PEVELY, MISSOURI (May 22, 2020) – David Gravel and the JJR #41 team were back at the track, specifically Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 or as most people refer to it simply as Pevely, and they were ready to roll. The coronavirus has posed a challenge to the season to this point, but the racers, teams and racing community are a tough bunch with high belief and perseverance. They have been patient and are now ready to watch their favorite driver mash the gas and turn left at the racy, 1/3-mile banked oval. There were 61 entries ready to compete from all over the country. The entry list was . . . well, very impressive. The best of the best lined the pit area.
Because of the size of the field, the field was split into two qualifying groups for their time trial laps. David Gravel climbed aboard the Durst Inc./High Performance Lubricants, LLC #41 Maxim and prepared to create some speed with his Kistler Engines power. He strapped on his Simpson Race Products helmet and pulled on his gloves so he was ready to get his elbows up as he was the first high speed competitor to take his mount to the racing surface. With a tap on his rear nerf bar his engine came to life and the Watertown, Connecticut native was doing what he does best in the cockpit – creating speed! He took the green and built up his momentum stopping the clock at an impressive 10.176 seconds the first time around. Not satisfied he stayed on the loud pedal and was laser focused the second time around ran a consistent lap of 10.237 seconds. The faster of his two laps against the clock was 3rd quick overall in Flight A.
The World of Outlaws officials tabulated the time trial results and put together the heat race lineups. Gravel would start second in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Schoenfeld Headers #41 in the first and fastest heat race. The heat race lineup was filled with talent with Kyle Larson commanding the pole position and names like McMahan, Pittman, Dietrich, and Abreu sprinkle in the remainder of the lineup. Big names are not surprising, that is why this sport truly is the greatest show on dirt. Larson and Gravel brought the field to the green flag as the engines roared as they crossed the starting stripe in turn four. Gravel was the first to turn one. This high speed joint tests the drivers hand eye coordination as well as the team’s setup expertise. Everything has to be aligned and razor sharp. Gravel and the JJR #41 team had the LogoDaddy Graphics/MSD Performance #41 cruising as he was running consistent laps in the ten second bracket with Larson doggedly chasing the tail tank of the forty-one. Gravel took the heat race win over Larson with Paul McMahan. Daryn Pittman and Danny Dietrich securing the final transfer positions.
Earning their way into the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash the driver made his way to the announcers stand in his mask to see where the luck of the draw would put him to start the event. When the round disc came out of the NOS Energy Drink can it was the ‘8’. The talented driver would start on the last row of the dash event with Brian Brown to his inside. Front row starters Brad Sweet and Jacob Allen would break the clean air when the green flag dropped with Allen darting into the lead. He would lead wire-to-wire to take the win over Shane Stewart, Sweet and Kyle Larson with Logan Schuchart, Scotty Thiel, and Brian Brown with Gravel rounding out the finishing order.
The field was set for the 30-lap feature event. As the JJR #41 crew readied the car, Gravel prepared himself for the high speed battle around the banks of I-55 in the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Pro Powder Coating (PPC) #41 Maxim. The boys went four-wide in front of a limited, and masked, crowd that was socially distanced and then re-aligned into their two-by-two starting order. When the green flag waved, Jacob Allen blasted into the lead with Shane Stewart and Sweet chasing. David was wheeling back in the seventh position as he was getting himself into a rhythm at speed. He would move up to the sixth position on lap seven and start his pursuit up the leader board. The racing action was close and fast as he reached his high point of fourth on lap 9. Allen surrendered the lead the next time around to Brad Sweet in the NAPA Auto Parts #49. The race was halted when Scotty Thiel broke a wheel and brought out the red flag. When racing resumed, David kept his speed up and was challenging for position the remainder of the race as Brad Sweet and his brother-in-law, Kyle Larson, were feverishly battling for the tip spot. Sweet would hold on to take the win over Larson with Logan Schuchart coming home third as Shane Stewart and Jacob Allen round out the top five. Gravel brought the LogoDaddy Graphics/Team Jack Foundation #41 Maxim home with a sixth place finish just ahead of Donny Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Brian Brown with Aaron Reutzel rounding out the top ten. Gravel and the team will be back in action Saturday night racing for the $20,000 winner’s check at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. Catch all the action on DIRTVision!
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; 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.