FAIRBURY, ILLINOIS (June 4, 2019) – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is in full swing as they kick off June. All of the series stars were at Fairbury Speedway on Tuesday night to show their talents in front of another full house for the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown. There were 33 team registered and situated in the pit area ready to attack the quarter mile, semi-banked oval that situated just outside of town in Livingston County located about halfway between Springfield and Chicago.
When all the pills were drawn and ordered from lowest to highest to set the time trial order, David Gravel would be the second car out on a wet and heavy track for his two time trial qualifying laps at Fairbury Speedway aboard the High Performance Lubricants, LLC/Kaiden Kares #41 Maxim entry. The track was fast and when the Watertown, Connecticut native completed his two circuits on the clock, the quicker of his two laps came in at 11.688 seconds. Now he and the JJR #41 team had to sit patiently and wait to see how that time would hold up as the track came in and widened out a little bit, which resulted in decreased time trial lap times. When the final competitor took the checkers in time trial qualifying, Gravel’s fastest lap was 27th quick overall as Brad Sweet was the fastest with a lap of 11.266 seconds.
Not deterred, the driver and JJR #41 team focused on the task at hand as they would start seventh in DRYDENE Heat #3, with the top five finishers advancing on to the feature event. James McFadden, filling in for the injured driver Kasey Kahne, started from the pole with NASCAR’s Kyle Larson to his outside. Row two was comprised of Logan Schuchart and Terry McCarl, as Jacob Allen and Joe B. Miller made up row three. With a formidable task ahead, there was no time for Gravel to grovel. When the green lights illuminated around the track, the talent speed chauffeur went to work doing what he does best – wheel a high powered 410 sprint car. Kyle Larson took the lead over McFadden, but the show that everyone in the stands were watching was David Gravel wheeling the Weikert’s Livestock/Jansen Transportation #41 into contention for the fifth and final transfer position. He was in a fierce battle for the position with Terry McCarl. The two talented and experienced drivers were swapping positions with Gravel stealing it momentarily and McCarl wrestling it back. Lap after lap the two were racing cleanly and showing off their speed and skills. With the laps running out, Gravel was relentless and doing everything and everything to make the pass for position stick, but McCarl was just a feisty. When the checkered flag flew over the race, Kyle Larson took the win over McFadden, Schuchart and Allen as McCarl just beat Gravel to the finish line by .090 seconds to grab the final transfer position in the heat race.
Relegated to earn a feature starting spot in their first Last Chance Showdown (LCS), Philip Dietz and the JJR #41 team worked together to continue to make their Kistler Racing Engines/Engler Machine & Tool machine better for their driver as the track surface continued to evolve. David Gravel had his work cut out for him as his time trial lap put him back in the ninth starting position with only the top four transferring to the feature out of the 12-lap LCS race. Spencer Bayston and Aaron Reutzel showed the field to the green flag as Bayston seized the top spot with Reutzel and Shane Stewart giving chase. Meanwhile, Gravel was once again giving the fans their full entertainment value as he was displaying his talents and skills from the cockpit of the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Factory Kahne (FK) Shocks #41 Maxim. He was moving forward as his determination could not only be seen on the track, but also felt in the air. He was on a mission. A few cautions regrouped the field and with each and every one of them he took advantage of the opportunity and moved up the scoring chart. A mid-race caution found him in sniffing distance of the final transfer spot held by Reutzel. When the green flag came back out, Gravel went back to work and was soon mired in a battle for that coveted position. He strategically put himself in position and made the pass to gain the fourth spot. Reutzel wasn’t about to give up and charged back and made his own bid for the position. Gravel held on and started to put some distance between himself and the challenger as the laps waned in the LCS event. Bayston would take the LCS victory over Stewart as Ian Madsen drove home third and Gravel secured the fourth and final transfer position to advance to the evening’s feature event.
The horns sounded alerting the drivers and teams it was ‘go-time’ for the 40-lap FVP Platinum Battery Showdown at Fairbury Speedway. Gravel, driving the High Performance Lubricants, LLC/Pro Powder Coating #41 would start from the 24th and final starting spot in the field. James McFadden and Bill Balog were on the front row and after the traditional four-wide salute to the fans it was time to get down to business. When the racing went under green flag conditions it was McFadden to the lead as Gravel began his march forward. A few early cautions regrouped the field as Gravel made his way up to 14th place in the running order. When the racing got back up to speed, McFadden, Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson were in a torrid three car battle for the lead. The on track action was crazy and certainly worth the price of admission. Unfortunately the yellow flag was displayed again, this time for David Gravel and Daryn Pittman who tangled exiting the turn. Pittman was able to stay under power and regain his spot in the restart order as Gravel pushed backed off and tagged the rear of the field. The racing was still exciting throughout with Gravel recovering and driving up to earn a hard fought 14th place finish on a challenging night. Larson took the win over Sweet and Kerry Madsen as Carson Macedo and Kraig Kinser rounded out the top five. A challenging night, but one that displayed the perseverance of the JJR #41 driver and team.
We are proud to represent all of our dedicated and loyal supporters:
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; Schoenfeld Headers; Shell Shock Paint; Simpson Race Products; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Vortex Racing Products; Weld Wheels; Wilwood Racing; Winters Performance Products; and, www,racediecast.com.
To stay connected with Jason Johnson Racing (JJR), go to www.jasonjohnsonracing.com.
To learn more about David Gravel, and stay up to date with his success and journey, go to www.DavidGravel89.com.