‘Big Cat’ Brad Sweet Earns All Star Florida Finale Victory Thursday At Volusia

Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS – BARBERVILLE, FL – The ‘Big Cat’ Brad Sweet was the man to beat on Thursday evening at Volusia Speedway Park, officially concluding the five-race Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 sweep through the Sunshine State with a $5,000 DIRTcar Nationals triumph.

The victory, Sweet’s fourth-ever during All Star Circuit of Champions competition and his first at the Barberville half-mile, was accomplished from the outside of row two, slowly picking his way through a stout contingent of frontrunners before earning the lead for the first time on lap 16.

“You’re never going to win the race if you drive the same line as everyone else,” an elated Brad Sweet said in victory lane, driver of the Kasey Kahne Racing/NAPA Auto Parts/Team ASE/Curb Records/Wicked Energy Gum/No. 49 sprint car. “I’m always searching and looking for ways to get faster. I’ve learned that over the years from Donny Schatz. I can’t thank everyone enough for this. We have a few people from Wicked Cushion and Wicked Energy here tonight, so it was cool to get a win for those guys. It’s nice to get a win but the real season begins tomorrow.”

Although shuffled back as far as fifth after the initial start, Brad Sweet wasted little time working his way back into winning contention, eventually maneuvering his focus from the topside of the speedway to the bottom to help boost his efforts.

With slower traffic entering the picture as early as lap eight, Sweet capitalized and advanced two positions in less than five laps; passing Tony Stewart for third on lap 11 and Christopher Bell for second on lap 14, each while hugged to the bottom of Volusia Speedway Park.

Continuing his efforts on the bottom of the speedway, it was not long before Sweet was on the tail tank of race-long leader, Daryn Pittman, actually pulling even with the Roth Motorsports, No. 83 entry by lap 15. The following circuit is when Sweet made his move, using his signature dive to drive underneath Pittman to take command by the exit of turn two.

Although Sweet was strong enough to pull away initially, heavy doses of slower traffic soon layered the speedway forcing Sweet to utilize the top and bottom grooves of the ultra-fast half-mile.

Logan Schuchart, who started alongside Sweet in row two, made things interesting in the closing circuits and actually closed-in within one second of Sweet while the pair frantically navigated traffic. The Hanover, Pa., native moved into second on lap 25. At that time, Sweet held a two second advantage.

“I knew the bottom would be there. The top was just really fast there at the beginning,” Brad Sweet continued. “I honestly thought I heard the officials call a yellow at the beginning and I actually checked up and got on the brakes. Then I realized we were still racing. Regardless, I thought we did a really good job getting the car to battle through lapped traffic. I ended up getting pretty tight there at the end and I thought somebody was probably breathing down my neck. I was just trying to drive as hard as I could the last few laps. I was really happy to see the checkers.”

Capitalizing on his late-race surge, Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart held on to finish second during the non-stop, 30-lap program, followed by Daryn Pittman, Christopher Bell, and the ‘Steel City Outlaw’ Tim Shaffer.

Allowing Mother Nature to make the transition into more seasonable temperatures, the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 will not return to competition until Thursday, April 11, when the Series makes the trip to southern Virginia for a one-night stand at Virginia Motor Speedway.

As the first point-accumulating event of the 2019 season, the trip to Virginia will award a $10,000 top prize, also kicking off a four-race sweep through the Mid-Atlantic that also includes trips to Williams Grove Speedway (4/12), Port Royal Speedway (4/13), and Bedford Speedway (4/14).

In total, Tony Stewart’s traveling All Stars will headline seven events during the month of April, scheduled to make starts in Ohio and Pennsylvania in addition to their Virginia appearance.

More news and information pertaining to the 2019 All Star Circuit of Champions schedule can be found online at www.allstarsprint.com.

Contingency Awards/Results: Volusia Speedway Park -February 7, 2019:
Event: DIRTcar Nationals
Entries: 36
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Carson Macedo – 13.744 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Daryn Pittman – 13.008 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Paul McMahan
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Brad Sweet
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Brock Zearfoss
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Tony Stewart
JE Pistons Dash #1: Christopher Bell
Fatheadz Eyewear Dash #2: Daryn Pittman
Classic Ink USA B-Main Winner: Ian Madsen
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: Brad Sweet
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Donny Schatz (+13)
(Lincoln Electric & MSD Performance: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 71-Parker Price-Miller, 13.097; 2. 5-Shane Stewart, 13.168; 3. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.240; 4. 39-Christopher Bell, 13.287; 5. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.447; 6. 41-David Gravel, 13.477; 7. 48-Danny Dietrich, 13.497; 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 13.592; 9. 91S-Sadie Siegel, 15.753

Group (B)
1. 83-Daryn Pittman, 13.008; 2. 21-Brian Brown, 13.300; 3. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.381; 4. 17W-Shane Golobic, 13.544; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.554; 6. 7K-Cale Conley, 13.593; 7. 33M-Mason Daniel, 13.713; 8. K4-Chad Kemenah, 13.775; 9. 47-Brant O’Banion, 14.377

Group (C)
1. 49x-Tim Shaffer, 13.136; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.228; 3. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 13.290; 4. 70-Brock Zearfoss, 13.333; 5. 18-Ian Madsen, 13.371; 6. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.485; 7. 97-Caleb Helms, 13.950; 8. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.963; 9. 19-Brent Marks, 14.008

Group (D)
1. 2-Carson Macedo, 13.164; 2. 9-Kasey Kahne, 13.269; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.297; 4. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.299; 5. 1k-Kyle Larson, 13.337; 6. 84-Tom Harris, 13.429; 7. 70X-Spencer Bayston, 13.785; 8. J4-John Garvin, 14.122; 9. 40-George Hobaugh, 14.248

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 13-Paul McMahan [2]; 2. 39-Christopher Bell [1]; 3. 5-Shane Stewart [3]; 4. 71-Parker Price-Miller [4]; 5. 41-David Gravel [6]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz [5]; 7. 87-Aaron Reutzel [8]; 8. 48-Danny Dietrich [7]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman [4]; 3. 17W-Shane Golobic [1]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [3]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [5]; 6. 7K-Cale Conley [6]; 7. K4-Chad Kemenah [8]; 8. 33M-Mason Daniel [7]; 9. 47-Brant O’Banion [9]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 70-Brock Zearfoss [1]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [3]; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer [4]; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [2]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [8]; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [5]; 7. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 8. 19-Brent Marks [9]; 9. 97-Caleb Helms [7]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 14-Tony Stewart [1]; 2. 2-Carson Macedo [4]; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen [2]; 4. 1K-Kyle Larson [5]; 5. 9-Kasey Kahne [3]; 6. 70X-Spencer Bayston [7]; 7. 84-Tom Harris [6]; 8. 40-George Hobaugh [9]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 39-Christopher Bell [2]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [1]; 3. 71-Parker Price-Miller [4]; 4. 49X-Tim Shaffer [5]; 5. 2-Carson Macedo [3]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 83-Daryn Pittman [2]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [1]; 3. 14-Tony Stewart [4]; 4. 70-Brock Zearfoss [3]; 5. 13-Paul McMahan [5]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 18-Ian Madsen [1]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [3]; 3. 84-Tom Harris [2]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [7]; 5. 7K-Cale Conley [4]; 6. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 7. 70X-Spencer Bayston [5]; 8. 19-Brent Marks [11]; 9. 48-Danny Dietrich [9]; 10. K4-Chad Kemenah [8]; 11. 33M-Mason Daniel [10]; 12. 47-Brant O’Banion [15]; 13. 40-George Hobaugh [12]

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 49-Brad Sweet [4]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [3]; 3. 83-Daryn Pittman [2]; 4. 39-Christopher Bell [1]; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer [7]; 6. 41-David Gravel [18]; 7. 14-Tony Stewart [6]; 8. 13-Paul McMahan [10]; 9. 15-Donny Schatz [22]; 10. 5-Shane Stewart [11]; 11. 71-Parker Price-Miller [5]; 12. 87-Aaron Reutzel [24]; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser [19]; 14. 70-Brock Zearfoss [8]; 15. 2-Carson Macedo [9]; 16. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [20]; 17. 1A-Jacob Allen [12]; 18. 1K-Kyle Larson [16]; 19. 18-Ian Madsen [21]; 20. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [14]; 21. 9-Kasey Kahne [17]; 22. 17W-Shane Golobic [13]; 23. 84-Tom Harris [23]; 24. 21-Brian Brown [15]

Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman (1-15), Brad Sweet (16-30)

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