Sweet Surges to Victory in Inaugural Outlaws Race at Cotton Bowl Speedway
Beats teammate Daryn Pittman in epic photo finish on last lap
PAIGE, Texas Feb. 26, 2016 - Brad Sweet led just the final lap of the inaugural ATX Rentals Outlaw Shootout feature at Cotton Bowl Speedway Friday night as he outdueled teammate Daryn Pittman on the final turn to capture his third World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win of the season in a thrilling photo finish.
Sweet, who led the series points coming into the night after he piloted his Razorback/Sage Fruit No. 49 to two victories at the 45th Annual DIRTcar Nationals, posted the sixth fastest time in qualifying then finished second in his heat, putting him in the dash.
The Grass Valley, Calif.-native finished fifth in the dash, while Joey Saldana claimed the top spot in his Roth Enterprises/HR Livestock No. 83, putting him on the pole for the feature event.
Once the green flag fell, Saldana pulled out to an early lead over Daryn Pittman in the Great Clips/Team ASE No. 9. Pittman, who started in the third position, passed the second place starter David Gravel on the initial start.
The race was slowed by three cautions early which gave Pittman the chances he needed to challenge race leader Saldana. Saldana fought Pittman off each time the 2013 series champ tried to muscle his way to the lead. Saldana led the opening 23 laps but was eventually slowed just enough by lapped traffic for Pittman to complete the pass with less than 10 laps remaining.
Pittman enjoyed the top spot for only a few laps as his teammate Sweet applied pressure after he quickly made his way around Saldana for second. Sweet lurked behind Pittman but the leader looked to be the car to beat as the laps winded down.
As the white flag waived, Sweet utilized a run off of turn two to power his way to Pittmans inside as the leader encountered issues lapped traffic.
Sweet pulled even with Pittman as they entered the final turn. Sweet caught the inside cushion just enough to send his car into Pittmans as the two made slight contact at the checkered flag.
Sweet bested his teammate by a tenth of a second.
I just got a really good run off of turn two and I couldnt really pass it up, Sweet said. Its good that were both racing for the win, but I hate to make contact and hopefully there are no hard feelings because I didnt mean to do that.
Its a long season and were off to a good start…(this win) says a lot about Kasey Kahne Racing. It seems like me and Daryn are racing for the win every single night and its a testament to our good guys.
Pittman settled for the runner up position, the second time he has finished second to his teammate with the first coming on the first night of the DIRTcar Nationals.
We got beat, theres just no other way to say it, Pittman said. Second sucks. Theres too many of these races where our car is good enough to win and I am not finishing the job. I need to figure out whats wrong and where I am making mistakes to put myself in this position on the last lap.
This is unacceptable to me. Volusia was unacceptable and here we are two races later letting it happen again. This team deserves better and I am not going to quit or get mad. Thats four races in the last three or four months that I lost off of turn four, leading and being able to see the checkered flag and not getting there first.
Rounding out the top three was second place starter David Gravel in the Big Game Treestands/JRC No. 5.
I am so lucky to drive such a good race car, the native of Watertown, Conn. said. This early in the year we are running really strong, so I am really looking forward to the rest of the year. We were really close at the end but its one of those things where well get a win here shortly.
Danny Lasoski set the new track record at Cotton Bowl Speedway during time trials with a lap of 13.517 seconds.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series cap off their Texas double header as they head to Royal Purple Raceway located in Baytown, Texas for the OReilly Auto Parts presents the World of Outlaws hosted by Kasey Kahne on Saturday night.
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