Another Sweet Night at Volusia

The Wheatley Chronicles – Volume IV, No. 4

Lonnie Wheatley, BARBERVILLE, Fla. (February 14, 2016) – It was very nearly a perfect opening World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series weekend for Brad Sweet.

After winning Friday night’s WoO opener at Volusia Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Nationals and then running second to Donny Schatz on Saturday night, the Grass Valley, CA, native picked off his second win of the weekend by racing to victory lane in Sunday night’s 30-lapper atop the ½-mile clay oval.

The triumph also gave Sweet the DIRTcar Nationals title aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing Razor-back Professional Tools No. 49.

“We always seem to get around this place well, it’s great to start the year out this way,” Sweet said. “We’ll celebrate this a little bit but then there’s a long year ahead of us.”

On this night, all that stopped Sweet from a clean sweep was a second-place run to Joey Saldana in the Dash.

After teammate Daryn Pittman set quick time the previous two nights, Sweet set Sunday’s standard to give the KKR duo a sweep of Fast Times over the weekend. Sweet won his heat race handily but lost the opening lap duel to Saldana in the Dash.

Following a pair of aborted feature starts, the first cautions of the night, Saldana again jumped into the lead and set the early pace.

But, Sweet got the advantage on a lap ten restart and never looked back in a convincing drive to victory lane.

After missing the feature cut on Saturday night, Posse shoe Lucas Wolfe bounced back by battling past Saldana over the closing stages of the feature to capture runner-up honors. Saldana settled for third with David Gravel and Greg Hodnett rounding out the top five.

The Vitals…                                                           

Series: World of Outlaws

Track: Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Car Count: 30

Quick Time: Brad Sweet stopped the clocks at 12.913 seconds to snap Daryn Pittman’s run of two consecutive quick times in a row.

Heat Winners (starting position in parentheses): Brad Sweet (1), Joey Saldana (1), David Gravel (2).

Heat Moments: Caution-free heats, David Gravel turned the quickest lap of the entire week with a circuit of 12.853 seconds in the third heat; Clyde Knipp narrowly avoided being lapped in his heat race, a marked improvement over being lapped half way through his Friday night heat race; Jason Johnson’s move from eighth to sixth in the opening pair of corners of the third heat was the only pass of note.

Dash Winner (starting position in parentheses): Joey Saldana (2).

Dash Moments: All Saldana all six laps.

“B” Main Winner (starting position in parentheses): Austin McCarl (2).

“B” Main Moments: All A-Mac all 12 laps; Bryan Clauson scratched after also blowing an engine in hot laps.

“A” Main Cautions: Three

Original Start – Daryn Pittman spins to a stop on the frontstretch, the KKR crew swaps out a front axle in the allotted two-minute work area time to get Pittman back in on the action.

Second Start – Doug Esh gets upside down exiting turn four coming towards the green flag. Esh goes to the work area but retires while Greg Wilson and Danny Lasoski both return to action after checking in at the work area as well.

Lap 9 – Greg Wilson comes to a stop on the frontstretch. It was the second chance Sweet was looking for.

“A” Main Hard Charger: Jason Johnson advanced six positions from 18th to 12th on a fast track that offered few passing opportunities all night long.

The Box Score…

Qualifying – 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.913; 2. 83-Joey Saldana, 13.020; 3. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe, 13.040; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.049; 5. 71M-Dave Blaney, 13.065; 6. 5-David Gravel, 13.076; 7. 1B-Dale Blaney, 13.138; 8. 27-Greg Hodnett, 13.139; 9. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.145; 10. 2-Shane Stewart, 13.151; 11. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.155; 12. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13.167; 13. 7-Paul McMahan, 13.178; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.213; 15. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 13.254; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.272; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.281; 18. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.297; 19. 71MX-Paul May, 13.332; 20. 59-Austin McCarl, 13.350; 21. O7-Doug Esh, 13.354; 22. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.369; 23. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.375; 24. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.384; 25. 24-Terry McCarl, 13.451; 26. 45-Tim Shaffer, 13.506; 27. 71A-R.J. Johnson, 13.666; 28. 4-Danny Smith, 13.957; 29. 13-Clyde Knipp, 14.194; 30. 17W-Bryan Clauson, nt

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet [1]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [2]; 3. 1B-Dale Blaney [3]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart [4]; 5. 7-Paul McMahan [5]; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen [6]; 7. 10H-Chad Kemenah [8]; 8. 4-Danny Smith [10]; 9. 71MX-Paul May [7]; 10. 24-Terry McCarl [9]

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 83-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 71M-Dave Blaney [2]; 3. 27-Greg Hodnett [3]; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen [4]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart [6]; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser [5]; 7. 59-Austin McCarl [7]; 8. 45-Tim Shaffer [9]; 9. W20-Greg Wilson [8]; 10. 13-Clyde Knipp [10]

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 5-David Gravel [2]; 2. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe [1]; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell [4]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz [3]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides [6]; 6. 41-Jason Johnson [8]; 7. O7-Doug Esh [7]; 8. 2L-Danny Lasoski [5]; 9. 71A-R.J. Johnson [9]; 10. 17W-Bryan Clauson [10]

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 83-Joey Saldana [2]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [1]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman [4]; 4. 5-David Gravel [3]; 5. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe [6]; 6. 71M-Dave Blaney [5]

Last Chance Showdown – (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 59-Austin McCarl [2]; 2. 2L-Danny Lasoski [1]; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah [4]; 4. O7-Doug Esh [3]; 5. 24-Terry McCarl [6]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson [5]; 7. 45-Tim Shaffer [7]; 8. 71A-R.J. Johnson [8]; 9. 13-Clyde Knipp [10]; 10. 4-Danny Smith [9]; 11. 17W-Bryan Clauson [11]; 12. 71MX-Paul May [12]

A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 2. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe [5]; 3. 83-Joey Saldana [1]; 4. 5-David Gravel [4]; 5. 27-Greg Hodnett [8]; 6. 1-Sammy Swindell [9]; 7. 2-Shane Stewart [10]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [12]; 9. 71M-Dave Blaney [6]; 10. 1B-Dale Blaney [7]; 11. 29-Kerry Madsen [11]; 12. 41-Jason Johnson [18]; 13. 7-Paul McMahan [13]; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart [14]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides [15]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser [17]; 17. 24-Terry McCarl [23]; 18. 9-Daryn Pittman [3]; 19. 59-Austin McCarl [19]; 20. 2L-Danny Lasoski [20]; 21. W20-Greg Wilson [24]; 22. 1A-Jacob Allen [16]; 23. 10H-Chad Kemenah [21]; 24. O7-Doug Esh [22].

Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-9, Brad Sweet 10-30.

The Wheatley Chronicles brings insight and highlights from all variety of racing series throughout the nation in 2016 and beyond along with the Open Wheel Power Rankings on a regular basis. Please send any comments, questions or advertising inquiries regarding The Wheatley Chronicles at www.sprintcarmania.com to Lonnie Wheatley at lonniewheatley@gmail.com.