Gravel Passes Schuchart to Win at Hartford

David Gravel with Jax Johnson in victory lane at Hartford Motor Speedway. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

HARTFORD, Mi. (July 12, 2019) — David Gravel used some late race heroics to retake the lead from Logan Schuchart after a restart to win Friday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series event at Hartford Motor Speedway. The win was Gravel’s fourth this season and made him the first repeat winner of a World of Outlaws main event at Hartford, previously winning in 2017.

“I tried to be under his left rear and tried to stick my nose. I knew I had to throw it in on him at the start, or else I wasn’t going to win. If I didn’t get by him in one and two, I wasn’t going to win that race. I did everything I could do. I didn’t really beat him into the corner, but I fed him some pressure and was able to hit the bottom and kind squirt off good enough and get it done”.

The initial start of the event was short lived when several cars came together with Brian Paulus and Max Stambaugh getting upside down in turn two. Both drivers exited their cars under their own power. The crash also collected Jacob Allen and World of Outlaws point leader Brad Sweet. Sweet’s team with the assistance from several other crews swapped a front end, right rear tire, and top win to rejoin the field. Allen also was able to make the restart.

Carson Macedo led the second attempt to start the feature with Gravel and Tim Kaeding in close pursuit. After a caution on lap seven Macedo and Gravel separated themselves from the rest of the field. Further back Logan Schuchart was charging from his ninth starting spot driving around Ian Madsen for third on lap on 14.

Up front Gravel continued to pressure Macedo and was able to drive around the high side on lap 16 to take the lead. Schuchart took second from Macedo on lap 24 and quickly closed in on Gravel. With five laps to go Schuchart caught Gravel in traffic and drove around the outside of him for the lead.

Right after Schuchart took the lead the final caution with Daryn Pittman and Kaeding making repairs in the work area and returning to the back of the field.

Gravel quickly took advantage of the final restart driving around Schuchart for a lead he would not relinquish. Schuchart held on for second with Donny Schatz, Macedo, and Kraig Kinser rounding out the top five. Sweet was able to salvage his night with a charge from the back of the field up to sixth.

After coming close to victory recently Gravel, from Watertown, Connecticut was thrilled to finally break through.

“It feels good, we’ve been close,” said Gravel of himself and the Jason Johnson Racing team. “We’ve had a couple of seconds the last couple of weeks and led some races but let them slip away late in races. I’m happy to redeem myself.”

In the Lane Automotive Michigan Traditional Sprints Steve Irwin drove up from sixth starting spot to win the main event.

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 41-David Gravel [2][$10,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [9][$5,500]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [3][$3,200]; 4. 2-Carson Macedo [1][$2,800]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [10][$2,500]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet [7][$2,300]; 7. 18-Ian Madsen [6][$2,200]; 8. 9-James McFadden [13][$2,100]; 9. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [15][$2,050]; 10. 5-Shane Stewart [8][$2,000]; 11. 19-Brent Marks [14][$1,500]; 12. 7S-Tim Kaeding [4][$1,200]; 13. 83-Daryn Pittman [17][$1,100]; 14. 7-Jason Sides [5][$1,050]; 15. 81-Lee Jacobs [16][$1,000]; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen [22][$900]; 17. 17B-Bill Balog [12][$800]; 18. 23-Russel Borland [19][$800]; 19. 97-Max Stambaugh [11][$800]; 20. 2L-Landon Lalonde [18][$800]; 21. 28-Brian Paulus [21][$800]; 22. 39-Tyler Rankin [20][$800]; 23. 71H-Ryan Ruhl [23][$800]; Lap Leaders: Carson Macedo 1-16; David Gravel 17-26, 28-30; Logan Schuchart 27; KSE Hard Charger Award: 1S-Logan Schuchart[+7]

Qualifying – 1. 7S-Tim Kaeding, 14.014; 2. 2-Carson Macedo, 14.53; 3. 7-Jason Sides, 14.664; 4. 9-James McFadden, 14.702; 5. 71H-Ryan Ruhl, 14.714; 6. 5-Shane Stewart, 14.787; 7. 18-Ian Madsen, 14.823; 8. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.824; 9. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.859; 10. 17B-Bill Balog, 14.882; 11. 41-David Gravel, 14.915; 12. 19-Brent Marks, 14.948; 13. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 15.122; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.202; 15. 97-Max Stambaugh, 15.206; 16. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 15.363; 17. 81-Lee Jacobs, 15.492; 18. 83-Daryn Pittman, 15.578; 19. 2L-Landon Lalonde, 15.653; 20. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.702; 21. 39-Tyler Rankin, 15.893; 22. 28-Brian Paulus, 16.232; 23. 23-Russel Borland, 16.326