KOKOMO, INDIANA (October 24, 2020) – With the 2020 racing season nearing the finish line, and the Big Ten football season finally kicking off just down the road in Bloomington with Indiana hosting Penn State, David Gravel along with his Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 team were in The Hoosier State to compete in the Fall Fling at Kokomo Speedway. Coming off a busy schedule of racing last weekend, a performance that displayed the versatile driver’s talent resulting in a sixth place finish on Friday night in the Dietz Motorsports #14 World of Outlaws sprint car at Lakeside Speedway, followed up by him then heading over to Kansas Speedway on Saturday to race on the asphalt in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Clean Harbors 200 where his day ended too early after a restart accident on lap 38, then capping it off with a runner-up finish from the back of the field in the 57th running of the Tony Bettenhausen 100 USAC Silver Crown race at Springfield, Illinois mile making his Silver Crown debut. David Gravel and the forty-one team were ready to keep rolling at Kokomo Speedway’s quarter mile oval as there were 44 winged sprint cars registered in the pit area for the Fall Fling spectacular along with a field of non-wing cars.
With a loaded pit area, the Watertown, Connecticut hotshoe would be the 16th car out in Flight B in time trials aboard the J.R.C. Transportation/KSE Racing Products/Chalk Stix Torsion Bars #41 Maxim for his two laps against the clock around the famous semi-banked quarter mile oval nestled just off North Davis Road in Howard County. He climbed into his speed office inside his Maxim Racing chassis and buckled up his Simpson Race Products belts before rolling back and into the staging lane. His Kistler Engines/Engler Machine & Tool power came to life underneath the Indy Performance Composites (IPC) designed carbon fiber hood as he lowered his right foot to go on a high speed adventure around Kokomo Speedway’s clay surface. He was on the clock with the accelerator mashed to the floor. When he completed his first lap the stopwatch recorded his time at 11.460 seconds. He stayed on the gas and was looking for anything and everything the car and track would give him the next time around. After he completed the second circuit the time was better at 11.227 seconds, with the faster of his two laps slotting him 9th overall in Flight B when time trials concluded.
When the World of Outlaws timing and scoring officials completed the Drydene heat race lineups, David would find himself and his JJR #41 ride in the fifth heat race where he would start from the fifth position in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 Maxim alongside DJ Foos. The heat race was filled with talent from the pole to the final qualifier as Brad Sweet and Parker Price-Miller led the field to the green flag. The first lap went off without any issues as the competitors battled for position. They were racing in close quarters and the yellow came out before the next lap could be completed for David Gravel who was sitting with a broken rear end at the end of the straightaway. The mechanical issue would end his race as he headed pit side so the crew could get to work and make the necessary changes needed to have the equipment ready for the Last Chance Showdown (LCS). Sheldon Haudenschild took the win over Sweet with Tyler Courtney, James McFadden and Parker Price-Miller completing the top five.
With the repairs made to the BR Motorsports/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS) #41 Maxim as their driver climbed into the cockpit. He would get rolling in the 12-lap Last Chance Showdown from the outside of the front row with Tim Kaeding in the TSR #14 on the pole. Gravel would lead the first 2 laps before surrendering the lead back to the pole sitter on the third circuit. Gravel was working the bottom side and finding speed with Kaeding pounding the top side. Gravel was scored as the leader on lap 11, but Kaeding would beat him back to the finish line by 0.352 seconds on the last lap to take the win. Jason Sides and DJ Foos would join Kaeding and Gravel in the transfer positions to the feature.
After all of the hard work in qualifying was completed, the field was set for the 40-lap Fall Fling feature event at Kokomo Speedway on this cool October evening in Indiana. David Gravel and the JJR team’s hard work and preparation had paid off as he raced into the 25-car starting field and would start from then 22nd spot in the field for the feature in the Pro Powder Coating (PPC)/Waco Metal/Buckwalter Trucking #41. The Watertown, Connecticut driver would share the row with Kaeding as the two talented chauffeurs were ready to put on a show for the fans. Sheldon Haudenschild and Donny Schatz were on the front row as they were the first to hit their accelerators in front of the packed house of sprint car fans. It was Sheldon to the lead with Schatz and Sweet trying to track down the high flying talent. Sheldon would lead the first 8 laps before surrendering to Schatz who masterfully used lap traffic and the low line to close the gap and make the pass. Meanwhile, David was not lollygagging as he was up on the wheel and had moved up to the fifteenth position in early race action. His march forward was relentless only to be slowed by a spin just after the midway point of the race involving Dominic Scelzi and Daryn Pittman. He rejoined the field and wasted no time as he got his elbows up and set his sights on another run forward. The racing at the front was close as Haudenschild used the open track and high side to take the lead back from Schatz on lap 25 with Sweet still running in the show position. Gravel moved forward and into the top ten with 13 laps to go eventually overcoming every obstacle that he was presented with during the evening to collect a 9 place finish. Haudenschild took the win over Schatz and Logan Schuchart with James McFadden and Carson Macedo rounding out the top five. An evening of challenges did not stop David Gravel and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) team from performing to their best. A good 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.