The Sweet Taste Of A Kings Royal Victory
ROSSBURG, Ohio — It was only a matter of time until Brad Sweet tasted victory lane at Eldora Speedway in World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competition. However, no one would have guessed it would have been in one of the most prestigious races anywhere in dirt track racing — the Kings Royal.
Sweet started outside of Brandon Wimmer for the 30th running of the historic event and jumped out to an early lead in the 40-lap, $50,000-to-win race in his Kasey Kahne Racing Ollie’s Bargain Outlets ride. A three-car battle that included Wimmer and Donny Schatz prevented Sweet from running away.
On the final restart on lap 25, after a wreck involving Chad Kemenah and Paul McMahan battling for the fifth position, Sweet struggled at first to retake the lead as Schatz put the pressure on in his attempt to become a three-time Kings Royal winner. By the 27th lap, though, Sweet had fully cleared Schatz and with 13 more clean laps through lapped traffic found himself crowned King.
“It’s unbelievable to win the Kings Royal,” said Sweet, who has narrowly missed out on winning a World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event at Eldora several times, including Friday night when he finished second. “It’s still sinking in, but we’ve been fast here so I knew we could do it. I can’t thank my guys enough, Kasey Kahne Racing, Kasey Kahne himself for giving me this opportunity, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, my guys Dave, Eric, Rob and Willie. It was déjà vu on coming up to try to get around Sammy Swindell again to lap him. I know Donny’s going to be good and the first time we restarted I chose the top and he had me beat going into one and if he would’ve gone to the top it would’ve made it a much closer race.”
The night wasn’t all smooth sailing for Sweet. The Ollie’s Bargain Outlet machine blew a motor in qualifying and saw Sweet start sixth in the fifth heat race. In a show of incredible speed, Sweet was able to work his way to the lead to earn the outside pole for the Kings Royal feature event.