KKR & Brad Sweet Top 23rd Annual COMP Cams® Short Track Nationals

The 23rd Annual COMP Cams® Short Track Nationals, held at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas, October 27th-30th, 2010 saw a record car count, record crowd and a first time winner

When Sprint Car fans think about October, the first event that comes to mind is the annual Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway. The event showcases the top winged warriors in the nation going wheel-to-wheel each year in the richest payout in the country for 360c.i. Sprint Cars. The 2010 event was headlined by a purse in excess of $100,000 that included a $15,000 winner’s share and $2,300 just to start the coveted main event. For the 2010 edition of the event Memphis, Tennessee-based COMP Cams® came on board as the title sponsor, and the results were undeniably spectacular.

The 23rd Annual COMP Cams® Short Track Nationals saw 125 cars from across the country enter the event, which shattered the old record of 108 cars. The event was also marked by phenomenal crowds, which saw record attendance each night. After a practice night on Wednesday, October 27, the event officially opened with a preliminary event on Thursday night, which saw a field of 55 cars take part in the action. A furious night of racing was held, and when the final checkered flag dropped on the event, it was Sam Hafertepe Jr. from Sunnyvale, Texas, who claimed the win, while Sammy Swindell and Greg Wilson finished out the top three to lock into Saturday’s finale.

On Friday, a fresh field of 70 competitors entered the second qualifying night, and it was Kasey Kahne Racing’s Brad Sweet from Grass Valley, California, who topped the action as Brandon Wimmer and Chad Kemenah finished in the show positions to earn automatic starting spots in Saturday night’s finale.

For Saturday’s main event, a massive crowd flooded into the I-30 Speedway as 125 cars took part in the program. With six cars already locked into the feature from Thursday and Friday’s preliminary programs, an additional fifteen cars raced their way into the program to bring the total starting grid to twenty-one competitors. In what proved to be a drama filled feature, it was Greg Wilson who bolted to the lead early in the feature event. He set the pace for the first 28 laps. However, as the leaders exited turn four to come to the white flag, second place runner, Hafertepe Jr., made contact with Wilson, causing both cars to wash up the track. As the top two cars attempted to recover from the contact, third place runner, Brad Sweet, slipped by on the low side to take the lead. Sweet led the final lap to claim the 23rd Annual COMP Cams® Short Track Nationals title in only his second appearance at the track.

In victory lane, Sweet acknowledged that luck was definitely a factor in his win. “They (Wilson and Hafertepe Jr.) were battling hard for a $15,000 win and got together just enough, I was just barely able to shoot through the gap,” Sweet explained after becoming the 16th different winner in the storied history of COMP Cams® Short Track Nationals lore.

With the win, Sweet joined an elite list of former champions that includes Tony Bruce Jr., Sammy Swindell, Jason Johnson, Tim Crawley, Wayne Johnson, Jason Sides, Steve Kinser and the event’s only four time winner, Gary Wright.

After being involved in the record-setting 2010 edition of the event, COMP Cams® now looks ahead to the future. Chris Douglas, Vice President of Marketing for COMP®, comments “COMP Cams could not be more thrilled with the results of the 23rd Annual Short Track Nationals. This event is truly one of a kind and exemplifies everything that racing represents. We are extremely excited about 2011, and our continued relationship with the event.”

For more information about the 23rd Annual COMP Cams® Short Track Nationals, visit www.compcams.com or www.i-30speedway.com/. For more information about any COMP Cams® valve train products, please call 1-800-999-0853, or visit us online at www.compcams.com.

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