BARBERVILLE, FLORIDA (February 7, 2020) – After a long off season and two nights of racing action with the All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) to kick off the 49th Annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, it was time to run the first World of Outlaws race in the 2020 decade. David Gravel, after practicing in his ARCA ride with GMS over at Daytona International Speedway, was in the pit area with his JJR #41 team. There were 36 teams entered to compete against some of the best in the business World of Outlaws style!
The beautiful LogoDaddy designed Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication #41 Maxim forty-one rolled out of the back of the trailer as Philip, Clyde and Nate prepared their speed chariot for some high speed racing action around Volusia Speedway Park. Gravel would be the tenth car out for his two laps against the clock and he didn’t waste a second once he got up to speed. His Hoosier Racing Tires dug into the track’s surface and his Kistler Engine made the power needed to turn a quick lap of 13.015 seconds the first time around. That time vaulted him to the top of the speed charts where after collecting 21 quick times last season (2019) he would start the 2020 season with his first overall quick time of the year.
When the four Drydene Heat Race lineups were posted, David would start on the pole in the first and fastest heat race by qualifying times with Kerry Madsen to his outside. Shane Stewart and Cory Eliason were side-by-side in row two with Kyle Larson, Brock Zearfoss, Sheldon Haudenschild, Terry McCarl and Greg Wilson completing the starting order. Gravel and Madsen brought the field to the starting chalk in turn four with Madsen getting the slight edge before Gravel drove into the lead going into turn one. Madsen used his momentum on the top side to wrestle the lead away from Gravel exiting turn two and led lap one. Gravel continued to chase the leader throughout the eight laps but was unable to get close enough to position himself for a pass. Madsen would go on to take the heat race win over Gravel’s High Performance Lubricants, LLC/Waco Metal #41 Maxim by 0.746 seconds with Cory Eliason coming home third as Shane Stewart and Kyle Larson secured the last two transfer positions.
Qualifying for the 6-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, Gravel drew the seven pill which put in in the last row with Kerry Madsen to start the event with Parker Price-Miller’s Dietz Motorsports #14P car sitting on the front row along with Logan Schuchart. In between the front row and the back row, the other two rows were filled with talent like Sam Hafertepe Jr, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman. No easy tasks to say the least, but that is what makes World of Outlaw sprint car racing so exciting. When the green flag dropped, Donny Schatz wasted no time asserting himself as he took the lead and showed the way. David has a fast hotrod and was fighting for position with Sweet through the event. Schatz took the victory over Schuchart, Pittman, Price-Miller and Madsen with Sweet, Gravel and Hafertepe Jr. completing the finishing order.
The 8-minute horn sounded alerting the teams and drivers to complete their final changes and preparations to roll their entries to the staging area for the 30-lap feature event. The first four rows were set. The track officials had the surface ready. It was time to go racing under the Floridian night. A total of 27 cars were set to start the event, with three drivers taking provisional starting spots, as the field went four-wide to salute the diehard fans of the sport. When the engines came to life it was Logan Schuchart driving into the lead with Schatz right behind as Gravel was wheeling his Tiger Towing/Pro Powder Coating (PPC) #41 in the seventh position. The talented driver of the forty-one had speed and was being patient in the early stages of the race as the track evolved. Donny Schatz blasted by Schuchart into the lead and was setting the pace for the field to attempt to match. The track surface was changing as the fast lined seemed to be around the top. But as the laps clicked down, it was David Gravel using the low line to generate speed and make some passes. He started to pick up some positions with 7 laps to go and moved into the top five with 6 to go. He passed Parker Price-Miller to garner the fourth position and held that until the last lap when Price-Miller passed him back. Donny Schatz collected the win over Schuchart and Sweet with Price-Miller and Gravel rounding out the top five. A great start to the 2020 season for Gravel and the JJR #41 team!
Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution; Weikert’s Livestock; J.R.C. Transportation, Inc.; Durst Inc.; Maxim Racing; The Boyd Family; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Waco Metal; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; Tiger Towing; All Pro Auto Reconditioning; AutoMeter; Bell Racing USA; Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS); Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; C&R Racing; Chalk Stix Torsion Bars; Crow Enterprizes, Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne FK Shocks; Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Fuel Safe Racing Cells; Greber Racing Components; Hoosier Racing Tire; ISC Racers Tape; Jansen Transportation; K&N Filters; Kistler Racing Engines; KSE Racing Products; LogoDaddy Graphics; Max Papis Innovations (MPI); MSD Performance; RaceDiecast.com; Schoenfeld Headers; Shell Shock Paint; Simpson Race Products; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Vortex Racing Products; Walker Performance Filtration; Weld Wheels; Wilwood Racing; and Winters Performance Products.
To stay connected with Jason Johnson Racing (JJR), go to www.jasonjohnsonracing.com.
To stay up-to-date with David Gravel and his success and journey on and off the track, as well as to purchase his gear and merchandise, go to www.DavidGravel89.com.