BRANDON, SOUTH DAKOTA – After a 10th place finish due largely in part to a worn-out right rear tire the evening before, David Gravel of Watertown and his Jason Johnson #41 raceing team went back to work on September 6 at Huset’s Speedway for a World of Outlaws race.
While most of us were cooking out and enjoying time in the pool, Gravel was one of 38 drivers and teams were ready to do battle in their sprint cars as they were vying for the $20,000 winner’s check.
For openers, Gravel would be the fourth car out on the track in Flight B his two-lap race against the stopwatch.
The second (and quicker) of his two was the second quick overall on the night behind Kyle Larson at 10.725 seconds.
In the heat race, Gravel, for the 29th time this season, earned a starting position in the Fast Pass Dash. His luck drawing a number has been subpar all year, but when he pulled his pill, a smile flashed across his face, it was plain to see he got a good number.
That number was a ‘1’, which positioned him on the pole for the 8-lap dash event. Gravel was close, posting a second place finish behind Gio Scelzi.
With his finish in the dash event, Gravel secured a front row starting spot for the 35-lap, $20,000-to-win feature finale.
Scelzi and Gravel were on row one with the battle lying in front of them. Gravel held the runner-up position after the first lap, quickly focusing on tracking down the leader.
He was making progress before a red flag was thrown on lap 5 for Wayne Johnson who flipped after contact with Sammy Swindell right in front of Gravel. They restarted and Gravel was trying to keep pace with the always-fast Scelzi.
The drivers went back to work with Scelzi commanding the lead. Macedo had a great start and drove from fourth to second at the start.
Alternating between second and third places, Gravel, with 15 laps remaining, could not generate any momentum as yellow caution lights came faster and faster, sometimes after less than one lap of green-flag racing.
With 11 laps to go, the yellow was again back out; the final caution of the night occurred with three laps to go when Jacob Allen spun with Larson leading Gio Scelzi, Gravel, James McFadden and Parker Price-Miller.
Larson used the open track to his advantage and bolted into lead on the final restart. Gravel drove under Scelzi as McFadden followed and also made the pass on Gravel.
Larson went on to collect his tenth World of Outlaws win of the year over McFadden, with Gravel in third to round out the podium finishers.
UP AHEAD: On Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12, Gravel and the JJR team will participate in World of Outlaws events at the Dodge City Raceway Park in Dodge City, Kansas.