Sweet vs. Schatz: Can-Am World Finals Determines the Champion
With the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars championship battle down to two primary combatants just four races before the Nov. 7-9 Can-Am World Finals, the pair can only be introduced in a manner befitting their heavyweight bout in light-weight sprint cars - which concludes in a Saturday-night fight for supremacy at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
In the blue corner - matching the color of his No. 49 Kasey Kahne Racing entry - is Brad Sweet, who leads the Outlaws with 16 wins and an incredible 61 top-10 finishes in 67 starts. As of Wednesday, Sweet's efforts have granted him a scant 30-point lead in the standings. Sweet is a former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver who has also competed on Charlotte Motor Speedway's iconic 1.5-mile oval, but the four-tenths-mile clay ring in which Sweet hopes to emerge with the trophy is one on which Sweet has never tasted victory.
In the white corner - wearing a black firesuit and driving a white No. 15 Tony Stewart Racing machine - is the 10-time and defending champion of the world, Donny Schatz. With nine wins and a series-high 44 top-five finishes, the perennial contender may well be the underdog when the Outlaws converge on The Dirt Track at Charlotte - a venue where Schatz has an impressive 12 victories, among them the 2018 Can-Am World Finals.
Schatz or Sweet? Stewart or Kahne? Since both drivers compete for longtime NASCAR standouts and past Charlotte Motor Speedway race winners Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, bragging rights among the accomplished car owners will be at stake when the Outlaws come to town. A coveted crown captured under the lights at Charlotte's high-speed, four-tenths-mile clay oval, however, will be the ultimate prize for Schatz and Stewart or Sweet and Kahne - unless David Gravel, the third-place man in the standings and 102 points in arrears, can swoop in from the top rope with a monumental comeback.
Can-Am World Finals attendees will also see the stars of the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models and the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds in their season-ending races.
"The Can-Am World Finals pits the best dirt racers in the world against one another and we're thrilled to host this hotly anticipated sprint car title fight," said Greg Walter, the executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz are world-class winners who compete for two of the best NASCAR drivers of their generation, so our fans are sure to see a spectacle when the green flag drops and the dirt flies. Hopefully, the gloves won't come off - but we make no promises. We will sell you the whole seat, but all you're going to need is the edge.
"Tickets are still on sale, so fans should secure them soon to witness all of the action at America's Home for Racing. We're ready to rumble."