SARVER, PENNSYLVANIA (July 23, 2019) – With the dust settled from four straight days of racing at Eldora Speedway, David Gravel and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series continued to head eastbound with a stop at Lernerville Speedway for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXVIII. This event, along with the $25,000 winner’s check, always stands out on the schedule and produces some great racing. Drawing a good field of cars from all over to compete, including Kyle Larson, there were 41 teams lining the pit area that are situated outside of turns three and four at the fast and racy 4/10-mile banked oval. The grandstands were once again packed again to see the stars of sprint car racing do their thing at Lernerville Speedway in this mid-week show!
The field of competitors was split into two groups for their qualifying efforts. David would be the first driver out in Flight B aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Durst Inc. #41 Maxim Racing machine. When his Kistler Engines power came to life he pounded the loud pedal and got rolling. He took the green flag and used the high line the whole way around Lernerville and clocked in at 14.444 seconds. The ponies were churning under the hood and this time he lowered his line a bit in turns one and two and then dove low entering three. The speed and strategy paid off as his second lap was much better at 13.994 seconds. He sat atop the Flight B speed charts until the very last qualifier, The Steel City Outlaw Tim Shaffer, went out and turned a lap of 13.939 seconds on his second lap to bump the number forty-one driver to second quick overall in his flight for qualifying.
For the Drydene 8-lap heat races, the lineups were tabulated and posted. Upon review, David Gravel would share the front row of the fourth heat race with 10-time champion Donny Schatz. Row two was made up of Cale Conley and Logan Schuchart with George Hobaugh, Brandon Matus, Dan Shetler, Brent Matus, Dallas Schott and Gary Kreiss completing the starting order. Schatz jumped into the early lead over Gravel with the two drivers searching for the fastest line for their setup and style. Schatz was ripping the top side and Gravel was running the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/All Pro Auto Reconditioning #41 a lane down off the cushion. Gravel was inching closer and closer to the leader with each passing lap and at the midway point drove the car in hard on the low side entering turn one as the two drivers exited turn two side-by-side. Schatz maintain the lead and the next lap he closed the bottom door as he used that line to go on and take the heat race victory over Gravel by 0.444 seconds. The top two were followed across the finishing stripe by Schuchart who came home third as Shelter and Brandon Matus secured the final two transfer positions.
The Watertown, Connecticut hot shoe would start sixth in the 6-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash with Shane Stewart and Australian James McFadden on the front row. Current point series leader Brad Sweet and Tim Shaffer would make up row two, as Gravel shared row three with Brent Marks with Kyle Larson and Donny Schatz in row four. This race is important because the finishing order sets the starting positions for the 40-lap feature event. Shane Stewart drove his CJB #5 into the top spot when the green lights came on followed by McFadden. David had a fast car and used the high side of the track to drive the J.R.C. Transportation/FK Rod Ends Maxim around two competitors into the fourth spot on the first lap. Stewart would lead every lap to take the win over McFadden and Tim Shaffer with David coming home with a fourth place finish. Brad Sweet was fifth with Kyle Larson, Donny Schatz and Brent Marks rounding out the finishing order.
The field was set for the 40-lap Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup feature event. The 8-minute horn sounded in the pit area and Philip Dietz, Tyler Elliott and Patrick Dudzinski continued making the final adjustments to the Weikert’s Livestock/Greber Racing Components #41 after specific feedback from the driver in an effort to have their car at its best. When the 40-lap feature went green, McFadden drove on the outside to seize the lead with Gravel following him into the second spot in turn one as Stewart dropped back into the third position. After one lap was completed, the caution flag flew for a spinning A.J. Flick who was turned around between turns one and two. On the restart, McFadden blasted off the top side of the double file restart to take the lead with Gravel diving low trying to make the pass. McFadden began to put some distance between himself and the second place running Gravel before another caution was thrown, this time for Danny Dietrich who spun over the berm in turn two. On the restart, Gravel again tried to power by McFadden on the low side and had the lead momentarily coming off two, but McFadden would have none of it as he drove the Wicked Energy Gum #9 back into the top spot. David was being patient, but at the same time ready to get by the leader with Kyle Larson gaining traction as the talented driver moved into the show position. Under green flag racing conditions, Gravel’s well-prepared Maxim Racing machine was working in the middle and low side of the track to perfection. He was hitting his marks and made the pass for the lead on lap 15 and never looked back. Kyle Larson would also get by McFadden and with 12 laps to go he narrowed the gap between himself and the leader as the front of the field was navigating through the lap traffic. Gravel masterfully split two lap cars entering turn one and stayed on the hammer as he set sail. He dominated the last 10 laps and took the win in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup race by 4.022 seconds over Larson with McFadden coming home third.
A happy David Gravel celebrated with team owner Bobbi Johnson and her son Jaxx and the team as his Schoenfeld Headers cooled in victory lane. Jaxx climbed up on the tail tank with David as the two celebrated the big win on the wing. David commented in victory lane, “I don’t know what is was about the car, but man, she was fast.” He continued, “Philip (Dietz) worked on the thing all night, and I was really picky, because it wasn’t good enough entering the corner all night until it was time for the feature. We finally got it good in turns one and two, where I was able to pick up the middle and carry a lot of exit speed so I was in a good position going into three and four. I knew we could pass cars.” He thanked his crew and the sponsorship partners and then stated, “These guys did a great job and it’s awesome to win another one of these Outlaw races!” Another great run for the forty-one!
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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.