LAWTON, OKLAHOMA (September 18, 2020) – As the days fly by in the month of September, David and the JJR #41 sprint car team headed south from their Rocky Mount, Missouri home base for the weekend with the first stop being in Oklahoma at Lawton Speedway. The World of Outlaws have not been at the 1/4 mile, red clay bullring since 1985 when Sammy Swindell took the win. The drivers and teams were up for the challenge as 22 teams were registered and lining the pit area. The crews were getting their driver’s speed chariots ready to roll on Lawton’s on the red clay surface.
The field was set for qualifying against the clock in time trials. David would be the 19th car out aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication #41 Maxim. The talented driver is always up on the wheel and smooth which usually produces the desired outcome – a good qualifying lap time. He took the green and had his Kistler Engines/Engler Machine & Tool power singing on his quarter mile jaunt around Lawton Speedway. When he completed his first go round, most of the fans looked down at their phone to check Race Monitor to see a time of 12.905 seconds. He had his elbows up and kept digging the second time around, this time completing the lap in 12.618 seconds. His determined effort yielded him the fifth best time overall on the night when all was said and done in time trials.
When the Drydene heat race lineups were posted he would start from the pole position in the second heat race. He rolled his Weld Racing Wheels onto the track and maneuvered into his starting spot beside Dietz Motorsports teammate Parker Price-Miller. Logan Schuchart and Jason Sides followed the front row starters under the pace laps. The field was set and approached the starting chalk line side-by-side. Hammer down and off they went taking the track to task with Gravel leading the field into turn one. Parker Price-Miller was close behind with the Shark Racing #1s driver Logan Schuchart stalking. Gravel was motoring in the T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication #41 as he was making tracks and not looking back. He would lead the event wire-to-wire to collect his series leading 15 heat race win of the season. Price-Miller collected second and would transfer along with Gravel to the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Logan Schuchart drove home with a third place finish followed across the finish line by Sides, Mason Daniel, Jake Bubak and Danny Jennings.
Wearing his red Team Jack Foundation emblazoned Simpson Race Products suit, he headed to victory lane to select his starting spot for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. He would be the second driver to pull the pill out of the over-sized NOS Energy Drink can, after Sheldon Haudenschild pulled a six, and after mixing up the remaining pills vigorously he pulled out one of the last two even numbers – a number four. When the dash lineup was set Parker Price-Miller would be on the pole in the Dietz Motorsports #14 with native Oklahoman Daryn Pittman to his outside. Carson Macedo shared row two with Gravel, as Brad Sweet and Haudenschild made up row three. When the green flag waved to start the 6-lap race, Pittman darted into the lead with Price-Miller following. Gravel was battling for the third position with the hard charging Macedo in the early laps. The Watertown, Connecticut native would take control of the show position as he followed Pittman and Price-Miller across the finish line with Macedo coming home fourth ahead of Haudenschild and Sweet.
When the car drifted to a stop at the back of the hauler, Philip Dietz went to work with Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz to make some adjustments to the FK Rod Ends/J.R.C. Transportation #41 for the 35-lap feature. When the 8-minute horn sounded, Gravel climbed into his office ready to get to work. Polesitter Daryn Pittman was poised to get going and when the green flag dropped, he again led Park Price-Miller and Gravel into turn one. He had the Roth Motorsports #83 rolling but Price-Miller and Gravel were in hot pursuit. Throughout the first third of the race Gravel was dealing with Haudenschild who was moving in fast forward on the field. As the leaders approached and navigated through lapped traffic, runner-up Parker Price-Miller bicycled the #14 and almost went over bringing out the yellow. That would move Gravel up to second and he would restart outside of Pittman on lap 11. Pittman would not be denied and drive into the lead as they went back to racing. Gravel was keeping him within striking distance but Brad Sweet was hungry and coming fast. After another caution which sent Haudenschild to the work area for a tire change, the racing went back to green and Pittman and Sweet used the inside lane to take control of the top two spots. Gravel settled into third and was searching the track for speed. Pittman was tenacious and would never surrender the lead, even under heavy pressure late from Sweet, to collect his first win of the year with Sweet and Gravel completing the podium. On the frontstretch reflected, “I felt like I had just as good of a car as anybody there at the beginning and just faded late.” He continued, “We want to get these wins. I am sick of these top-fives and stuff. Being consistent is great, but we want to win races. So hopefully we can get in Victory Lane tomorrow.” Tomorrow Gravel and the World of Outlaw stars will be at the historic Devil’s Bowl Speedway. If you cannot be at the track, tune in and catch all of the action on DIRTVision. Another great run for the forty-one!
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; 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.