PEVELY, Mo. – Big Game Motorsports driver David Gravel of Watertown produced a pair of top-10 finishes last weekend during a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series doubleheader at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
Gravel charged from 19th to eighth; he also recorded a sixth-place showing to give him a dozen top 10s in 13 races this year.
The weekend started on a frustrating note as Gravel qualified 22nd quickest on the high-banked oval.
“It started off really bad qualifying where we did,” he said. “Our pill draw didn’t help us and the qualifying was so tight. Starting eighth in the heat race is not ideal. Three hundredths of a second would have put us a couple of rows forward to start our heat race.”
Gravel advanced one position to place seventh in his heat race. That relegated him to the Last Chance Showdown for the first time this season. Gravel won the race to transfer into the back of the main event.
“We threw something at it for the A Main and got the car really good,” he said. “We could have bowed down and started in the back and finished in the back, but we were able to recover and get a solid finish. There’s about 12 cars at a majority of these races that can win every night. It’s pretty tough to finish up front every night. Nothing is handed to us, especially this year. You have to work for every position.”
Gravel did that by rallying from 19th to eighth in the 30-lap feature, marking the second-most positions gained.
The finale got off to a better start as Gravel set quick time during qualifying. He then won a heat race from the pole position to advance into the dash. A fifth-place finish in the dash lined him up on the inside of the third row for the main event.
“We were pretty decent in the A Main,” he said. “We maintained with everybody in the front. I just wasn’t good enough to make stuff happen to challenge for a podium finish. We fell back one spot, but it was a pretty strong sixth. I had to commit to the outside of the track and it was hard to make moves on guys.
“We had a good baseline. The track stayed wetter than we thought it would all night. It’s one of those things that when we go there next time it will be a lot warmer out so the track will transition differently.”
Gravel’s sixth-place result marked his seventh straight top-10 finish.
QUICK RESULTS – Day One at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. – Qualifying: 22; Heat race: 7 (8); B Main: 1 (3); Feature: 8 (19)...Day Two at Federated Auto Parts Raceway – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 5 (4); Feature: 6 (5).
SEASON STATS – 13 races, 1 win, 7 top fives, 12 top 10s, 13 top 15s, 13 top 20s.