NEW RICHMOND, WI – Brad Sweet completed a clean sweep of the opening night of the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown with his third win of the season at Cedar Lake Speedway. A late race caution took Sweet out of heavy lapped traffic and gave him a clean track and clean air with eight laps remaining. David Gravel and Brent Marks completed the podium.
Sweet started the night off right, setting fast time over the field before edging Gravel in a potential Heat Race of the year. Sweet started second in the Sears Craftsman Dash and won that to earn the pole for the 35-lap Feature.
While it may have looked easy on paper, it was far from it. Sweet, driver of the Kasey Kahne Racing No.49, grabbed the lead early and distanced himself, while Gravel and Marks battled for the runner-up position.
Sweet reached traffic by Lap 6 and negotiated the slower cars well. Marks, while running third, made contact with the slower car of Jason Tostenson and lost the third spot to Sheldon Haudenschild in the process.
As traffic intensified, Gravel and company closed in looking to steal the victory away from Sweet.
Sweet, at this point, was lapping some impressive race cars. As the Grass Valley, CA native tried to put Kerry Madsen, who swept both nights of the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown last year, and Cory Eliason, who has an Outlaw win this year, Gravel, Haudenschild and Marks closed significantly. Haudenschild bobbled on the bottom of one and two and relinquished the third spot back to Marks on Lap 22.
Just as Gravel and Marks were closing in, ready to pounce, debris in turn four forced a caution on Lap 27.
With eight laps remaining and a clean track, Sweet was never truly challenged and went on to win by .968 seconds.
“I’ve never done a clean sweep before. That’s a heck of a way to start the weekend,” Sweet said in Victory Lane before giving a shout out to Bobbi and Jaxx Johnson.
“Lapped traffic was tough tonight, but it’s what wins and loses races. We needed a win, it’s been a while. These NAPA Auto Parts guys have been working hard and they deserve more of these wins,” Sweet, who continues to sit second in the Series Point Standings added.
David Gravel finished a nose ahead of Marks for third, after getting held up with a lapped car coming to the checkered.
“I definitely didn’t want to see that yellow. My car was getting better as the race went on, luckily, tomorrow’s race is 41 laps. Hopefully we can finish one position better,” the driver of the CJB Motorsports No.5 said in good spirits.
Second-year Outlaw Brent Marks was very pleased with his evening, “I was surprised tonight, we weren’t very good here last year but we were excellent tonight. I’m really proud of my guys and I’m excited to be up here on the podium.
After not getting a Qualifying lap and starting last in his Heat Race, Donny Schatz picked up KSE Hard Charger honors, finishing fourth in the Feature from 11th. Sheldon Haudenschild completed the top-five.
The FVP Platinum Battery Showdown concludes Saturday evening at Cedar Lake Speedway. If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com!
Abbreviated Results from Cedar Lake Speedway – July 7, 2018:
Feature (35 Laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet [$10,000]; 2. 5-David Gravel [$5,000]; 3. 19-Brent Marks [$3,000]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,700]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,500]; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,200]; 7. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,000]; 8. 2-Shane Stewart [$1,800]; 9. 18-Ian Madsen [$1,600]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,450]; 11. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,300]; 12. 21-Brian Brown [$1,200]; 13. 9-Daryn Pittman [$1,100]; 14. 55-Brooke Tatnell [$1,000]; 15. 83H-Justin Henderson [$950]; 16. W20-Greg Wilson [$900]; 17. 83-Cory Eliason [$850]; 18. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$750]; 19. 13-Mark Dobmeier [$725]; 20. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [$700]; 21. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$700]; 22. 19L-RJ Johnson [$700]; 23. 97-Alan Gilbertson [$700]; 24. 36-Jason Tostenson [$700]; Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-35; KSE Hard Charger Award: 15-Donny Schatz[+7]
Qualifying: 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 11.476; 2. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.49; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.545; 4. 5-David Gravel, 11.62; 5. 19-Brent Marks, 11.646; 6. W20-Greg Wilson, 11.696; 7. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 11.706; 8. 18-Ian Madsen, 11.709; 9. 1A-Jacob Allen, 11.712; 10. 21-Brian Brown, 11.745; 11. 19L-RJ Johnson, 11.759; 12. 55-Brooke Tatnell, 11.77; 13. 9-Daryn Pittman, 11.773; 14. 2-Shane Stewart, 11.78; 15. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.803; 16. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 11.851; 17. 13-Mark Dobmeier, 11.856; 18. 36-Jason Tostenson, 11.88; 19. 83H-Justin Henderson, 11.939; 20. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 11.941; 21. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 11.973; 22. 97-Alan Gilbertson, 11.994; 23. 14K-Tori Knutson, 12.292; 24. 5X-Ryan Bowers, 12.877; 25. 91A-Reed Allex, 14.278; 26. 15-Donny Schatz, NT; 27. 83-Cory Eliason, NT