PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA (September 11, 2019) – As the nation paused to reflect on the tragic events of 09.11.2001, they honored and paid their respects to all of those individuals that lost their lives along with the brave firefighters and first responders who are all heroes. After a day of remembrance, David Gravel and his fellow World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series competitors rolled into the Sierra Nevada foothills to race at Placerville Speedway in the 49er Gold Rush Classic presented by Riebes NAPA Auto Parts. There were 26 cars registered to race a Placerville, a town that was an original part of the Pony Express line and is highlighted by the many old buildings from the Gold Rush days still today.
The time trial order is set by the luck of the draw, and on this night the Watertown, Connecticut native would go out 13th aboard the BR Motorsports/MSD Performance #41 Maxim. When you are in California both the tracks and the competition are challenges you must deal with in order to compete. The locals here know how to turn their high speed machines around these tracks and are not willing to give you anything – even if you are with the World of Outlaws. And that is just the way it should be as they are a talented group of racers. When it was his turn to roll on to the track for time trials, Gravel fired up his Kistler Engines power as his Hoosier Racing Tires dug into the prepared racing surface. After turning his two laps against the clock, his best one came in at 10.560 seconds which ended up 14th best on the night.
As the timing and scoring officials put together the heat race lineups, Philip Dietz and the JJR #41 crew went to work to get the car ready for their 10-lap qualifying races. When the lineups were posted, Gravel and the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Greber Racing Components #41 Maxim would start fifth in the second Drydene Heat Race. An all-Californian front row made up of Justin Sanders and Shane Golobic led the field to the green flag with Daryn Pittman, Logan Schuchart and Gravel giving chase. An initial caution was thrown when polesitter Justin Sanders jumped the start and was followed by another caution for Dominic Scelzi who spun on the restart. When racing got up to speed, Daryn Pittman was your leader as Gravel raced forward and moved into the fourth position. Pittman would not relinquish the top spot and took the win over Golobic, Sanders and Gravel with Andy Forsberg and Schuchart wrapping up the final two transfer positions from this heat race.
When all of the qualifying was completed and the feature lineup was set for the 40-lap 49er Gold Rush Classic it was time for the drivers to get their elbows up at Placerville Speedway. David Gravel would be starting from the inside of row six aboard the Weikert’s Livestock/Brown & Miller Racing Solution (BMRS) Maxim with Donny Schatz to his outside. Californians Brad Sweet and Carson Macedo were poised on the front row with Kraig Kinser and Shane Golobic in row two. When the green flag waved it was Sweet driving into the lead with Macedo in hot pursuit. The track is fast and technical. While these professionals make it look easy, it certainly is dramatically different from behind the wheel. The high speed action around the racing surface was exciting with Gravel wheeling the JJR #41 into lanes looking to take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves. He was racing an aggressive race which is required, but also showing extreme patience as he raced just outside the top ten and looking for a way to break into it. Macedo took the lead away from Sweet on lap 15 before Sweet took it back on the next lap. Macedo then made the pass for the lead and led the race when the two- to go flags were shown to the field. That is when the California ace, Shane Golobic, moved into the picture. Golobic and Macedo were racing hard and Golobic used the bottom and slid into the top spot exiting turn four to lead the final two laps of the race and collect the close win over Macedo as Sanders, Kaeding and Pittman completed the top five. David Gravel did break the code and got into the top ten racing as far forward as seventh with 12 laps to go before crossing the finish line with a ninth place run. Another good run for Gavel in 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.