While many race series are taking a hiatus during this very unusual season, there is one series that is not letting the Coronavirus stop them from jumping from state to state and track to track to crown the latest in talented drivers. This was definitely the case for two World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint car drivers who traveled from Osborn, MO to Greenwood, NE to claim impressive victories. Beginning with Sheldon Haudenschild who took down current points leader Brad Sweet after an exciting pass in Turn 4 and earning the win at Osborn, MO’s U.S. 36 Raceway by 0.118 seconds and ending out the weekend with a comeback story from Brad Sweet at Nebraska’s I-80 Speedway.
U.S. 36 Raceway
As the warriors of the WOO NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series rolled into U.S. 36 Raceway, fans were eyeing current points leader Brad Sweet for the win after the reigning champion, who had not won a race since the beginning of July, would start Saturday night’s race on top. This would force fourth place starter Sheldon Haudenschild to chase down his largest competitor for the win. Despite the mountain in front of him, Haudenschild was determined to do everything that he could to earn the victory in Saturday’s 35 Lap feature.
Although it would be a real battle to get to the front with five to go, Sweet’s lead was down to about a second with five laps to go with Haudenschild leading the way. While no one else in the 24-car field seemed to have what it took to catch either the No. 49 of Brad Sweet or the No. 17 of Sheldon Haudenschild. That was the case on the final lap of this race.
While other drivers settled for a battle for a top five finish, the final lap of this race would give Haudenschild to prove what he really had after hitting the throttle and shocking Brad Sweet after he drove around the race leader in Turn 4 and edging Sweet by 0.118 seconds at the finish line to claim the win.
“That last lap, I just let it eat,” said Haudenschild about his show stopping performance in his first appearance at U.S. 36. “Honestly, I didn’t even know if we were going to crash coming to the checkers, but I had to take the chance to get the win.”
Although Brad Sweet would fall short during Saturday night’s race in Osborn, MO, traveling to Nebraska seemed to be just what the No. 49 NAPA Auto Parts driver needed to break his victory less dry spell. The Kasey Kahne Racing team unloaded a dominate car for Sweet Saturday night, but on Sunday at I-80 they had to work toward that. He started the night with a 12th place qualifying effort and was able to translate that into a second place run in his Drydene Heat Race. Sweet managed to find the runner-up spot, again, in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, however Dash winner Jacob Allen showed he had a car capable of delivering him his first career win.
That is until a restart with 18 laps remaining where Sweet’s car came to life. As the laps wound down Sweet would drive by Allen in Turn 4 and take the lead on Lap 13. Despite the impressive pass, Allen would find his way back to the top on the race restart.
Much like his battle with Haudenschild in Missouri, Sweet would find himself battling with only one relentless driver. That is until the halfway point of this race would give the Kasey Kahne Racing driver to cut back underneath Allen down the straightaway and take off ahead of him in Turn 1.
As the laps clicked away, Allen eventually faded to sixth while Sweet would experience a battle with lapped traffic late into this race. While it appeared that the defending champion was on his way to a near four second victory, Sweet would be forced to hold off second place driver Carson Macedo in a last race caution. Even with Macedo’s best ditch efforts, Sweet’s determination to end his dry spell would give him just the desire that he needed to perfect the restart and earn a $10,000 win.
“It has been some trying times, but I am so glad that this NAPA Auto Parts team never gives up,” said Sweet. “We have gone through DNFs, race cars and wild crashes for a lifetime this season, but we stay determined to go after the goal of a win and staying positive sure helped us get back to the top.”
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to the historic Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD on Sept. 5-6. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for the latest from the World of Outlaws.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to Cedar Lake Speedway for the upcoming three-day Independence Day mega event, July 2-4, alongside the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models, which will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for the latest news from the dirt.