BARBERVILLE, FLORIDA (February 5, 2020) – After the confetti fell down on the Kansas City Chiefs after winning the Super Bowl in Florida, race fans and teams turned their attention to Volusia Speedway Park where sprint car engines would come to life on Wednesday evening for the first time to kick off the 2020 racing season for the DIRTcar Nationals. The race was sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) and 34 teams were entered to get the season started . . . 410 sprint car style!
Using the ASCoC format where you time against your heat race, David Gravel went out in Group C and turned his quickest lap aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Walker Performance Filtration #41 Maxim in 13.440 seconds. It was good enough for fourth quick, which would land him on the front row for his heat race with the four car inversion.
The heat races were 8 laps in distance with the goal of winning so you could advance into the dash events. Gravel would share the front row with Pennsylvanian Brock Zearfoss with the Watertown, Connecticut driver starting from the pole. The field was set in their two-by-two starting order and they slowly paced around ready to take the green. Zearfoss got a good start as he and Gravel raced wheel to wheel into turn one. Zearfoss got the lead with Gravel using his Kistler Engines power to give chase. Zearfoss drove a good race to take the win over Gravel in the Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3 as Sam Hafertepe Jr. came home in the show position with Daryn Pittman and Parker Price-Miller, aboard the Dietz Motorsports #14, rounding out the top five all advancing to the A-Main.
The JJR #41 crew of Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz used the time before the feature to work on the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Tiger Towing #41 to try to make it better for the 25-lap A-Main where David Gravel would get started from the 11th starting position. The horns sounded summoning the cars to the track and Gravel pulled on his freshly painted Shell Shock Simpson helmet to prepare for competition. Polesitter Ian Madsen along with fellow front row starting Cory Eliason paced the field and brought them to the green flag. Eliason led early with Madsen pursuing him lap after lap as third starting Brad Sweet was lying in wait. Meanwhile, Gravel was moving forward in the JJR #41 as he held the tenth spot in the running order early and then started to methodically pick up positions as the race went on. Madsen would get by Eliason for the lead, but before they knew it Sweet was right there in a three car battle. Sweet came out on top and led the remaining distance to take the win over Madsen and Eliason with Kyle Larson and James McFadden rounding out the top five. The recently married David Gravel drove his Maxim Racing #41 to a seventh place finish in his first night out in 2020. A good start to the racing season for the JJR #41 team!
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; K&N Filters; 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.