OSBORN, MISSOURI (August 29, 2020) – With the days remaining in August dwindling down in this atypical racing season, David Gravel and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 team stayed in their home state as they ventured 3.5 hours to the northwest to race on Saturday evening to compete at U.S. 36 Raceway. The 3/8-mile track is located north of Kansas City as they opened their gates and welcomed the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series stars to the track for an evening of high speed entertainment. There were 27 teams registered through the pit gate to battle for position sprint car style in the ‘Show Me’ state of Missouri.
After testing his skills of luck at selecting a pill to see where he would go out for his two laps at speed in time trials, the Watertown, Connecticut native would be the tenth driver out for qualifying. The track record at U.S. 36 Raceway was set back on May 5, 2006 by Paul McMahan at 9.846 seconds. Gravel was buckled in and ready to go in the staging lane aboard the Team Jack Foundation/Mark Burch Motorsports/Durst Inc. #41 Maxim. When the Kistler Engines provide power came to life under the hood of his speed chariot he dropped his right foot and buried the loud pedal. He took the green and was racing against the second hand of the watch. The clocked stopped at 11.116 seconds after the first lap, and read 10.939 seconds after the second one which shot him up to the top of the speed charts at that time. When the final car completed qualifying, the quicker of David’s two laps ended the night of qualifying as the third quick overall. A good start to the night for the driver and forty-one team.
When the Drydene Heat Race lineups were tabulated he would line up on the pole of the third heat race. After the track crew fixed the backstretch lights that went off during the second heat race, Logan Schuchart flanked him to his left side in the front row as Donny Schatz, Brian Brown, Hunter Schuerenburg, Ayrton Gennetten, Dominic Scelzi and Tim Kaeding rounded out the starting field. Gravel would hold off Schuchart as the two talented driers entered turn one and made the exit of turn two. Gravel had the Durst Inc./Tiger Towing #41 moving with Schuchart close behind. He was working the wheel and carving up the laps from the front of the field. With two laps to go though he had checked out, but the race for the sixth and final transfer spot was heating up between Brown, Kaeding and Scelzi. They were three wide at times for one position. Gravel would cross the finish line first ahead of Schuchart and Schatz with Schuerenburg and Gennetten completing the top five. Dominic Scelzi used the extreme to side exiting turn four to cross the stripe sixth to transfer onto the feature.
Selecting the ‘2’ pill for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash put Gravel on the outside of the front row but this time Logan Schuchart sat on the pole. Sheldon Haudenschild and Brad Sweet were in row two, as Kerry Madsen and Kraig Kinser completed row three. Schuchart drove off the bottom into the lead with Gravel right there. The two drivers were battling from the top positions as Brad Sweet manned the third spot. Sweet found something that worked as he darted to the low side and found speed in turns three and four. He made the pass of Gravel for the runner-up position and quickly set his sights on the leader. He caught him and made the pass to take the win over Schuchart and Gravel with Kinser coming home fourth followed by Haudenschild and Madsen.
The field was summoned to the track for the 35-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature event at U.S. 36 Raceway. The fans in the stands were ready. The lights were on. The crew of each team were making their final adjustments to give their drivers their best chance at victory. And the drivers drifted into to race time focus. After the World of Outlaws’ traditional four-wide salute to the fans, David dropped the shield of his Simpson Race Products helmet and was ready to get up to speed in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Tiger Towing #41. It was Sweet to the lead at the drop of the green with Schuchart, Haudenschild and Gravel not losing sight of the NAPA #49. Sweet was fast as it only took the leaders four lap to catch the rear of the field. Sweet was working lap traffic as Haudenschild was working the rim on the top side. On lap 11 he chased down the leader and took the lead momentarily before Sweet wrestled it back when the NOS Energy Drink #17 got up over the cushion in turn two. Gravel and Schuchart were in the mix as the top four navigated through traffic. The racing was tight, but these professionals made it look easy and the fans were getting their monies worth. Gravel was nestled into the fourth position with Donny Schatz now battling into the top five. Sweet appeared to be in control with a 2.5 second lead with a few laps to go, but second running Haudenschild had other thoughts as he was closing the gap. He indeed closed the gap on the last lap as he almost made the pass for the lead entering turn one. Sweet exited two with it but coming off of turn four on the final lap, Haudenschild squeezed between Sweet and the fence to carry his momentum to the checkers first to take the win over Sweet with Schuchart, Gravel and Schatz rounding out the top five. Gravel ran a strong and consistent race all night to bring home a respectable fourth place finish. 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.