Story By: NICK GRAZIANO / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – CONCORD, NC – Six different tracks. Six different winners. It’s the early story to the World of Outlaws NOS® Energy Drink Sprint Car Series’ season, and that story has a good chance of continuing Friday at Ocean Speedway and Saturday at Placerville Speedway.
The Series’ month-long swing through California has produced three different winners in its first three races alone.
Grass Valley, Calif., native Brad Sweet is one of the drivers with his eye on becoming the next first-time winner this season at either Friday’s Ocean Outlaw Showdown or Saturday’s 49er Gold Rush Classic presented by Riebes NAPA AUTO PARTS. He is the only driver to finish in the top-five in the three opening California races.
“It’s just a nice swing for me,” Sweet said. “I grew up racing here. They’re my home tracks.”
While he said he looks forward to all of the California races, Placerville hits closest to home — as it is his actual current home.
I like Placerville (Speedway) a lot,” Sweet said. “It’s my event I started a few years ago. I’ve been really trying to build it up. It’s just nice to put on an event for your hometown.”
Aside from his early season success — he’s currently third in Series championship points, just 10 points behind leader Daryn Pittman and California-based Roth Motorsports — Sweet won last year’s race at Placerville, and won the Series’ last race at Ocean Speedway in 2016.
“There really aren’t a lot of tracks here (in California) we haven’t won at,” Sweet said. “We like all of these tracks.”
He came close to winning this past weekend’s two California races at Silver Dollar Speedway and the Stockton Dirt Track, but came up one spot short in both Features.
The respective winners of those races, Lemoore, Calif., native Carson Macedo and Hanover, Pa., native Logan Schuchart are just as eager to get to Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., and Placerville, to continue their early season success and end the streak of first-time winners this season.
Schuchart finished second to Sweet at the last Ocean Speedway race.
“We were fast the last time we were there, but that was three or four years ago,” said Schuchart, who claimed his ninth career Series victory at Stockton. “We’re going to go there with an open mindset and throw are best at it.”
Like Sweet, Macedo has a home-field advantage at the California tracks, having grown up racing on them. He used that knowledge to best Sweet at Silver Dollar Speedway and claim his second World of Outlaws victory. He used it again in Stockton to charge from 23rd to seventh. He’ll look to put it to use two more times this weekend.
“I’ve raced so much at Ocean,” Macedo said. “Placerville is the only one I’ve been sort of hit or miss. I’ve won some races there and I’ve been terrible there. That’s going to be more of a crapshoot. But we’ll do our best.”