BARBERVILLE, FLORIDA (February 8, 2019) – The skies were again brimming with sunshine as the pit area and parking lots around Volusia Speedway Park filled up anxiously awaiting the roar of the engines to kick off the 2019 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season. There were 33 cars ready to get the air flowing over their wings and one of those was the JJR #41 team with David Gravel behind the wheel. As the team rolled out the J.R.C. Transportation/High Performance Lubricants #41 Maxim out of the trailer the anticipation to get the season started became real.
David was scheduled to be the twelfth car out for his two time trial laps aboard his Maxim Racing entry, but unfortunately, the team experienced engine issues that forced him to miss his qualifying spot. Philip, Tyler and the team, along with the driver who was right in there too, changed the engine and were able to take one lap at the end of the time trial order. Per established World of Outlaws rules, the highest David could time, no matter what the stopwatch read, was seventeenth (i.e. half the field plus one). He got his elbows up and turned in a good lap at 13.501 seconds, which was 17th quick overall as Ian Madsen was your quick timer of the night at 13.024 seconds.
The team would prepare the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Saich Family #41 for the first and fastest heat race by time trial times. Ian Madsen and Carson Macedo made up row one with Paul McMahan and Shane Stewart sharing row two. Gravel would start fifth beside Kasey Kahne with Brent Marks, John Garvin and Brent O’Bannion rounding out the starting grid. Only the top five finishers transfer to the feature event, and when the green flag waved, the Watertown, Connecticut native drove the forty-one into the final transfer position. Macedo was fast at the front of the field, but Shane Stewart was coming quickly in the early stages of the race in the runner-up position. Macedo would take the heat race victory over Stewart, Madsen and McMahan with Gravel locking in with a fifth place finish.
When you are racing with the best in the business, making the feature is just part of the challenge. David and the JJR #41 team overcame the early adversity they encountered and put the Durst Inc./Lincoln Auto Auction/Team Jack Foundation #41 Maxim in the big show where they would start on the inside of row nine with Tim Shaffer to their outside. Shane Stewart and Christopher Bell were on the front row and would bring the 26-car field to the green flag. Gravel who is focused and relentless behind the wheel of his sprint car was using his talents inside the cockpit to make his way forward from deep in the field. On the first lap of the race, Stewart was showing the way over Bell as Gravel gained four positions to move into the 13th position. Gravel was far from done as the determined wheelman moved into the top ten at the halfway point of the 30-lap race. Stewart surrendered the lead to Daryn Pittman on lap 16 as the field was putting on a show for the fans. Gravel stayed on the hammer and his Kistler Racing Engine was delivering the power he needed to continue forward. As the laps wound down, Gravel continues his pursuit of the next position. When Pittman took the checkered flag over Stewart, Bell, and Brad Sweet it was Gravel and Schatz in a photo finish for the fifth spot. Per established World of Outlaws rules, in that situation you go back to the lap prior where the 15 was ahead of the 41, therefore Schatz was officially credited with fifth. Nonetheless, a great run for David Gravel and the JJR #41 team as their sixth place finish earned them the KSE Hard Charger Award to kick off the 2019 season! Another great run for Gravel and the forty-one!
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