chance at participating he will need to win the fan vote. The All-Star Open will be broadcast at 3 p.m. Sunday on FS1.


After a rough run at the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi is ready to put the month of May behind him.

“May was not my friend,” Rossi said through his Twitter account. “June is here and we’ll see what we can do.”

Rossi’s 29th place finish in Indianapolis was his worst in six runs at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The Nevada City native has struggled throughout the season, notching just three top-10 finishes through six starts. He is currently in 15th in the overall points race.

Next up for Rossi and the IndyCar Series is the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, which is a two-race feature running Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s race starts at 11 a.m., and Sunday’s race gets rolling at 9 a.m. Both will be broadcast on NBC.

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


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