Brad Loyet – Speedweek Champ!

Brad at Outlaw Motor Speedway (Rob Kocak Photo)
Brad at Outlaw Motor Speedway (Rob Kocak Photo)
Brad at Outlaw Motor Speedway (Rob Kocak Photo)

From Bill W

June 24, 2014 – Brad Loyet and the Vacuworx Global/Miller Truck Lines #o5 team accomplished last week’s goal in winning the Bob Westphal Memorial ASCS Speedweek and retaining their lead in the Lucas Oil ASCS National Series standings. This week, the team will focus on some 410 racing at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.

Round two for Speedweek was Wednesday night in Oklahoma at Lawton Speedway. Brad would win his heat after starting third. “We were one of the last heats, and the track had widened out a little bit,” he says. “Danny Wood kind of left the bottom open for me, and I was able to sneak by. That put us in the redraw.”

Drawing inside of row two for the feature, Brad would checker second. “I had a really good car,” he says. “We were up on the cushion, and we moved into second. I thought we had a better car than (Sam) Hafertepe, but at that point, the track took rubber, and he took off. At that point, I had a second place car, and that’s all she wrote.”

Thursday, the series moved to Creek County Speedway near Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Brad would run fourth in his heat after starting sixth. “Creek County really killed our Speedweek a little bit,” he says. “We were still able to win the championship, but we gave up a lot of points to Jason (Johnson) there. It had rained all day, and the track was about a groove wide. We were only able to go from sixth to fourth in the heat.”

The Sunset Hills, Missouri driver made the most of things by winning the B. Starting 17th in the feature on a track that was tough to pass, he would checker 13th. “We started in the back and that’s where we finished,” says Brad. “We weren’t able to make anything happen. We got out of there with nothing too torn up, and got ready for the next night in Wainwright.”

Friday at Outlaw Motor Speedway, Brad would move up nicely from sixth to second in the heat race. “We were really good there,” he says. “We were there a month ago, and we knew what we had to do. Early on, we did that.”

After drawing the pole, he set sail in the feature. “We had the car to win and we should have won,” says Brad. “We got the jump on the start and took off. We had a yellow on lap ten, and on that restart, as we were going by the flag stand, the motor took a totally different tone. We lost some power and I wasn’t sure what was going on.”

Brad continued in the lead. “We were still able to lead the race,” he says. “I think there was a red on lap 25. I didn’t need that. I think I was far enough out. Unfortunately, on the restart, Tony Bruce Jr., who had been rolling the bottom, was able to get me. We were able to hold on.”

Post-race inspection found the best-case scenario. “We didn’t know if it was a cracked header or what,” says Brad of the motor. “We found out it was a spark plug wire that had been knocked off. We checked it before the race. Something hit it just right and knocked it off, so it wasn’t that bad of a night, finishing on seven cylinders. It shows our motor program is pretty good.”

The Speedweek finale was at the Lucas Oil Speedway near Wheatland, Missouri. “I’ve won a midget race there, but never a sprint car race,” says Brad. “It felt good to win the heat.”

After redrawing a starting spot inside of row two, Brad was ready for the main event. “I struggled in one and two the entire feature,” he says. “I just wasn’t making the right calls at the right time, and I fell back to fourth early on. On a restart, I was able to drive around a couple guys and get into second. I thought I had it figured out again.”

In the end, he would checker third, for his third podium finish in four races. “I wasn’t patient enough with the leader and I started making a move too soon,” says Brad. “That gave (Christopher) Bell a shot at me and he passed me. I just didn’t make the right calls in one and two all night long and it cost me. We ended up finishing third.”

The Loyet Motorsports team can look back on their Speedweek title with pride. With a break in the ASCS schedule, they can also focus on their 410 program. “Wining that deal, being the best finishing car over the five nights was a pretty cool deal,” says Brad. “It shows the type of team we have, and what we’re capable of doing. We’re looking forward to getting back to Knoxville Saturday.”