ROSSBURG, Ohio – Brad Sweet was content to just run an unruffled race Sunday afternoon at Eldora Speedway in the World Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series makeup event from Friday’s Knight Before race as part of Kings Royal week.
A third-place run behind Carson Macedo, the fastest car around half-mile clay ovals recently, and Brian Brown gave him a dose of some needed contentment.
Mentally, he was ready to pack up and leave Rossburg, Ohio, on Saturday night.
The 36th Kings Royal champ showcased all the speed necessary to remain at the throne in the event’s 37th and 38th installments. He just couldn’t escape a whirlwind of misfortune.
Sweet cut a tire while leading the 38th Kings Royal on Saturday afternoon, then spun racing for second in the 37th running of the grand event made up from last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s not to mention the rainouts on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s been a long few days,” Sweet said. “Happy to get it done. Obviously wish for a better week but nice to finish it off with a solid third.
“It’s good for us that we finished,” he added. “It’s just … day racing is not really ideal for anybody. I understand why they had to do it. They sold the tickets. I don’t think anybody wants to be here. But we got it in, got a third-place run with our NAPA Auto Parts car.”
Misfortune certainly feels amplified on the Crown Jewel stage, especially as the reigning champion of the whole event and even more so as the nation’s wins leader at 14, a two-fold margin over the next drivers in line.
Sweet just knows he could’ve cashed in this week and continue to add to his greatness in sprint car racing. In the 38th Kings Royal, he worked by eventual winner Tyler Courtney after the opening lap to lead laps two through 18.
Then, while pacing under caution on lap 19, Sweet ran over some debris and punctured a tire. He relinquished the lead and had to accept a 10th-place finish.
In the 38th Kings Royal, Sweet qualified third and nearly set quick time honors, coming .031 seconds shy of the mark. Even after the invert and a false-start penalty made him start sixth in his heat, he rolled to a two-second win to grid him fourth in the main event.
He jumped to third on the opening lap and worked on James McFadden for second on the next, but what’s when he spun on the backstretch and went spiraling down the leaderboard yet again.
“Our car is good right now,” Sweet said. “I’ve got some confidence. Not exactly how we wanted them. It doesn’t mean we don’t have a fast car. We just have to get some momentum back rolling here.”
Sweet’s 142-point series lead going into the Kings Royal week is now 114 over Macedo, twice a winner this week, as the series heads to Lernerville Speedway on Tuesday. Then, it’s off to Williams Grove Speedway on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s no big deal,” Sweet said. “It’s on to the next one, for sure.”