ATTICA, OHIO (July 14, 2020) – After having a day off on Monday following the event at the Terre Haute Action Track, David Gravel and the JJR #41 team headed East and crossed the border into the Buckeye State to complete in the 32nd Annual Brad Doty Classic at the Attica Raceway Park (ARP). This event is one race that is always marked on MOST competitor’s schedules. The importance is not because of what the race pays as few care, but rather because it honors a fellow sprint car hero and legend, Brad Doty, in his home state of Ohio. He promotes the race and an impressive list of drivers and teams come out to support him with hopes of collecting the winner’s check and cool commemorative helmet and trophy when the checkered flags wave at the end of the race. At this year’s COVID-19 adjusted version of the race with limited seating, there were 42 high powered teams registered and parked in the pit area located behind turns 3 and 4.
Because of the number of entrants, this event is not an easy one to qualify for as the pill draw becomes a very important part in framing your night. The field was split into two groups for qualifying. David and the Kistler Engines/Wilwood Racing #41 Maxim would be the 12th car out on the track in Flight B for his two laps at speed against the clock around the 1/3-mile oval. When Kyle Larson finished his two qualifying laps, Gravel would get his WELD Racing wheel rolling as he pounded the accelerator and took the green flag as he headed for the high banks that awaited him in turn one. A rooster tail of dirt sprayed up as he rode the cushion to maintain his speed. When he took the white flag his first lap was clocked at 12.796 seconds. Hammer down he was looking to pick up any time he left on the clock the first time around and when he completed his second lap in 12.865 seconds, he awaited to see where the quicker of his two laps landed in the overall order for Flight B. When the Caleb Griffith finished qualifying, the native of Connecticut best lap was 3rd quick overall in the second flight of qualifying.
With the train horn sounding on the tracks in the background that cuts behind the frontstretch, the official’s air horn sounded and filled the air as the cars were called to the staging area for the Drydene Heat Races. The Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Vortex Racing Products/Waco Metal #41 would line up on the outside of the front row in the third 10-lap heat race. Brad Sweet sat on the pole with Daryn Pittman, Tim Shaffer, Brock Zearfoss, Mason Daniel, Cale Conley, Greg Wilson, Byron Reed, Shawn Dancer and Stuart Brubaker filling the field behind the front row. When the green flag waved it was Sweet taking command of the top spot as Pittman was pushing Gravel for the runner-up position. Pittman dove low and stole the second spot entering turn three before drifting up opening the door for Gravel to drive back underneath and take the spot back exiting turn four. The racing action was exciting but was halted after the opening circuit by a caution for Mason Daniel. The field restarted with Sweet leading Gravel, but the next circuit brought out the caution flag again, this time for Sweet who experienced mechanical issues. Sweet headed to the pit area as his streak of unfortunate luck continued. Gravel inherited the lead with Pittman on his rear nerf bar. Gravel brought the field back up to speed as he led under green flag conditions. With three laps to go the yellow was out again this time for Cale Conley who hit the frontstretch wall hard and rolled to a stop with a flat right rear tire in turn two. Gravel was leading Pittman and Tim Shaffer. They went back to green with Gravel leading the remaining laps to take the win over Pittman, Shaffer, and Brock Zearfoss with Byron Reed charging back to fifth to take the final transfer spot.
Gravel made his way into the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash where he would start fourth in the stacked event. Kyle Larson and Donny Schatz were in row one with Gravel sharing row two with Sheldon Haudenschild. Parker Price-Miller and Daryn Pittman sat in row three with Kerry Madsen and Jac Haudenschild rounding out the starting field. Larson left little doubt as he surged into the lead over Schatz as Gravel was embroiled in a three-way battle for the third position with Sheldon Haudenschild and Daryn Pittman. The three talented chauffeurs were racing clean and putting on quite a show in the high speed adventure. Larson checked out as he led wire-to-wire and won by over 4.5 seconds with Schatz coming home second followed by Sheldon Haudenschild and David Gravel in fourth. Daryn Pittman brought the Roth #83 home fifth with Jac Haudenschild, Parker Price-Miller and Kerry Madsen completing the finishing order.
With day turning into night it was now time for the 40-lap NOS Energy Drink Brad Doty Classic feature event. David would begin the race aboard the High Performance Lubricants/Tiger Towing #41 Maxim from the fourth starting position. Following the traditional four-wide salute to the fans who spent their hard earned money to fill the stands, it was time to go racing at Attica Raceway Park! When the flagman unfurled the green flag it was Kyle Larson to the lead with tight racing action throughout the remainder of the field for position on this racy oval. With 3 laps in the books Brad Sweet’s terrible luck continued as he spun in turn four to avoid contact. Larson would restart the race and set sail on the field with Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild, Pittman and Gravel fighting for real estate on the track in the top five. With 17 laps in the books, the red was displayed as Brad Sweet flipped exiting turn four after clipping Carson Macedo who spun to avoid contact into Ian Madsen and Kerry Madsen. All the cars headed to the work area with each returning to racing action. Gravel was now running in the eighth position trying to build some forward momentum. They restarted and got two more laps in the books before Byron Reed flipped stopping the action again. Gravel was still running in the eighth position and endured to more race stoppages before Larson took the checkers as he won the event over Donny Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild, Logan Schuchart and Jac Haudenschild. To complete the top ten is was Pittman, Macedo, and Price-Miller with David Gravel bringing the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 home ninth as Craig Mintz got tenth. Not the night the forty-one team was looking for but they will now head to Pennsylvania to race with the All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) at Williams Grove on Friday and then spend two days competing at Port Royal Speedway in the Bob Weikert Memorial.
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.