NEW RICHMOND, WISCONSIN (July 5, 2019) – The team continued the Fourth of July weekend of high speed racing action as they trekked to New Richmond, Wisconsin on Friday night for the first of two nights of racing in the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown at Cedar Lake Speedway. The JJR #41 team was one of 26 teams registered at the pit gate and lined up in the pit area on this night to compete in their Durst, Inc./Jansen Transportation #41 Maxim. Unfortunately, the precipitation that has been following the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series around the country this season had elected to find them again as dark clouds replaced the crisp blue skies from earlier in the day as the night went on creating some havoc. Track officials did an absolutely terrific job navigating around the obstacles the rain imposed most of the night.
David Gravel would be the eighth car out for his two time trial laps around Cedar Lake’s 3/8-mile, high banked clay oval. Jac Haudenschild went out third and sat atop the speed charts with a lap of 11.127 seconds when Gravel rolled onto the track in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution #41. The Watertown, Connecticut driver got the forty-one up to speed and was so close to bumping Haudenschild from the top spot with a lap of 11.177 seconds the first time around. He stayed on the hammer and his Kistler Engines power delivered the second time around with a lap that stopped the clock at 11.072 seconds. Gravel cleared the scales and headed back to the hauler with his Schoenfeld Headers still steaming with heat as the team waited to see if their driver’s fastest time could stand the test of time throughout the remainder of the qualifiers. The time withstood all comers and Gravel and the JJR #41 team collected their eleventh quick time of the 2019 season over Shane Stewart who was close to knocking them out of the top spot with a lap of 11.079 seconds.
The reward . . . well racing in the quickest heat race, heat one, by time trial speeds. That is exactly what makes this sport so incredible and why these drivers help each other continually get better as they compete. This heat race field was loaded with some of the best in the business, including David Gravel as he would pace the field aboard his Durst Inc./MSD Performance #41 Maxim from the pole position with 10-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz on the outside of the front row. The two talented drivers would be followed by Brad Sweet, Carson Macedo, Kraig Kinser, Ian Madsen, Brent Marks, Mark Dobmeier and Tori Knutson. But they would have to wait as just after opening ceremonies a rain shower moved in and they were under a weather delay. When the rain cleared and the officials had the track ready, the flagman unfurled the green flag over the field in the first heat race and Schatz used the outside lane to drive into the lead. Gravel was running hard of the wet and fast surface as he settled into the runner-up position as Sweet started to apply pressure on the driver of the forty-one. The ten laps would go by quickly, and when the checkered flag waved it was Schatz taking the win over Gravel by 1.493 seconds, as the top two locked into the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, with Sweet, Macedo, and Ian Madsen rounding out the top five as Brent Marks secured the sixth and final transfer position to the feature event.
The six cars that earned a spot in the DIRTVision Fast Pass were on the track for the eight lap event with the finishing order setting the starting positions for the first three rows in the feature. David Gravel was perched on the pole with Schatz to his outside once again as Shane Stewart, Jacob Allen, Kerry Madsen and Jason Sides rounded out the starting grid. Schatz once gain leaped into the lead from the outside as Gravel and Shane Stewart were battling for the runner-up position. Gravel was wheeling the Jonestown KOA/C&R Racing #41 Maxim Racing entry trying to find the fastest way around. Schatz was checking out, but Gravel still was contending with the hard charging Stewart. Schatz would win the dash by 2.250 seconds over Gravel as the front two were followed across the finish line by Allen, Stewart, Madsen and Sides.
A light rain shower once again passed over the speedway delaying the start of the 35-lap FVP Platinum Battery Showdown feature event. The drivers and teams waited patiently as the push trucks packed the track in and prepared it for racing after the third rain delay of the evening. After the traditional print cars completed their feature, the horn sounded summoning all of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series competitors who made the show to the speedway. Gravel climbed into the All Pro Auto Reconditioning/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions #41 and rolled onto the speedway to await a push truck to fire his engine. It was go time at Cedar Lake Speedway! Pacing the field from the outside of the front row with Donny Schatz sitting on the pole, Gravel was focused and poised to get up to speed. When the green lights replaced the yellow ones, Gravel returned the favor and used the outside lane to generate momentum using his Kistler Engines/Engler Machine & Tool power to drive into the early lead over Schatz and Shane Stewart. A caution would fly for a slowing Brooke Tatnell and when they went back to green it was Stewart making a run on Gravel for the lead. Gravel held off Stewart and with seven laps in the books the red flag was thrown for Jac Haudenschild who flipped exiting turn four after making contact with another car. While the track crews were working on getting Haudenschild’s #3 car right side up the rains returned over Cedar Lake Speedway. This time the precipitation was harder and the cars were sent back to the pit area. After the rain continued, track and World of Outlaws officials collaboratively made the decision to postpone the remaining 28 laps until Saturday night with Gravel leading Stewart, Schatz and Sweet with Jacob Allen holding down the fifth position.
After waiting overnight, almost 18 hours, the sun was shining and it was time to finish Friday night’s business. There were 28 laps remaining with Gravel in the lead aboard the Weikert’s Livestock/J.R.C. Transportation #41 Maxim. Gravel chose the inside line to restart the race with 28 laps to go, and when the green flag waved second place running Shane Stewart and third place running Donny Schatz split David at the start relegating him back to third. He got pushed back one more position after losing the position to Brad Sweet in the running order on lap 12 when Jason Sides rolled to a stop with mechanical issues. At the same time, current series point leader Sweet rolled to a stop and could not continue. It was Schatz, Stewart, Gravel, Sheldon Haudenschild and Jacob Allen in the top five. The race restarted and Haudenschild was railing the outside and he was fast. He got by Gravel and the red was thrown for Colin Smith who flipped in the #O5. On the restart, Schatz was still in command of the lead but Gravel got shuffled back to the sixth position. He would fight back up to fourth, but the racing was close. Two cautions were thrown, one for Mark Dobmeier who spun and one for Carson Macedo with 12 laps to go when he shredded his right rear tire, pausing the action. Sheldon Haudenschild used the top side to pass Schatz for the lead and after surviving one last late race caution for Ian Madsen he went on to collect his first win of the 2019 season over Schatz, Kerry Madsen and Brent Marks with Tim Shaffer rounding out the top five. Gravel finished seventh after Shane Stewart passed him for position on the last lap. A good run for the forty-one!
We are proud to represent all of our dedicated and loyal supporters:
Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Jonestown KOA; 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 Aluminum Cylinder Heads, Inc.; All Pro Auto Reconditioning; AutoMeter; Bell Racing USA; Blackbeard; Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS); Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; C&R Racing; Chalk Stix Torsion Bars; Cody Monoco Racing; 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; Kaiden Kares; 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; 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.