ROSSBURG, OHIO (September 27, 2019) – The JJR team’s journey eastbound was rolling. After a stop in Jacksonville, Illinois on Wednesday evening, the team and the traveling tour of speedsters stopped at the famous Eldora Speedway on Friday evening for the popular BeFour the Crowns Showdown at the high-banked, fast half mile oval. David Gravel and the Greber Racing Components (GRC)/Kistler Engines #41 Maxim entry were one of 44 drivers and teams entered to race for the winner’s crown on this fall night with rain in the forecast. That rain hit hard after the teams got their initial hot laps in and delayed the start of the action by 2.5 hours. Track officials and the push truck drivers did a fantastic job reclaiming the surface and getting it ready to race.
After the track surface was recovered and two sets of hot laps for each group were completed to get the track’s surface ready for action, it was time to race against the clock. Based on the number of entries, the qualifying field was split into two groups for time trials. The Watertown, Connecticut speed pilot pulled the lowest pill at the draw to put the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Weikert’s Livestock #41 on the track first for his two time trial laps in the first flight of qualifiers. The speeds these drivers carry around this track are amazing and they make it look easy. Gravel rolled up the banking in turn one and motored down the back straightaway building up speed in preparation to take the green. When he crossed under the flag stand the seconds started ticking by as Gravel gracefully maneuvered his Maxim Racing machine around the track. When he stopped the clock after his first lap it read 13.164 seconds. He kept his right foot planted as the air made its way around the belly and sideboards of his Vortex Racing Products wing. This time he was better than the first lap as the stopwatch read 13.134 seconds. The quicker of his two laps was good for fourth quick overall in Flight A.
With the Drydene heat races on deck, the World of Outlaws timing and scoring officials were building the lineups for the four 8-lap races with the top five finishers transferring to the feature event. When the heat race lineups were posted, David Gravel would start on the outside of the front row in heat two aboard the All Pro Auto Reconditioning/K&N Filters #41 Maxim with Kerry Madsen sitting on the pole. The drivers on the front row were followed on the track by Shane Stewart, Daryn Pittman, James McFadden, Chad Kemenah, Joey Saldana, Greg Wilson, Jacob Allen, Shawn Dancer and Jason Sides. Allen and Sides scratched from the event before it commenced, but when the green flag waved it was Madsen to the lead with Gravel right there ready to fight for the lead position. The top two drivers were carrying a lot of speed with Gravel driving his car on the low side and getting his nose up as far as Madsen’s side nerf bar in the early laps. Madsen maintained control of lead and led from wire-to-wire as he crossed the finish line ahead of Gravel with Pittman, Stewart and McFadden rounding out the top five transfer spots.
Making his way into the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, David had to pull his number to see where he would start the event. He pulled the ‘8’ pill and would start on the outside of row four for the 6-lap race with the finishing order setting the starting positions for the feature event. Logan Schuchart, who set quick time and had a really fast car all night, started from the pole with Sheldon Haudenschild to his outside as Carson Macedo, Paige Polyak, Kerry Madsen, Aaron Reutzel, Cory Eliason and Gravel completed the starting grid. Schuchart left nothing to the imagination as he jumped into the lead at the start and was flying in the top spot. Gravel did not allow his starting spot to define him as he was hammer down two and moved the J.R.C. Transportation/High Performance Lubricants #41 into the fifth position after two laps. Schuchart would race under the checkers first followed by Macedo and Haudenschild with Reutzel coming home fourth and Gravel fifth as Kerry Madsen, Eliason and Polyak rounded out the finishing order.
With time ticking away as the calendar had turned to Saturday and the crickets started rolling back their sheets for bedtime in the damp grass from the rain earlier in the night, it was time to race 30 laps in the BeFour the Crowns Showdown in front of the loyal fans at the House that Earl Baltes built. When the pyrotechnics show concluded during the four-wide to salute those dedicated fans, it was time for David and the best in the business to put on a speed show. When the field went racing under the green, it was Schuchart into the lead momentarily before the red flag stopped the field in their tracks when Wayne Johnson flipped in turn three. Collecting his thoughts inside the cockpit while the cars were stopped, David was contemplating his strategy for the race ahead. When the engines were re-fired he was ready to go. When they got up to speed he was racing from the sixth position in the Team Jack Foundation/Wilwood Racing #41 as the speeds were fast and the preferred lines varying by driver preference. These high speed machines are technical and tricky, but these drivers are the magicians that certainly make it look easy. Schuchart was in command at the front of the pack as Gravel raced from his sixth position. The top line was definitely fast, but there certainly was a distinct bottom lane that was coming in and getting faster with each passing lap. With three laps to go, Brad Sweet passed the forty-one for the sixth position with Schuchart still leading. Schuchart would go on to collect his eighth WoO win of the season over always fast Aaron Reutzel with Sheldon Haudenschild continuing his strong finishes lately as he rounded out the podium. David Gravel finished seventh in the JJR #41 entry, which was his 57th top ten finish of the season – an impressive 85.07% top ten success rate. Another good run for the forty-one!
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.