Series spotlight - Kasey Kahne, team owner

KAHNE HOPES FOR "SWEET" SUCCESS THIS WEEKEND Kasey Kahne will be keeping an eye on this weekend's USAC Mopar National Midget races in the Midwest as his USAC driver Brad Sweet tries to take the series point lead from Darren Hagen. Sweet, of...

KAHNE HOPES FOR "SWEET" SUCCESS THIS WEEKEND

Kasey Kahne will be keeping an eye on this weekend's USAC Mopar National Midget races in the Midwest as his USAC driver Brad Sweet tries to take the series point lead from Darren Hagen.

Sweet, of Grass Valley, Calif., will pilot Kahne's Ollie's Bargain Outlet Beast/Speedway Mopar in Saturday night's "JEGS Crown Midget Super Nationals" program at the Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway, then tackle Sunday's 100-lap race at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. Sweet trails Hagen by 20 points in the latest series standings.

Sweet won the 2009 "Copper on Dirt" National series opener Feb. 21 at Phoenix, Ariz. and added a fourth-place finish at Perris, Calif. a week later. Last year he won the Knoxville Midget Nationals in Iowa and the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas on his way to third in the series standings behind Cole Whitt and Tracy Hines.

Saturday will mark Sweet's initial outing at Columbus and he hasn't fared well in two previous Anderson attempts. Although he has yet to win on the pavement, he has three previous "top-10" finishes in only 11 starts, including a fifth at West Salem, Wisc. last year and an eighth in last year's "Night Before the 500" classic at Indianapolis.

"I guess I'm not a pavement driver, really," admits Sweet, whose first pavement race was last year, after five years racing on the dirt. "But we are getting better and the more laps we run the better we'll get. We've got a young team and we're all learning the pavement and some times we're way off but we were fast in practice at Kyle, Texas last month. Unfortunately we had motor problems and had to start in the back. We struggled last year at Anderson but I think we've made big gains since then. Friday's Columbus practice will give us an opportunity to fine tune and get ready for the weekend. I've watched a tape of Columbus and I think we'll be OK."

Sweet's car will be on display Thursday from noon to 4 pm (ET) at the JEGS retail store at 751 E. 11th Avenue in Columbus. The car will also be on display Thursday night from 5-8 pm at the Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant at I-71 and Polaris Parkway in northern Columbus.

Tickets for the "JEGS Crown Midget Super Nationals" USAC races at Columbus Motor Speedway can be obtained at either display location or at the track on race day. Tickets for Sunday's races at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway can be obtained by calling the track at 765-642-0206.

-credit: --USAC--

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Series USAC
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Tracy Hines , Darren Hagen , Cole Whitt , Brad Sweet