NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (June 1, 2019) – As we turned the page of the calendar from May to June, Philip Dietz and the JJR #41 team were back at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville for the second and final night of racing action in the inaugural Music City Outlaw Nationals. This track has a deep history in NASCAR and the fans filled the covered frontstretch grandstands on Saturday night to see all of the stars in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series race on the quarter mile, dirt covered inside track. There were 37 teams back for more action on an absolutely perfect Saturday evening for racing.
During the afternoon, the team celebrated Jason Johnson being honored and recognized as he was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa. Bobbi, Jaxx, and his parent’s Craig and Debra Johnson gracefully accepted the award for this team’s hero. The 2016 Knoxville Nationals Champion dedicated his life to the sport of sprint car racing. His goal was simply to run with the best, the World of Outlaws, so one day he may be considered one of the elite drivers of the sport. Mission accomplished!
With 37 teams entered there would only be one set of time trials with David Gravel going out 18th car out on the track for his two laps against the clock. He rolled onto the speedway in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/All Pro Auto Reconditioning #41 Maxim and the seconds started ticking on the clock. When he crossed the finish line for his first lap the clock read 14.714 seconds. He stayed on the gas and turned a consistent second lap at 14.847 seconds, with the quicker of his two laps recorded placing him 10th quick overall on the night.
The Watertown, Connecticut born native would line up third in the second of four 8-lap heat races. Shane Stewart and Kevin Thomas were on the front row for the start of the race with Jordan Givler sharing row two with Gravel. Logan Schuchart, Jim Perricone, Bill Balog, Danny Smith and Chad Kemenah filled out the remainder of the starting grid. When the yellow light stopped flashing and the green cloth waved overhead, Stewart charged into the lead as Gravel was tussling with Thomas for the runner-up spot aboard his Weikert’s Livestock/FK Rod Ends #41. Gravel was up on the wheel and closing on Stewart as the Maxim Racing #41 was chugging around the bottom. Gravel was doing a masterful job wheeling the car but ran out of laps as Stewart crossed the stripe and took the win by 0.249 seconds over the forty-one speed chauffeur. Kevin Thomas brought his #19x home third as Schuchart and Givler locked down the final two transfer positions to the feature event.
Advancing on to the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, Gravel and the crew continued to work on the J.R.C. Transportation/Durst Inc. #41 Maxim to stay competitive on this changing and tricky surface. Good luck was on their side when he drew the three pill, which put him on the inside of row two to start the event. Memphis, Tennessee native Jeff Swindell was on the pole of the event, his first since his last one two decades ago, as he shared the front row with Shane Stewart. When the green flag waved Swindell drove into the lead, but Stewart, Gravel and Brent Marks brought the fans in the stands to their feet when they went three wide for the runner-up position in turn two of this narrow racing facility. Stewart came out with the position followed by Gravel and Marks. Swindell would earn the win over Stewart, Gravel and Marks with Tony Stewart, Jason Sides, Brad Sweet and Scotty Thiel rounding out the finishing order which set the first four rows of the starting grid.
All the work was put in and it was now time for the 30-lap Music City Outlaw Nationals finale with a $25,000 check and a guitar trophy awaiting the winner. The final adjustments were being made on the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/KSE Racing Products #41 as they bolted on and tightened their Weld Racing right rear wheel. With all of the fans on their feet it was time to go four-wide for the drivers in The Greatest Show on Dirt! Cell Phones were all lite up and they were ready to get down to business in Music City. These talented drivers did not wait to make things exciting as everyone was engaged when the green flag dropped. Outside front row starter Shane Stewart, drove his CJB #5 into the lead over Swindell as Gravel and Marks were giving chase. The racing throughout the field was exciting and the fans were getting their monies worth. An early caution for a spinning Daryn Pittman regrouped the field and on the single file restart they got back to business. Stewart still held the lead, but Brent Marks was on the move and competing for the top spot. He got that position on lap 11 before Stewart took it back on lap 12. Marks was relentless and stole it back and led lap 13 before a patient Stewart took the lead for good on lap 22. Gravel was doing his best to keep his forty-one in contention, but he lost a bit of grip as the track took on rubber with each passing lap. Shane Stewart would go on to collect his first win of the 2019 season over Marks, Brad Sweet and Tony Stewart with Donny Schatz coming home fifth. David Gravel did a terrific job with a sixth place finish on the final night of the Music City Outlaw Nationals in Nashville. A good 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; 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.