Gravel Keeps Rolling at Knoxville; Wins Wednesday Prelminary Feature

(l to r) Third place Donny Schatz, winner David Gravel, and second place Giovanni Scelzi. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 11, 2021) — KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 11, 2021) – David Gravel capped off a day where he was honored for his victory in 2019 by winning the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Qualifying Night Wednesday at Knoxville Raceway. Gravel, from Watertown, Connecticut, was honored earlier in the day having his likely revealed on the Knoxville Raceway walk of champions, raised his championship flag during pre-race ceremonies, and tracked down Justin Henderson during the closing stages of the 25-lap main event.

After the race, Gravel indicated he knew the race was winding down and was looking for the perfect opportunity to make the pass in slower traffic.

“I knew the race was coming to an end, but I couldn’t really catch him before that until he slid that lapped car and broke his momentum. I felt like I had a opportunity to get close enough to make something happen. Luckily there was lapped traffic. If he had clean air the whole time he definitely would have won the race.

Knoxville Nationals rookie of the year contender Zeb Wise and Henderson started on the front row with Wise leading into turn one before Henderson drove past for the lead.

Gravel quickly made his presence felt moving up from sixth starting position to third on lap two and immediately put pressure on Wise for second.

Giovanni Scelzi also moved up through the field in the opening stages of the feature from eighth starting spot to pass Justin Peck for the fourth spot on lap four. As that was taking place Gravel slid by Wise for second and started his pursuit of Henderson for the lead.

Scelzi continued his march forward disposing of Wise for third position on lap seven. Just after that pass Wise’s feature run came to an end after breaking a rear end in turn three, bringing out the caution flag.

Henderson pulled away during the restart and while Scelzi attempted to pressure Gravel for second. Behind them Donny Schatz made his way up to fifth and was rapidly moving forward.

With eight laps to go the complexion of the race changed when Henderson began to overtake slower traffic. Gravel quickly reduced Henderson’s lead by less than half a second with Scelzi in tow. With six laps to go Scelzi got picked by a lapped car, setting up a two-car race for the lead.

On lap 22 Gravel sealed the deal driving by Henderson for the lead and pulled away from the rest of the field. Scelzi was able to get by Henderson coming to the white flag for the second spot while Schatz passed Henderson on the final lap to round out the podium. Henderson and Justin Peck rounded out the top five.

Gravel indicated the track was considerably different than when he won the Capitani Classic and he could run the top of the race track Wednesday more effectively than during Sunday’s feature.

“They patted the top down. Sometimes they do that, sometimes they don’t,” said Gravel. “It was really easy to run for the first 15 laps, then it was starting to get kind of tricky in turns one and two. The Capitani race they didn’t knock the cushion down and it was a pretty big ledge. This was a different track tonight and that’s where I wanted to be.”

60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s
BRANDT Professional Agriculture Qualifying Night
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Knoxville Raceway
Knoxville, Iowa
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

1. 0-Brooke Tatnell, 15.208[4]
2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 15.209[2]
3. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 15.249[16]
4. 48-Danny Dietrich, 15.353[14]
5. 11-Roger Crockett, 15.365[1]
6. 15-Donny Schatz, 15.403[41]
7. 55M-McKenna Haase, 15.420[20]
8. 1M-Don Droud Jr., 15.448[6]
9. 2-David Gravel, 15.470[47]
10. 9-James McFadden, 15.472[31]
11. 83T-Tanner Carrick, 15.524[3]
12. 25-Scott Bogucki, 15.546[8]
13. 17X-Josh Baughman, 15.548[33]
14. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 15.551[9]
15. 73-Justin Peck, 15.551[18]
16. 7-Justin Henderson, 15.568[37]
17. 24-Terry McCarl, 15.596[10]
18. 28-Tim Shaffer, 15.596[34]
19. 39M-Anthony Macri, 15.619[7]
20. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 15.624[42]
21. 20-A.J. Moeller, 15.659[26]
22. 5XX-Zeb Wise, 15.663[25]
23. 11M-Spencer Bayston, 15.684[35]
24. 2KS-Chad Kemenah, 15.690[22]
25. 26-Cory Eliason, 15.703[43]
26. 27-Carson McCarl, 15.715[23]
27. 40-Clint Garner, 15.716[15]
28. 13-Mark Dobmeier, 15.728[29]
29. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 15.815[44]
30. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 15.816[48]
31. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 15.828[28]
32. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 15.846[39]
33. 07-Skylar Gee, 15.863[36]
34. 56N-Davey Heskin, 15.865[46]
35. 18R-Ryan Roberts, 15.868[17]
36. 7S-Jason Sides, 15.902[45]
37. 83A-Austin Miller, 15.937[24]
38. 21W-Riley Goodno, 15.942[19]
39. 1X-Jake Bubak, 15.973
40. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 16.007
41. 55K-Robbie Kendall, 16.029
42. 14K-Tori Knutson, 16.043
43. 2M-Matt Moro, 16.068
44. 7C-John Carney, 16.078
45. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips, 16.207
46. 9JR-Derek Hagar, 16.226
47. 56-Joe Simbro, 16.394
48. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, NT

Heat Race #1 (10 Laps):
1. 49J-Josh Schniederman[2]
2. 7S-Jason Sides[1]
3. 7-Justin Henderson[5]
4. 15-Donny Schatz[7]
5. 20-A.J. Moeller[4]
6. 27-Carson McCarl[3]
7. 0-Brooke Tatnell[8]
8. 9JR-Derek Hagar[10]
9. 83T-Tanner Carrick[6]
10. 55K-Robbie Kendall[9]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #2 (10 Laps):
1. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[2]
2. 5XX-Zeb Wise[4]
3. 40-Clint Garner[2]
4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[18]
5. 25-Scott Bogucki[6]
6. 83A-Austin Miller[2]
7. 24-Terry McCarl[5]
8. 55M-McKenna Haase[18]
9. 9G-Ryan Giles[10]
10. 14K-Tori Knutson[9]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #3 (10 Laps):
1. 21W-Riley Goodno[1]
2. 11M-Spencer Bayston[4]
3. 07-Skylar Gee[2]
4. 17X-Josh Baughman[6]
5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[8]
6. 13-Mark Dobmeier[3]
7. 1M-Don Droud Jr. [7]
8. 28-Tim Shaffer[5]
9. 2M-Matt Moro[9]
10. 56-Joe Simbro[10]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #4 (10 Laps):
1. 1X-Jake Bubakp[1]
2. 56N-Davey Heskin[2]
3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[3]
4. 2-David Gravel[7]
5. 39M-Anthony Macri[5]
6. 48-Danny Dietrich[8]
7. 2C-Wayne Johnson[6]
8. 2KS-Chad Kemenah[4]
9. 7C-John Carney[7]
DNS: 55-Hunger Schuerenberg [9]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #5 (10 Laps):
1. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[3]
2. 26-Cory Eliason[4]
3. 73-Justin Peck[6]
4. 9-James McFadden[7]
5. 11-Roger Crockett[8]
6. 5W-Lucas Wolfe[5]
7. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[1]
8. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips[9]
9. 18R-Ryan Roberts[2]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

C-Main (10 Laps):
1. 83T-Tanner Carrick[1]
2. 7C-John Carney[6]
3. 55K-Robbie Kendall[3]
4. 18R-Ryan Roberts[2]
5. 2M-Matt Moro[5]
6. 14K-Tori Knutson[4]
7. 56-Joe Simbro[8]
8. 9G-Ryan Giles[7]
DNS: Hunter Schuerenberg[9]
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

B-Main (12 Laps):
1. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2]
2. 0-Brooke Tatnell[1]
3. 48-Danny Dietrich[3]
4. 1M-Don Droud Jr.[6]
5. 11-Roger Crockett[4]
6. 39M-Anthony Macri[6]
7. 2C-Wayne Johnson[8]
8. 24-Terry McCarl[9]
9. 28-Tim Shaffer[10]
10. 5W-Lucas Wolfe[12]
11. 27-Carson McCarl[16]
12. 13-Mark Dobmeier[16]
13. 2KS-Chad Kemenah[14]
14. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips[19]
15. 55K-Robbie Kendall[23]
16. 55M-McKenna Haase[5]
17. 83T-Tanner Carrick[21]
18. 20-A.J. Moeller[13]
19. 9JR-Derek Hagar[20]
20. 18R-Ryan Roberts[24]
21. 83A-Austin Mille[17]
22. 7C-John Carney[22]
23. 6S-Jordan Goldesberry[18]
24. 25-Scott Bogucki[7]

A-Main (25 Laps):
1. 2-David Gravel[6]
2. 18-Giovani Scelzi[8]
3. 15-Donny Schatz[7]
4. 7-Justin Henderson[2]
5. 73-Justin Peck[3]
6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[12]
7. 1S-Logan Schuchart[21]
8. 9-James McFadden[5]
9. 26-Cory Eliason[10]
10. 11M-Spencer Bayston[9]
11. 17X-Josh Baughman[4]
12. 0-Brooke Tatnell[22]
13. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[13]
14. 56N-Davey Heskin[17]
15. 40-Clint Garner[11]
16. 48-Danny Dietrich[23]
17. 49J-Josh Schneiderman[14]
18. 7S-Jason Sides[18]
19. 07-Skylar Gee[16]
20. 1X-Jake Bubak[20]
21. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[15]
22. 1M-Don Droud Jr.[20]
23. 5XX-Zeb Wise[1]