By DDR Motorsports PR
Watertown, Conn.—June 6, 2012 — In winged sprint car racing, it’s often said that when a team heads to the East Coast — mainly Central Pennsylvania — that it’s a good measuring stick to see how they stack up against the always tough competition. David Gravel has made a couple of trips to Central Pennsylvania this year and will make a third this weekend, as he returns to action with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champion.
The weekend opens for Gravel on Friday, June 8, at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., followed by a trip to Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa., on Saturday, June 9, and concludes with a visit to Utica-Rome Speedway in New York on Sunday, June 10.
Gravel has competed at Williams Grove Speedway twice this season. He recorded a 12th-place finish with the All Stars at the half-mile on April 27, winning a heat race in that event. He also finished 12th in a weekly show at the track in the early spring. Gravel has competed at the legendary oval five times over the last two seasons, including in the National Open last fall, an event at which he set fast time at in 2010.
“Every time we go to Williams Grove we get a little better,” said Gravel. “Hopefully this week we can do even better than we did last time and make it into the dash. Making it in the dash is very important there and starting toward the front is a big key to being in contention. I’m definitely excited to head over there.”
Gravel competed once at the three-eighths-mile Lincoln Speedway last season with the All Stars, picking up a heat race win and finishing 20th in the main event. He turned in a career-best qualifying effort at the high-banked three-eighths-mile in 2010, when he was ninth-fastest in an All Stars event. The native of Watertown, Conn., has competed on six three-eighths-mile tracks this season, picking up six Top-10 finishes, including a runner-up performance on the opening night of the season at Screven Speedway in Georgia.
“Lincoln is a tough place,” explained Gravel. “I’ve struggled there quite a bit, but we have been running better there the last few times we’ve gone there. It’s a unique track and the corners are pretty tricky. Getting a good qualifying lap is always important there, as well as transferring from your heat race into the main event.”
Gravel competed at the half-mile Utica-Rome Speedway with the All Stars in 2010, turning the fastest lap in qualifying of the 23 drivers that were in attendance. He won a heat race that night and finished 11th in the main event. Gravel has raced twice this season in the state of New York, with both of those starts coming with the World of Outlaws at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park and Orange County Fair Speedway, where he came home fifth.
“Utica-Rome has some banking to it and is a pretty racy place,” Gravel said. “It tends to slick off a lot. It’s pretty similar to most New York tracks, in that it slows down as the night goes on. Just like everywhere else, if you get a good pill draw, qualifying well and get in the dash, you set yourself up for a good feature.”
Last weekend, Gravel competed with the World of Outlaws at the reconfigured three-eighths-mile I-96 Speedway in Michigan. The young driver won the dash to earn the pole position for the 35-lap main event, where he jumped out to the lead and would pace the first nine circuits. He was running third on the 17th-lap when contact with another car led to a spin. After a trip to the work area, Gravel restarted at the tail of the field and gained a couple of spots over the second half of the race to finish 18th.
“I was definitely bummed about what happened, but we were fast,” noted Gravel. “We won the dash and we running third when it all crashed down, so that is disappointing. Hopefully we can carry the speed into the next few races and put that one behind us.”
The races on the East Coast this weekend will be the first three of 12 for Gravel this month with the All Stars. Ohio Speedweek will encompass the majority of those events at the end of the month, as the All Stars hit the track for nine races in nine nights across the Buckeye state.
“That’s why we have a big trailer and are prepared,” explained Gravel when asked about running three straight nights. “We’ll be prepared and have the cars ready to go. We have some spare engines that are ready as well. Tyler (Swank) and Kyle (Ripper) work hard all the time and make sure I have a fast car when we unload.”
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.
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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.