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:

March 29 in Motorsports History: Scott Dixon wins first race after reunification

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Reunited and it felt so good.

That’s what drivers likely thought before the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For the first time since 1995, major-league open-wheel racing in the United States was under the banner of a sole sanctioning body as Champ Car and the Indy Racing Leauge had reunified just a month prior.

Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead. Photo: Jim Hines/IndyCar.

The first race after reunification also saw a reversal of fortunes for Scott Dixon, who won the race after losing the 2007 IRL championship in crushing fashion.

In the 2007 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Dixon ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap of the race. The race victory – and championship – went to Dixon’s future teammate, Dario Franchitti.

But the tides turned for Dixon nearly seven months later, and the Kiwi was able to win with the help of another driver’s misfortune.

Tony Kanaan was leading with seven laps remaining when E.J. Viso spun and made contact with Kanaan’s car. Kanaan remained on track through the caution period despite suffering obvious damage to his right front suspension.

On the final restart with three laps remaining, Dixon and others cars easily passed Kanaan’s wounded car on the outside. Dixon then maintained his lead through the checkered flag to win at Homestead for the second time in his career.

“I think Marco (Andretti) and T.K. probably had a little bit better cars today, but we came through with the win, and that’s what counts,” Dixon told ESPN after his 12th career victory.

Following his victory at Homestead, Dixon continued to redeem himself through the course of the 2008 season. In May, he won the Indianapolis 500 for the first (and so far only) time. Following Indy, he went on to win four more times in 2008 and won his second series championship.

Also on this date:

1998: Mika Hakkinen won the Grand Prix of Brazil, the first of eight victories in his first championship season.

2010: Will Power won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was held on a Monday morning because of rain postponing the race on Sunday.

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