Outlaws: After nasty wreck, Brad Sweet takes Saturday win in Wisconsin

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Don’t ever question the toughness of one Brad Sweet.

One night after a hellacious crash in Iowa left his World of Outlaws sprint car in two pieces, the former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver bounced back last night at Beaver Dam (Wisc.) Raceway to claim his fifth Outlaws win of 2014.

Sweet sustained an injured ankle in the Iowa crash, but soldiered on and qualified third for last night’s event in Wisconsin. In the 40-lap feature, he made a mid-race charge to the front that culminated with him taking the lead for good on Lap 24.

“It feels pretty unbelievable,” Sweet said in an Outlaws release. “These guys never give up. They worked all night long – they still haven’t slept from last night.

“I was in the hospital at 6 a.m. getting X-rays and I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to race tonight. So to come out here and get the win is just unbelievable.”

Sweet admitted that after the crash, he figured that his run at Beaver Dam would only be about shoring up his place in the Outlaws championship, in which he’s currently sixth.

“I kind of thought we would come here and just coast around and try to collect some points and try to heal,” he said. “But [my team] gave me such a good car, I got battling for the lead – I think adrenaline took over.

“My ankle is pretty sore but this is always good medicine, winning.”

Before last night’s race, Sweet also shed some light on his Friday wreck – which he called a “freak accident” with fellow racer Terry McCarl.

Contact between McCarl and Sweet sent the latter into and then atop the Turn 3 wall at Burlington, Iowa’s 34 Raceway. Sweet then hit another object, which sheared his car in two.

“We got a run on the outside and I think [McCarl] just decided, he had been running the bottom, that he was moving to the top and it’s just one of those racing deals,” he said in a separate interview.

Sweet’s victory last night earned the attention of Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer, who sent his congratulations:

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”