PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA (July 18, 2020) – Each year the team at Port Royal Speedway continue to make impressive improvements to their facility, affectionately called The Speed Palace, which delights the drivers and teams as well as the fans. This weekend the speedway along with the Weikert family and the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) collaborated to present two nights of racing to honor a true sprint car legend inn Central Pennsylvania – the legendary Bob Weikert. On Saturday night the pit area was overflowing with talent as 37 teams registered to race in the Bob Weikert Fallen Heroes Championship that would pay $10,000-to-win. With an open weekend on the World of Outlaws (WoO) schedule due to the unfortunate cancellation of the Kings Royal weekend, David Gravel and the JJR crew had their Weikert’s Livestock/Winters Performance Products #41 Maxim at the track ready to compete.
The defending Knoxville Nationals champion, David Gravel, would be slated to hit the track aboard the Weikert’s Livestock/Buckwalter Trucking #41 for qualifying. Using the new push off lane in the infield that runs parallel to the frontstretch, Gravel was the second driver to fire his engine as he would take time in the tandem format with Kyle Reinhardt. He rolled onto the track in turn one and pressed the loud pedal to call upon all the horsepower his Kistler Engine would supply. They did not disappoint as they were at full sprint when he took the green flag on his first lap. Like any great thoroughbred they were getting faster and setting the pace as Gravel jockeyed his Maxim around to hit his marks ending the first time around in 16.202 seconds. Legging out each furlong, the speedster from Connecticut covered the next four furlongs in 16.130 seconds to take the checkers. His fasted lap of the two was good enough for quick time overall in Lincoln Welders qualifying for the night. Gravel was the top points driver after qualifying with 150 points.
The format for both the Weikert Memorial races is different as the top 6 in each of the heat races are inverted which put David Gravel and the Weikert’s Livestock/Pro Powder Coating #41 Maxim on the outside of row three in the first Ford Performance Heat Race. The fans did not have to wait long to get their money’s worth as this heat was stacked. Paul McMahan and Jac Haudenschild made up row one, Danny Dietrich and Sheldon Haudenschild occupied row two, and Aaron Reutzel and David Gravel made up row three. Impressive to say the least. At the start it was McMahan the first to clean air with Gravel maneuvering up to fifth. Danny Dietrich took over ownership of the top spot the next time around and Gravel moved the forty-one into fourth. He was battling with Jac Haudenschild and Aaron Reutzel for the third position. Gravel would get it momentarily before Reutzel blasted around the outside to take it over. With one to go signaled Dietrich was in command and took the win over Reutzel as Gravel made a last lap pass on Jac to finish third with Jac coming home fourth and Sheldon Haudenschild rounding out the top five. Following the completion of heat race action, David Gravel and the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Walker Performance Filtration #41 were your high point team with 251 points followed by Lance Dewease (248), Aaron Reutzel (246), Kyle Larson (245) and TJ Stutts (232).
With no dash event as part of the Weikert Memorial race format it came down to luck, or the lack thereof, that determined the top ten starting spots for the 30-lap Bob Weikert Memorial Fallen Heroes Championship feature. Each driver drew their starting position and your top points guy of the night selected the ‘9’ which put him on the inside of row five. Tyler Bear sat on the pole and shared the front row with Brent Marks. The top two were followed by Logan Wagner, Danny Dietrich, Lance Dewease, TJ Stutts, Kyle Larson, Aaron Reutzel and Gravel with Sammy Swindell rounding out the first ten. The horns sounded summoning the cars to the track for the start of the $10,000-to-win feature. Brent Marks drove into the lead on the initial start and led lap one before the caution came on around the track for Stutts who slowed to a stop after contact with the outside wall. David Gravel was running in the ninth spot for the restart in the Team Jack Foundation/Mark Burch Motorsports #41. Marks brought the field back up to speed and was racing at the front of the pack. Gravel was battling in the early stages and would move as high as eighth early on and fell back as far as tenth in the same early stages of the race. Lap nine brought out another caution, this time for Kerry Madsen who wrecked in turn three and collected Cory Eliason and Paul McMahan who had nowhere to go. David at this point was battling from the tenth position as track position was so important. While the caution was out Tyler Bear headed to the work area with a flat rear tire. David would restart from ninth and for the remaining 21 laps would methodically race his way forward. Marks surrendered his lead to Kyle Larson on lap 20 as Larson was riding at high speed around the top of the track. At this point in the race David was running in the seventh position and looking to make up some ground for the next position. Larson was checked out and took the win over Marks and a hard-charging Anthony Macri with Logan Wagner and Lance Dewease completing the top five. Gravel and Brock Zearfoss had an exciting battle the last few laps with Zearfoss getting by the forty-one late to take sixth with Gravel bringing the Weikert’s Livestock/Schoenfeld Headers #41 home seventh as Zeb Wise, Dylan Cisney and AJ Flick rounded out the top ten. A good run for the forty-one!
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.