Brad Sweet will become only the third driver in World of Outlaws history to win three consecutive championships when he does so Thursday.
Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, will seal the title when he qualifies Thursday at the NGK/NTK World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He’ll join Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz as the only drivers to win three series titles in a row.
This will be easiest Sweet has had it entering the final weekend of the season. Sweet beat Schatz by four points – the closest championship race in series history – to claim his first crown in 2019. Sweet clinched his second title in the season’s next-to-last race in 2020. This title comes with two nights of racing left in the season for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink sprint cars.
“The first one seemed like it was the hardest,” Sweet told NBC Sports. “It’s one of those things that if you haven’t won it, you don’t know what it takes. We were building a team. It takes a while to gain the experience and build a team capable of winning a championship.
“Donny Schatz was kind of the guy to beat in the World of Outlaws for a long time. We kind of looked at what they did and tried to copy their mold … try to keep the team together. … Last year with COVID, I think it threw things off. It was hard to get into a rhythm with a lot of schedule changes. It was a lot less racing for us.
“This year felt like a normal year. Felt like we got off to a great start, had a lot of great things going with the NAPA Auto Parts car. Felt like there was a lot of competition this year, very stout teams. Some of our main competition had switched teams, so there was definitely some transitions, some learning on that side of things. Donny Schatz didn’t have a Donny Schatz type of year.
“We were able to separate ourselves kind from everybody and never have gone into Charlotte and clinched it and never had that good of a point lead that late in the season. Little more relaxed.”
Sweet has a series-best 16 wins in 78 races. He’s also led the series in laps led in features (333), podium finishes (34), top-10 finishes (47) and average finish (5.37). He’s also the only driver to complete all 2,505 laps this season.
The World of Outlaws sprint cars will have qualifying Thursday for Friday night’s racing and Saturday night’s racing at the 4/10-mile dirt oval.
The closest points battle in the series is for third place in the season standings. Carson Macedo holds a four-point lead on Schatz, a 10-time series champion, for that spot. Also competing this weekend will be Kasey Kahne.