Sweet Wins Opening Night of the Great Lakes Shootout at Jackson Motorplex

Brad Sweet. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

JACKSON, MN (May 15, 2020) – Brad Sweet is getting back into the groove quickly after a lengthy absence from the cockpit of a race car due to the COVID-19 outbreak winning Friday night’s feature event during the Great Lakes Shootout presented by Harvey’s Roofing & Tweeter Contracting with the Interstate Racing Association at Jackson Motorplex.

Sweet celebrated his victory among his crew members as there were no fans in the grandstands due to social distancing at a facility where Sweet has found success in the past. The victory was welcome after Sweet finished ninth in his first race back since being idle during the pandemic at Knoxville Raceway the previous week.

“We’ve had a lot of good runs here at Jackson, we really love this place. Nice to be back on top after last weekend at Knoxville when we were a little off.”

Sweet, from Grass Valley, California, chased down Sheldon Haudenschild through slower traffic, capitalizing on a mistake Haudenschild made coming off turn four to take the lead with seven laps to go. Sweet then was able to hold his car on the bottom of the racetrack keeping Haudenschild at bay for the victory.

“It was lucky to get a couple of breaks in lapped traffic and made a couple of good moves to get into second. Sheldon was setting a good pace. I think he was not sure where to be with the rubber. He just made one small mistake and luckily we were there to capitalize.”

The victory was Sweet’s fifth of the 2020 season and third driving for Kasey Kahne Racing this calendar year.

Donny Schatz and Ian Madsen started on the front row for the 25-lap main event. Schatz dove to the bottom lead the opening lap with Madsen applying heavy pressure using the middle of the racetrack. Madsen appeared to have Schatz setup for a pass for the lead when the caution appeared for Lynton Jeffrey slowing between turns three and four on lap three.

Schatz pulled away following the restart while Madsen had his hands full with Haudenschild challenging him for second. Just as Schatz entered slower traffic on lap eight Haudenschild drove around Madsen for second. Schatz slipped in turn two of the groove and allowed Haudenschild to quickly close to challenge for the lead.

Haudenschild made his move on lap 11 taking the top spot from Schatz using the middle of the track in turns three and four. Sweet had moved his way up to third at that point and quickly closed in on Schatz. Sweet took second from Schatz on lap 13 and quickly disposed of slower cars to close in on Haudenschild.

Slower traffic came into play again on lap 16 as Haudenschild was held by the slower cars. Sweet took advantage closing in on Haudenschild’s back bumper. Coming off turn four with seven laps to go Haudenschild slipped off turn four just enough to allow Sweet to take the lead. From that point Sweet paced himself in the rubber groove on the bottom of the racetrack so he did not catch slower cars to overtake, holding off Haudenschild for the victory. Schatz held on for third while Sweet’s car owner and teammate, Kasey Kahne, finished in the fourth position. Madsen rounded out the top five.

Sweet hopes the Jackson performance carries into Saturday’s finale and the remainder of his 2020 season.

“It’s always confidence to win and we have a lot of confidence at this racetrack just based on the performances that we’ve had in the past,” said Sweet. “We’re just having fun. We just want to get back in race shape, gelling with the race team and Jackson putting on a show with no fans, obviously its tough. Hopefully, a lot of viewers tuned in to help make it all possible. Hopefully for us we can have another solid night and get ready for our Outlaw season.”

Great Lakes Shootout presented by Harvey’s Roofing & Tweeter Contracting
Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association
Jackson Motorplex
Jackson, MN
Friday May 15, 2020

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 15-Donny Schatz[4]
2. 9-Kasey Kahne[2]
3. 87-Aaron Reutzel[5]
4. 33-James Broty[3]
5. 14T-Tony Stewart[6]
6. 56N-Davey Heskin[7]
7. 44-Chris Martin[1]
8. 14M-Jack Routson[10]
9. 88-Kyle Offill[8]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 11-Zeb Wise[1]
2. 09-Matt Juhl[2]
3. 7-Justin Henderson[5]
4. 17W-Shane Golobic[7]
5. 21-Brian Brown[3]
6. 7S-Jason Sides[4]
7. 45H-Jeff Halligan[8]
8. 23-Russel Borland[6]
9. 97-Alan Gilbertson[9]
10. 20S-Kevin Seidler[10]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 04-Tony Knight[2]
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[3]
3. 57-Kyle Larson[1]
4. 16-Brooke Tatnell[4]
5. 4-Terry McCarl[6]
6. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[7]
7. 73AF-Joey Moughan[8]
8. 14R-Sean Rayhall[5]
9. 2K-Kevin Engle[9]

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey[1]
2. 3-Tim Kaeding[3]
3. 83-Daryn Pittman[4]
4. 14-Parker Price Miller[5]
5. 2-Carson Macedo[6]
6. 39M-Anthony Macri[7]
7. 24-Rico Abreu[2]
8. 33M-Mason Daniel[9]
9. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[8]

Heat Race #5 (8 Laps)
1. 17B-Bill Balog[1]
2. 49-Brad Sweet[4]
3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[2]
4. 2KS-Chad Boespflug[5]
5. 26-Cory Eliason[3]
6. 91-Anthony Fiore[7]
7. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[6]
8. 11M-Brendan Mullen[8]
9. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson[9]

Heat Race #6 (8 Laps)
1. 13-Mark Dobmeier[3]
2. 2M-Kerry Madsen[1]
3. 18-Ian Madsen[4]
4. 17A-Austin McCarl[2]
5. 73-Jake Blackhurst[5]
6. 44S-Trey Starks[6]
7. 05-Colin Smith[7]
8. 5J-Jeremy Schultz[9]
9. 25-Danny Schlafer[8]

Dash #1 (6 Laps)
1. 15-Donny Schatz[1]
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]
3. 9-Kasey Kahne[4]
4. 11-Zeb Wise[6]
5. 09-Matt Juhl[2]
6. 04-Tony Knight[3]

Dash #2 (6 Laps)
1. 18-Ian Madsen[3]
2. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey[1]
3. 49-Brad Sweet[6]
4. 83-Daryn Pittman[5]
5. 17B-Bill Balog[2]
6. 13-Mark Dobmeier[4]

B-Main #1 (15 Laps)
1. 7S-Jason Sides[1]
2. 16-Brooke Tatnell[2]
3. 14T-Tony Stewart[6]
4. 21-Brian Brown[5]
5. 4-Terry McCarl[7]
6. 17W-Shane Golobic[4]
7. 56N-Davey Heskin[8]
8. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[9]
9. 23-Russel Borland[14]
10. 73AF-Joey Moughan[12]
11. 44-Chris Martin[10]
12. 88-Kyle Offill[16]
13. 97-Alan Gilbertson[17]
14. 45H-Jeff Halligan[11]
15. 14M-Jack Routson[15]
16. 33-James Broty[3]
17. 35Q-Zach Hampton[19]
18. 2K-Kevin Engle[18]
19. 20S-Kevin Seidler[20]
20. 14R-Sean Rayhall[13]

B-Main #2 (15 Laps)
1. 26-Cory Eliason[1]
2. 14-Parker Price Miller[3]
3. 2-Carson Macedo[6]
4. 44S-Trey Starks[7]
5. 39M-Anthony Macri[8]
6. 17A-Austin McCarl[2]
7. 2KS-Chad Boespflug[4]
8. 73-Jake Blackhurst[5]
9. 91-Anthony Fiore[9]
10. 33M-Mason Daniel[14]
11. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[11]
12. 5J-Jeremy Schultz[15]
13. 24-Rico Abreu[10]
14. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson[18]
15. 11M-Brendan Mullen[13]
16. 05-Colin Smith[12]
17. 25-Danny Schlafer[17]
DNS: 55-Hunter Schuerenberg
DNS: 15S-Christian Bowman
DNS: 35-Skylar Prochaska

A-Main (25 Laps)
1. 49-Brad Sweet[6]
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[3]
3. 15-Donny Schatz[1]
4. 9-Kasey Kahne[5]
5. 18-Ian Madsen[2]
6. 83-Daryn Pittman[8]
7. 3-Tim Kaeding[14]
8. 2M-Kerry Madsen[16]
9. 17B-Bill Balog[10]
10. 11-Zeb Wise[7]
11. 57-Kyle Larson[13]
12. 87-Aaron Reutzel[15]
13. 04-Tony Knight[11]
14. 26-Cory Eliason[20]
15. 09-Matt Juhl[9]
16. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[18]
17. 14T-Tony Stewart[23]
18. 7S-Jason Sides[19]
19. 13-Mark Dobmeier[12]
20. 2-Carson Macedo[24]
21. 16-Brooke Tatnell[21]
22. 14-Parker Price Miller[22]
23. 7-Justin Henderson[17]
24. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey[4]