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Sweet Holds Off Madsen In Tucson

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Published in Racing
Saturday, 06 April 2019 10:45

TUCSON, Ariz. — With five laps to go in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Wildcat Shootout at USA Raceway Friday night, Brad Sweet’s victory was far from certain.

Sweet had command of the race, having stolen the lead from Ian Madsen just before a lap-19 caution flag.

However, Madsen did not let the blue Kasey Kahne Racing car of Sweet out of his sight.

With lapped traffic in Sweet’s windshield, Madsen used it to his advantage turning a car length distance between them into half a car length. Then a quarter. The laps were winding down in a hurry, but the race was far from over.

That is until the traffic that was helping Madsen catch Sweet, ended up killing his momentum with a lap to go, putting more than a car length back between he and Sweet, who went on to claim his first win of the season – his 35th career victory.

“I was just kind of lucky to get through a few of those guys, just mistakes in lap traffic and we were in the right spot to capitalize,” said Grass Valley, Calif., native Sweet. “The car was superfast and made the opportunities for us to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Sweet stared sixth for the 30-lap feature, while Madsen, who fared better in the dash, started outside the front row.

When the green flag waved, Madsen, last year’s Rookie of the Year, shot by polesitter Donny Schatz and ran away with the lead.

“Everyone’s always better in clean air,” said Madsen, who ended up second. “It just kind of got pretty tricky there in the middle of the race. We got stuck behind some lap cars and we just weren’t as good as Brad tonight to maneuver around to get past the lapped cars.”

Madsen’s blistering pace at the start of the race put him in lapped traffic by Lap five. While the Australian hustled his way around the slower cars, Sweet — with a little bit of luck on his side — methodically moved his way to the front, lap by lap.

“I think we were in the right place at the right time a lot of the time and we were able to capitalize,” Sweet said. “Coming from sixth to win is hard in these things, especially on a pretty fast track. We’ll take it any way we can get it.”

Luck wasn’t the only factor that helped him to the front. A little bit of skill, knowing where to put his car helped, too.

“Luckily for me, I kind of found a low line in turn one, and kind of low down the front stretch,” Sweet said. “If I could get off (turn) four equal or a little better than the guy in front of me, I could go low in turn one and it seemed like I could carry more speed. That’s where I made all of my passes.”

While Sweet and Madsen stole the show, Brent Marks raced his way to his best finish so far this year – sixth.

“I know my results through California don’t really show, but we’ve been getting our car really good,” said Marks. “We’ll just keep plugging away and fine tuning this race car and try to have a little bit better luck on our side. Excited we got a good run tonight.”

Sweet is the ninth different winner this season in 10 races.

That consistency, in addition to Friday night’s win, has left him tied for the points lead with 10-times series champion Donny Schatz.

To see full results, turn to the next page.

The post Sweet Holds Off Madsen In Tucson appeared first on SPEED SPORT.

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