SAUK RAPIDS, MINNESOTA (June 8, 2019) – Another beautiful day welcomed the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series competitors to Granite City Speedway located in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. After a four hour trek following the end of the racing in North Dakota on Friday evening, Philip and the JJR #41 team arrived at the 3/8-mile, semi-banked clay oval in Minnesota for another night of exciting racing action with their High Performance Lubricants/C&R Racing #41 Maxim. There were 24 teams ready to race for the winner’s jackpot in the $10,000-to-win race on this night and the fans packed the stands to see these high speed stars do their thing. It was time to go racing on Saturday night in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
David Gravel would be the fifth car out on the track for his two time trial laps. He built up speed and took the green and went to work using his KSE Racing Products/Indy Performance Composites (IPC) carbon fiber steering wheel to navigate to the fast line. He did well as the stopwatch read 11.529 seconds after the first circuit, which put him to the top of the speed charts. Not satisfied, the Watertown, Connecticut born talent stayed on the loud pedal and drove the heck out of the High Performance Lubricants #41, this time laying down a bad ass lap that was faster at 11.471 seconds. Kraig Kinser was the final competitor to turn his laps and when he was unable to beat Gravel’s fastest lap time, David collected his second consecutive quick time of the weekend as the team was preparing his high speed machine for heat race action.
With three heat races scheduled, World of Outlaws officials posted the starting lineups for each of the 10-lap qualifying events. David would start from the pole position in the first and fastest heat race with fellow competitor Ian Madsen to his outside as Daryn Pittman, James McFadden, Brent Marks, Skylar Prochaska, Jade Hastings and Jordan Adams filled the remainder of the starting grid. Pacing the field in their side-by-side starting order, Gravel stomped on the accelerator and his Kistler Engines power delivered the horsepower to get him rolling in front of the field. He was trucking in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication #41 Maxim as he was embroiled in a battle for the top spot early with Madsen. Unfortunately Madsen rolled to a stop with two laps in the books to bring out the caution. On the restart, Gravel maintained the top spot with Pittman and Brent Marks giving chase. They would not catch him as he took the heat race win as Pittman came home second followed by Marks, McFadden and Prochaska as Hastings claimed the final transfer position.
For the thirteenth time this season, David Gravel had positioned the JJR #41 car into the dash event. Looking to continue his perfect night after setting quick time and winning his heat race, lady luck was on his side as he reached into the container and pulled the ‘1’ pill meaning he would start from the pole for the 8-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Brad Sweet would share the front row with him as Daryn Pittman, Friday night’s winner Logan Schuchart, Kerry Madsen and Sheldon Haudenschild completed the starting grid. Gravel wasted no time as he used the top side of the track to drive into the lead over Sweet when the yellow lights were replaced by the green ones to indicate it was ok to race at high speeds. Gravel would lead every lap and take the win over Sweet, Pittman, Schuchart, Madsen and Haudenschild, which earned his the pole position starting spot for the upcoming feature event.
The horn sounded as the JJR #41 crew tightened down the right rear and pushed the High Performance Lubricants/Jonestown KOA #41 to the speedway to await a push truck to start the engine. Thirty five laps sat between the drivers and the $10,000 winner’s share to be handed over in victory lane. Gravel was buckled into his Simpson Race Products safety belts and flipped down the shield of his helmet. When the green flag was displayed, Brad Sweet powered into the lead from the outside starting position with Gravel giving chase. It did not take long for the leaders to catch the back of the field as they started lapping cars four laps into the race. It was Sweet, Gravel and Pittman hauling at the front of the field, but Sweet was setting a torrid pace. At one point he built a four second lead over Gravel, but the driver of the forty-one was coming. With each passing lap the differential between the top two in the running order was shrinking and before you knew it Gravel was closing. A caution waved for Donny Schatz regrouping the field. Sweet would choose the inside lane putting the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Durst, Inc. #41 Maxim on the top side for the restart. Coming out of turn four, Sweet stomped on the gas and Gravel ducked to the low side. He had a clean slider going into turn one and took the lead from Sweet. Both drivers were using the high line to make their way around Granite City Speedway as the cushion was building up against the wall in the turns. Gravel was laying his right rear against the cushion, and sometimes the wall, lap after lap as was Sweet. At times both Gravel and Sweet were bouncing off the wall in turn four and on the 31st circuit Gravel caught a bit too much of the wall getting him out of shape giving Sweet his opportunity to retake the lead. These two talented drivers were putting on an incredible show. High Performance Lubricants, based in Manteno, Illinois, is known for their quality Bad Ass Racing Oil and products and this race was . . . well, it was just bad ass! Sweet took advantage of the opportunity and seized it as he stole the lead back from Gravel. A late caution gave the Watertown chauffeur one last chance, but Sweet maintained the lead and crossed the finish line first as Gravel came home second with Logan Schuchart finishing third, Pittman fourth and Marks rounding out the top five. A great, and exciting, run for 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; 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 learn more about David Gravel, and stay up to date with his success and journey, go to www.DavidGravel89.com.