JACKSON, MINNESOTA (June 25, 2020) – David Gravel and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series traveling tour of speed demons headed north to The Gopher State to kick off three nights of action at the Jackson Motorplex for the 42nd Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals at the beautiful racing facility. After a strong showing at last year’s event – a runner-up finish on Thursday, then followed that up with a 6th place run on Friday, and topped it off with a 4th place finish in Saturday’s finale – Gravel and the JJR #41 team were excited to be back in town in the Jason Johnson Memorial #41 entry. Jackson is located in the southwest corner of the state just over the Iowa state line. There were 44 cars signed into the pit area on Thursday night ready to go racing!
After some back and forth format changes, the qualifying field for time trials was run as one group versus being split into two equal groups of drivers. The sprint car star sitting in the cockpit of the Weikert’s Livestock/FK Rod Ends #41 Maxim was ready to get rolling around the 4/10 mile as he would be the 24th driver on the track. The track record was set back in September 2015 by Sammy Swindell with a lap of 15.491 seconds. His Kistler Engines power roared as he entered the track as Gravel was trucking in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/J.R.C. Transportation/Jansen Transportation entry. The always smooth driver from Connecticut drove his high speed ride around the Jackson Motorplex and hit all of his marks to record a lap of 12.935seconds with the white flag waving. His second lap was even better at 12.894 seconds, which kicked off the night the right way for the JJR #41 team as he was 5th quick overall.
With an inversion of the top 24 qualifiers, David would start from the fifth position in the first 10-lap heat event aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Buckwalter Trucking, LLC #41 Maxim. Shane Stewart was on the pole for the race in the Forbrook #5 and when the green flag was displayed he drove into the lead. Before completing a lap though the yellow was thrown for Gravel as he spun to s stop between turns 3 and 4. He re-fired the engine and joined the rear of the field for the restart. Stewart again seized the lead as the race was on. Gravel was up on the wheel and had his Hoosier Racing Tires rolling as he drove from the back into the top five after lap one. Brad Sweet, from his seventh starting position, was on the move and fighting for the runner-up position while David Gravel was battling with Jacob Allen for the fourth position. Stewart went on to take the heat race win over Sweet with Justin Henderson coming home third as Allen grabbed the fourth spot and Gravel rallied to gain the fifth and final transfer position.
Black clouds moved in and the water started to fall after the heat races were completed. With continued showers, race officials were forced to postpone the remainder of the event to Friday. David and the forty-one team were already locked in to the Thursday night feature event, but missed an opportunity to compete in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Action would begin on Friday night with the remainder of the Thursday night program to start the night.
When the 25-lap feature lineup was established, David Gravel would start wheeling and dealing from the 17th starting position in the field. He had a fast car, but certainly had some work to do as he was starting deep in the pack. The talented driver and team have good attitudes and overcoming challenges falls right in their wheelhouse as they work towards a common goal and have a great work ethic. He rolled onto the track in the Team Jack Foundation/C&R Racing #41 Maxim and was focused on forward progress. When the racing action commenced it was front row starter Brad Sweet jumping into the lead. But a red flag was displayed when Mark Dobmeier got upside down after contact that damaged Jason Sides and David Gravel. Gravel took the forty-one pit side to the work area as the crew changed out the top wing and replaced the Jacobs ladders in time to push back out and tag the rear of the field. When racing resumed, Sweet went back into the top spot as David drove forward into the 18th position. Sweet was entering lap traffic in the latter stage of the race and maneuvering through on the narrow surface. Gravel was able to drive forward and when Sweet saw the black and white checkered cloth wave Gravel was able to rally back and secure a 15th place finish. A race of perseverance for the JJR #41 team as they end night one of the Jackson Nationals in 9th position with 452 points.
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; K&N Filters; 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.