RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA (August 23, 2019) – David Gravel and the JJR #41 team continued their journey to the West Coast with a stop in western South Dakota at Black Hills Speedway on Friday night for the $20,000-to-win Rushmore Outlaw Showdown at the fast half-mile. There were a total of 18 teams registered to race on this night in Rapid City, South Dakota as the fans purchased tickets and merchandise before taking their seats to enjoy the high speed action.
The 2019 Knoxville Nationals Champion, David Gravel, would be the tenth car out for his two laps against the clock. He was quickest in hot laps and was looking to duplicate his high speed efforts to make it official aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Jonestown KOA #41 in time trials. When Kraig Kinser completed his two circuits, the Kistler Engines power came to life under the hood of the JJR entry. The talented driver from Watertown, Connecticut jumped on the accelerator and got up to speed to take the green flag. By the look of things he was fast, but everyone would have to wait to see what the stopwatch read as he crossed the timing stripe to verify if their eyes were correct. They all had 20/20 vision and their eyes were not deceiving as Gravel turned a lap of 14.856 seconds, which put him directly on top of the speed charts. Unknowing to the focused driver inside the cockpit, he stayed on the gas as his Hoosier Racing Tires gripped the surface the second time around which ended up even quicker at 14.824 seconds. His fast time withstood the remaining qualifiers as he collected his 13th quick time in World of Outlaws competition this season. A great start to the night for the JJR #41 team.
There would be two Drydene Heat Races with the MVT/Durst Inc. #41 Maxim wheeled by David Gravel starting from the pole in the first 8-lap qualifying event. Shane Stewart would share the front row with Gravel, as Daryn Pittman and Jason Sides paced behind in row two with Ian Madsen, Donny Schatz, Brent Marks, Mike Pennel and Adam Speckman rounding out the starting grid. Gravel would drive into the lead as they passed under the green flag for the first time with Stewart right behind. It was a high speed chase with Gravel setting the pace on the high side of the track’s wide racing surface. He would build on his lead each lap and when he took the checkers he won by 2.073 seconds over Stewart. The top two finishers advanced on to the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Donny Schatz finished third, Pittman came home in fourth, and Jason Sides rounded out the top five.
With weather moving towards the speedway, track officials did the redraw for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash in the pit area to keep the event moving along. The top two finishers from each heat race, along with the top two finishers from the Qualifier in this format, Donny Schatz and Daryn Pittman, made up the starting grid for the Dash. Front row starter, Shane Stewart, wasted no time in seizing the lead when the green lights illuminated around the track as Gravel drifted up out of the lane coming out of four for the green and fell back to sixth at the start aboard the Buckwalter Trucking, LLC/FK Rod Ends #41. Stewart was in command at the front of the pack with Carson Macedo giving chase. Gravel was battling with Schatz for the fifth position. Shane Stewart would prevail and collected the win over Macedo, Logan Schuchart, Pittman and Schatz with Gravel coming home sixth.
There were 25 laps sitting between the field and the $20,000 check that awaiting the first driver to the finish line at Black Hills Speedway. The field was set and eager to get rolling. David Gravel climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine with his new, slick looking Simpson Race Products orange Durst Inc. driver’s suit. He was ready to go, but had some work to do from his office. The engine came to life in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Weikert’s Livestock #41 Maxim and he rolled into his starting position on the track. With all the pre-race festivities completed, the only thing left to do was race to see who would win the Rushmore Outlaw Showdown at Black Hills Speedway. From his outside row three starting position, Gravel drove into the top five right at the start of the race. Shane Stewart was leading over Macedo as the top line was the fast line on this night in South Dakota. Stewart was in control until yellow was displayed after lap nine for Ian Madsen who blew a right rear tire and nosed it into the fence exiting turn two. Madsen made repairs with the help of other teams and rejoined the field. For the restart, Shane Stewart had the choice – top or bottom – for the restart. He chose the top which aligned all the cars running in odd numbered positions when the yellow came out on the outside of the track. This put Gravel on the top side of row three with Sheldon Haudenschild to his inside. When the green flag waved over the field, Stewart’s engine seemed to stumble a little and Macedo rocketed into the lead. Gravel meanwhile drove the wheels, Weld Racing wheels to be exact, off his #41 and maneuvered from the high side to the low side as he passed Logan Schuchart for positon and then slid up in front of Daryn Pittman for the show position all before exiting turn two. The Watertown, Connecticut wheelman was moving on a track surface that was becoming increasingly more difficult. He would maintain the show position behind Macedo and Stewart as the laps started to click away. Macedo had built up a sizable lead at one point, but Stewart was closing the gap late with Gravel in tow close behind. Macedo drove a great race to collect the win over Stewart by 0.473 seconds with Gravel close behind with a third place finish. It was Gravel’s 24th podium finish of the 2019 campaign – an impressive 45.28% podium finish success rate. Another great run for the forty-one!
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.