ELMA, WASHINGTON (September 2, 2019) – As the country celebrated Labor Day and was riveted to their televisions watching the destruction of Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas, David Gravel and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink series competitors turned their focus on the job at hand – their race at Grays Harbor Raceway. There were 17 sprint car drivers and teams lining the pit area, along with a host of midget competitors, preparing to put on a show for the devoted fans who made this entertainment part of their holiday weekend.
With the track preparation completed, David climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine and buckled his Simpson Race Products belts as he waited for his turn against the clock in time trials. He would be one of the last cars out, but when the engine came to life under his Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Jansen Transportation/K&N Filters #41 he was all business. He jumped on the accelerator and got up to speed as he took the green and started the seconds ticking on his first lap. When he crossed the start/finish line on lap one he was 11th quick with a lap of 12.107 seconds. He stayed on the hammer and ran a faster lap the next time around with a lap of 11.871 seconds, which was 4th quick overall on the night.
Following his performance in time trials, he earned a front row starting spot in the second Drydene Heat race alongside polesitter Daryn Pittman. The field behind the front two in the heat race consisted of Kraig Kinser, Carson Macedo, Ian Madsen, Brent Marks, Brad Sweet and Jason Sides. When the green flag dropped it was Pittman to the lead with Gravel aboard the Jonestown KOA/Greber Racing Components #41 Maxim right behind. The competition for position was fierce throughout the field over the 10 laps, but Pittman took the heat race victory by over 2 seconds over Gravel who raced across the line in front of Macedo and Kinser with Brad Sweet rounding out the top five.
With the action moving fast and furious, the next thing on the racing schedule was the 8-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Shane Stewart and Daryn Pittman would sit on the front row with David Gravel and Donny Schatz in row two, and Carson Macedo and Jacob Allen in row three. Stewart darted into the lead at the drop of the green with Pittman, Gravel and Schatz in tow. They were working the top side of the track, but occasionally Gravel and Schatz would explore down low to see if they could find something. When the black and white checkered cloth flew over the field it was Stewart taking the win over Pittman as Gravel came home third followed by Schatz, Macedo and Allen.
With the first three rows of the starting order for the 30-lap feature set based on the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash results, it was now time to see who would walk out with the winner’s check at the picturesque Grays Harbor Raceway. When the green lights replaced the yellow ones to indicate it was okay to go racing at high speed, Shane Stewart drove into the lead over Pittman. Gravel stumbled off the start in the T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication/Tiger Towing #41, as did Schatz, allowing both Macedo and Allen to move in front of them. Pittman took the lead from Stewart on lap three and was setting the pace at the front of the pack. Gravel was mired back in the sixth position early but got into his rhythm and started to build up some speed before a yellow was displayed. Restarting in the two-by-two starting order, Gravel was determined to have a better start this time around and when the green flag flew he drove off the outside into the fifth position as he passed Schatz, and then dove low under Allen entering turn three to take over the fourth position. He was now the car to watch as he closed in and passed Shane Stewart for third exiting turn two before Stewart slowed to a stop in turn four with power steering issues. On the restart, Gravel was shuffled back to fourth as he was racing wheel-to-wheel with Schatz for position. Daryn Pittman meanwhile was also tussling with Carson Macedo for the lead as there was high speed racing action all throughout the field. With the laps winding down, it was Pittman showing the way as Schatz slid by the relentless Macedo for the runner-up position. Macedo was not giving up though as he raced beside Schatz before relinquishing the second spot for good with a few laps to go. Pittman took the win in Washington over Schatz and Macedo as Gravel came home fourth followed by Sheldon Haudenschild to round out the top five. It was Gravel and the JJR #41 team’s 35th top five of the 2019 season – a 61.4% top five success rate. Another good 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.