Gravel cruises to Williams Grove Outlaw victory
MECHANICSBURG –There was no stopping David Gravel at Williams Grove Speedway Saturday night as the Connecticut native led all 30 laps of the Summer Nationals main event for the World of Outlaws Sprint cars.
He earned $20,000 for his seventh career Grove win. It was his third Outlaws win of the season aboard the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41.
“We finally got a good pill draw for the dash,” Gravel said. “You wanted to start on the outside row of the dash. My goal was to finish second and we were able to do that. I knew if I started second, I could probably get the jump on the start and hopefully control the race.”
“The track was real fast around the top,” Gravel said. “Three and four was getting a little tricky. I didn’t know what the best lane was. I knew running the top I was getting a lot of momentum on exit. Cautions went my way. I didn’t have to deal with lapped traffic. When you’re out front and can control the race, it’s so much easier. When you start seventh or eighth, you’ve got to be extremely good to win these races. I’m happy to put ourselves in position and capitalize.”
Donny Schatz and Gravel, a two-time National Open winner, shared the front row to start the 30-lap Summer Nationals main event. They raced side-by-side down the frontstretch with Gravel nipping Schatz at the line completing lap one as the leader.
The red flag stopped the race with one lap completed when Tim Shaffer flipped on the frontstretch. He was OK.
Lance Dewease raced by Brad Sweet for third on the restart. Schatz slowed to a stop on the backstretch with two laps completed. He was done for the night.
Gravel controlled the restart and pulled away from Dewease as Logan Schuchart raced hard with Sweet for third.
The yellow flew again with five laps completed when Anthony Macri hit the inside frontstretch fence. He was racing with Brock Zearfoss for sixth spot.
A three-car crash on the restart in the second corner stopped the race again as the red flag was displayed. Steve Buckwalter, Kraig Kinser and Lucas Wolfe were involved. They were OK. Teams were allowed to refuel at this time.
A single-file restart ensued with Gravel pulling away from Dewease once again. He had a 1.5-second lead with 10 laps completed.
Sheldon Haudenschild slowed on the frontstretch bringing out the yellow the next lap. Friday night winner Shane Stewart pitted under the yellow and was done for the night.
Gravel continued to build his advantage to nearly a straightaway at the half-way point as Sweet passed Dewease for second, but jumped the cushion allowing Dewease to drive back by in turn two. The side-by-side battle continued for second as Gravel pulled away.
Schuchart pulled a slider on Sweet for third, but Sweet returned the pass.
Dewease finally secured second, but Gravel was 2.5 seconds ahead.
However, Danny Dietrich slowed after a big puff of smoke emerged from his car with 22 laps completed.
It didn’t matter thought as Gravel easily controlled the final laps scoring the win by 4.17 seconds over Dewease with Sweet, Schuchart and
Jacob Allen completing the top five.
“Williams Grove has been a really good place for me,” Gravel said. “My first career sprint car race was here.”
“How the race track was tonight, we weren’t very good,” Dewease said. “I got real tight after that red and Brad kept getting runs at me. We had a good race there sliding each other. I was happy to get to second. It was hard to pass. We had some good restarts.
Brent Marks, Brock Zearfoss, 23rd starter Carson Macedo, Macri and Daryn Pittman rounded out the top 10.
Stewart set quick time over the 32-car field with a lap of 17.167 seconds.
Schatz, Allen, Sweet and Zearfoss won the heat races. Schatz won the dash. Steve Buckwalter won the Last Chance Showdown.
Sprint Car Feature (30 laps): 1. David Gravel. 2. Lance Dewease. 3.Brad Sweet. 4. Logan Schuchart. 5. Jacob Allen. 6. Brent Marks. 7. Brock Zearfoss. 8. Carson Macedo. 9. Anthony Macri. 10. Daryn Pittman. 11. Freddie Rahmer. 12. Brian Montieth. 13. Parker Price-Miller. 14.TJ Stutts. 15. Robbie Kendall. 16. Danny Dietrich. 17. Bill Rose. 18. Ryan Smith. 19. Shane Stewart. 20. Sheldon Haudenschild. 21. Kraig Kinser. 22. Lucas Wolfe. 23. Steve Buckwalter. 24. Donny Schatz. 25. Tim Shaffer.
Did Not Qualify: Matt Campbell, Mason Daniel, Wayne Johnson, Jordan Givler, Troy Fraker, Bill Rose, Jason Sides, Landon Myers.