BY THE NUMBERS: How Brad Sweet, Donny Schatz stack up at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
Sweet, Schatz bring historically close points battle to the Can-Am World Finals on Nov. 7-9
Story By: Nick Graziano/WoO
Photos By: Dan DeMarco/RacersGuide.com
CONCORD, NC – Oct. 31, 2019 – Two races. Two drivers. Eight points. The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship won’t be determined until the final lap of the season ending Nov. 7-9 Can-Am World Finals.
Brad Sweet currently leads reigning champion Donny Schatz by eight points heading into the final two races of the year at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Sweet is chasing his first championship, while Schatz is hunting his 11th title – sixth in-a-row.
They’ve been the most consistent drivers this year. Both have finished outside the top-10 only seven times in 70 races. They also both have more than 40 top-five finishes – Sweet, 45, and Schatz, 46.
Sweet will end the season as the winningest driver – the first time in seven years someone other than Schatz ended the year with the most wins. That statistic will help Sweet secure the championship if there is a tie in points after the final race. The tie breaker is determined by the greatest number of wins during the season.
If history repeats itself a tie is possible. Schatz gained eight points on Sweet during last year’s World Finals. However, the two years prior Schatz gained 36 points on Sweet.
They’ll have two races at The Dirt Track at Charlotte to put a period on their historically close points battle and be crowned the 2019 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion.
Here’s how Sweet and Schatz have performed at The Dirt Track at Charlotte since 2014 (Sweet’s first full-time season):
Sweet has yet to win at the 4/10-mile Charlotte dirt track, however he is the winningest driver on 4/10-mile tracks this year – two wins at the Jackson Motorplex and one at Lernerville Speedway. His best finish at Charlotte, so far, this year is fourth in May at the Patriot Nationals.
Statistics at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (2014-2019)
Top 5s: 7
Top 10s: 12
Laps led: 28
Best finish: 2nd
Worst finish: 18th
Average finish: 7.8
Points +/- on Schatz at World Finals
Sweet on going for his first championship:
“We’ve won the Kings Royal and the Knoxville Nationals, the next thing to do would be to win a World of Outlaws championship. You only get these opportunities so often. We’ve never been in this situation before, this close to Donny. You never know what next year brings. We just really want to capitalize on the opportunity we have in front of us. It’s never easy to beat a ten-time champ, so we know we have to be perfect.”
Schatz has led laps and won at least one race at the Charlotte dirt track every year since 2015. His best finish at the track this year, so far, is seventh in May. He led 11 laps in May before blowing a tire. He also gained eight points on Sweet during the May Patriot Nationals doubleheader.
Statistics at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (2014-2019)
Wins: 12 (2000-2019)
Top 5s: 11
Top 10s: 15
Laps led: 105
Best finish: 1st
Worst finish: 11th
Average finish: 4.6
Points +/- on Sweet at World Finals
Schatz on going for his 11th championship:
“I have all the faith in the world in everyone at Tony Stewart Racing. I’ve been here twelve plus years and I hope I’m here that long going forward, still being competitive. Right now, we’re at that point where we’ve got to build back up to where we want to be, the king of the hill. We’re not there right now but that’s part of it. We’ve been in that position for a long time. We’ll get there again.”
THE DIRT TRACK AT CHARLOTTE
In May 2000, the state-of-the art dirt track was completed across Highway 29 from Charlotte Motor Speedway. It seats a 14,000 people and hosts events such as the Patriot Nationals, World Short Track Championship and Can-Am World Finals.
Track size: 4/10-mile
Track layout: Semi-banked
Track record: 11.880 sec. set by Jeff Shepard on Oct. 6, 2001
Phone: (800) 455-FANS
2019 – Giovanni Scelzi on May 24, Logan Schuchart on May 25
2018 – Donny Schatz on May 25, Ian Madsen and Donny Schatz on Nov. 3
2017 – Logan Schuchart on May 26, Donny Schatz on Nov. 3, David Gravel on Nov. 4
2016 – Greg Wilson on May 27, Jason Johnson on Oct. 28, Donny Schatz on Oct. 29
2015 – Donny Schatz on May 22, Dusty Zomer on Nov. 6, Donny Schatz on Nov. 7
2014 – Joey Saldana on May 23, Daryn Pittman on Nov. 7, Brian Brown Nov. 8
2013 – Paul McMahan on May 24, Donny Schatz on Nov. 8, Paul McMahan on Nov. 9
2012 – Joey Saldana on May 25, Sammy Swindell on Nov. 2, Dale Blaney on Nov. 3
2011 – Paul McMahan on May 28, Donny Schatz on Nov. 5, Donny Schatz on Nov. 6
2010 – Donny Schatz on May 29, Jason Meyers on Sept. 6, Jason Meyers on Sept. 6
2009 – Joey Saldana on May 22, Jason Meyers on Nov. 6, Joey Saldana on Nov. 7
2008 – Lance Dewease on May 23, Brooke Tatnell on Oct. 31, Donny Schatz on Nov. 1
2007 – Donny Schatz on May 25, Jason Meyers on Nov. 2, Steve Kinser on Nov. 3
2006 – Kevin Swindell on May 24
2003 – Blake Feese on May 24
2002 – Greg Hodnett on May 24, Greg Hodnett on May 25, Tyler Walker on Oct. 11, Daryn Pittman on Oct. 12
2001 – Danny Lasoski on May 26, Mark Kinser on May 26, Tim Shaffer on Oct. 5, Steve Kinser on Oct. 6
2000 – Sammy Swindell on May 25, Mark Kinser on May 26, Donny Schatz on Oct. 5, Mark Kinser on Oct. 6