By DDR Motorsports PR, Bill Miller photo
Watertown, Conn.—May 7, 2012 —To say that David Gravel knows how to put together a fast lap at Eldora Speedway is an understatement. In two nights, in two different cars, with two different engines, Gravel set fast time at the famed half-mile. Gravel’s first trip to Eldora may have been unforgettable, but after setting fast time, leading the main event, and scoring his first top-five finish at the track, this visit was a weekend to remember.
Friday night presented many twists and turns for all competitors. Gravel’s night began on a high note as he set quick time, securing himself a Top-10 starting spot in Friday’s A-Main. In the dash, the Connecticut driver raced his way into the Top-Three. He lined up third for the main event, and first felt heat from eventual race winner Chad Kemenah.
Over the early laps of the main event, Gravel battled both Kemenah and Dale Blaney for position. At the first red-flag on Lap-16, Gravel restarted in the fourth position. Over the next few laps the action was fast-paced and the caution flag few several more times. As competitors in front of Gravel ran into their own troubles such as flat tires, the native of Watertown, Conn., found himself at the front of the pack.
As the leader, Gravel chose the outside lane for the Lap-24 restart. The 20-year-old tried to get an edge over Kerry Madsen, but the two touched in turn two sending both tumbling. With severe damage, Gravel’s night came to an end with a 14th-place finish.
“It was awesome to get to lead tonight at Eldora,” Gravel explained. “It would have been really cool to get my second win with the Outlaws here, but that’s racing. I will take it with a grain of salt and move on to tomorrow night.”
The damage from the on-track incident from the previous night was serious enough that Gravel and his No. 89G crew were forced to piece together a backup car. With a completely new chassis and engine, most would have counted the young driver out, but for the second night in-a-row he set a blistering pace and recorded quick time.
“Setting quick time with the Outlaws two nights in a row is amazing,” Gravel stated. “I did that once in a 360 race here, but to come out here and set quick time with the World of Outlaws is awesome. Tonight we had a different car and a different engine, so it shows the caliber of this team and how solid our equipment is. Accomplishing this is just great for our team. We came in here with a great set up and I was able to get a good lap both nights. The guys have done a great job with the car to get everything running well. Tonight’s effort was a result of the combination of a great team, car, and lap.”
As a result of his speed at the famous half-mile, Gravel transferred into the dash and picked up the sixth starting position for the feature. Unlike the previous night, the feature event was fairly uneventful. During the early laps of the race, the East Coast pilot tried to make the bottom line work, but the high line was the fastest way around the track.
Ten laps into the feature, Gravel had solidly established himself in the fifth position and was using the high-line to his advantage. The first caution flew on Lap-24 and on the restart, Gravel found himself in a battle with Craig Dollansky for position. The two dueling, allowed Steve Kinser to close and join the fray.
The final caution flag flew with just a few laps to go. Gravel capitalized on the restart which saw him jump from the seventh running position to fourth. At the end of the two-day event, Gravel picked up his first Top-5 finish with the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway, and his second of the season with the series.
“They definitely knew I was there last night and to back it up tonight shows that I am not just a one race wonder,” Gravel said after finishing fourth. “To get a fourth-place finish and quick time is pretty awesome. I would say this weekend was a success because we had the speed that we needed. Things just did not go the way we wanted them to go last night. I am excited to come back here for the King’s Royal and will have a lot more confidence returning to Eldora.”
Next weekend, Gravel will be returning to the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions, where he is currently third in points, as they race at Mercer Raceway Park in Pennsylvania on Saturday, May 12.
David Gravel and DDR Motorsports would like to thank: J&J Chassis, JRC Transportation, Kistler Engines, Musco Fuels and P&M Transportation for their continued support.
Keep up with all the action:
Follow David Gravel on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DavidGravel89g and receive live updates from the track each and every race night. Results are also posted to the David Gravel Racing site on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Gravel-Racing/143538695709198.