Brad Sweet was on the top of the sprint car world after winning the 2019 World of Outlaws championship.
He continued his run by winning Speedweeks in Volusia
For as stacked as a team as they have, paired with a more-than-solid sponsor and fast race car, they haven’t been on the track since then, like many World of Outlaws teams.
They don’t want the success to go to waste.
“It’s kind of an unfortunate situation that we’ve had to miss so many races (when we have) such a great race team and a great sponsor,” Sweet said. “We were really primed and ready to go for this year. We’re looking forward to getting out there and hopefully, when we do, they’re still chasing us.”
Brad Sweet Resumes Title Defense at Knoxville
Sweet and his Kasey Kahne Racing crew will return to the track on Friday for the World of Outlaws Invitational Presented by McKay Group with Nationwide Insurance at Knoxville Raceway (Hot laps start at 6:30 p.m. CT on DirtVision).
There, they look to keep whatever momentum they can going.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done. The full-time Outlaws teams that race the series’ schedule exclusively haven’t been on the track since February 9.
It’s basically been three full months.
“I’m excited,” Sweet said. “It’s a business for us and when we’re not racing, I’m not making money and the team’s not making money. We want to get back to racing and provide that content for the fans whether that be in-person or on DirtVision. We’re just doing our best.”
The World of Outlaws are working to put a stop to that, and the versatility of its drivers and teams to move on short notice will pay dividends on an everchanging schedule.
The race on Friday was confirmed just nine days in advance, at least to the public.
“I think that’s something that we’re used to,” Sweet said. “We travel a lot as a series. We’ll get around the country a lot at a lot of different dirt tracks. It works well, the fact that we can adapt to that type of stuff, and it’s probably why we’re one of the first things getting going, for sure.”
What better place to return to than Knoxville Raceway, too.
Sweet loves the idea of bringing the series back to the home of the Knoxville Nationals.
“I think it’s a great place, obviously – it makes total sense,” Sweet said. “It’s the sprint car capital of the world. I think that community understands sprint car racing more than any community that we go to, so I think they know it’s important that we’re back racing. It’s neat that everyone is coming together to try to pull this off.”
The event will kick off a 16-race announced schedule between the World of Outlaws’ Sprint Car and Late Model tours that stretches to Mid-June.
Some races will be allowed to have limited fans, but Friday night will feature empty seats.
“Obviously, the no fans thing stinks, but it’s just a baby step that needs to be taken to hopefully put us in a position where sooner or later we can have the fans,” Sweet said.
Some big names are on the announced, 48-driver entry list including NASCAR stars Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson as well as drivers like Aaron Reutzel and Rico Abreu playing the role of an invader.
It’s just more competition that Sweet wants to eat up.
“When there’s only one race going on across the whole country, you’re going to have a lot of talent there,” Sweet said. “Obviously, our NAPA Auto Parts car has been really fast this year so we’re excited to get out and race – whether it’s against everybody or at this point, we’d take a field of 10.”
At the end of the day, Sweet and the No. 49 KKR team can and will face off against anybody – and that’s just what Friday is about.
“We just want to race.”