BRANDON, SOUTH DAKOTA (September 5, 2020) – The sprint car racing community received a gift when Tod Quiring purchased Huset’s Speedway back in July 2020. The beautiful 3/8-mile high-banked, dirt oval, located between Sioux Falls and Brandon, South Dakota off Highway 11, was carved into a soybean field by a local farmer and business person, Til Huset, in 1953. Throughout the years, Huset’s Speedway has been the high speed playground of sprint car legends for many years until a new owner purchased it in 2015 and changed its’ name to Badlands Motor Speedway and the track eventually closed the doors back in 2017. Under Tod Quiring’s ownership, he changed the name back to Huset’s Speedway and on Saturday night the pit area was again filled with talented teams and drivers as he welcomed 37 teams to race in the two-day Labor Day World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series weekend show at the famed racing facility.
Great racing has always been a hallmark at Huset’s Speedway throughout history. With the excitement brimming in the stands and throughout the pit area, it was time to go racing as time trials kicked off. Terry McCarl set the track record back in May 2009 with a lap of 10.317 seconds. David Gravel would climb aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS) #41 Maxim and buckle into his Simpson Race Products safety belts. He would be the second driver to take to the track, after Jordan Adams who was supped to go out before him experienced mechanical issues, as he tested his machine against the clock. He buried his right foot into the accelerator and his Kistler Engines/Engler Machine & Tool power was building speed. He took the green and showcased his talents inside the cockpit of the Maxim Racing machine. He stopped the clock the first time around at 10.829 seconds. He was determined and was digging for more the second time around and turned in a better lap at 10.639 seconds. The better of his two lap times netted him third quick overall when qualifying was completed.
With four Drydene heat races scheduled to accommodate the field of cars, the JJR #41 with David Gravel would start from the pole positon in the third 10-lap heat race. With talent throughout the pit area, it certainly was not a surprise that each of the heat events were stacked. Daryn Pittman would share the front row with Gravel, as Logan Schuchart and Dominic Scelzi paced in the row behind them with Tim Kaeding, Matt Juhl, Skylar Prochaska, Trey Starks and Kevin Ingle filling the remainder of the starting order. When the cars crossed the chalk stripe in turn four, Pittman drove the Roth #83 into the lead as Gravel was right on his bumper. The caution flew on lap 3 for Kevin Ingle who spun at the bottom of turn four, so the field realigned in their two-by-two restart order. Pittman again drove ahead of Gravel as the front two cars checked out. Gravel was closing the gap and with three laps to go he slid underneath the leader entering turn one to take over the top spot. He led the remainder of the race to take the heat race win over Pittman, Schuchart, Scelzi and Kaeding who locked down the final transfer spot on the last lap.
Earning his way into his 28th DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash in 2020 through his skill, his luck with regards to drawing pills this season has not been favorable. That continued as he selected the ‘8’ pill, which put him in the last starting position aboard the Walker Performance Filtration #41 Maxim for the 8-lap race. Jacob Allen and Brad Sweet were in row one, Kyle Larson and Kraig Kinser in row two, Daryn Pittman and Sheldon Haudenschild in row three, as Kerry Madsen joined Gravel in row four. It was Larson leading lap one over Allen when the drivers got up to speed, but Allen roaring back to lead lap two. Gravel was running in the seventh position and was able to gain the sixth spot on lap three. Allen meanwhile continued to lead and race from the front as he was the first to see the checkers as he beat Larson, Sweet, Haudenschild and Pittman to the finish line. Kerry Madsen came home sixth ahead of Gravel and Kinser who completed the finishing order.
With the field set for the 35-lap feature, the track conditions changed dramatically throughout the night. It took rubber and slicked off as the winds from the surrounding storms sucked the remaining moisture out of the surface. The track would be a technical one for these professionals, but it was time to go racing at Huset’s Speedway! When the green flag waved it was Kyle Larson to the lead as he paced the field throughout the first 7 laps before surrendering it to a hard charging Sheldon Haudenschild. David was patiently rolling from the seventh position throughout the first 21 laps aboard the Weikert’s Livestock/Durst, Inc. #41 Maxim Racing machine. It was about this point of the race where the evening’s defining theme for the teams and race would start to emerge as the first caution flew for a flat right rear tire. With each restart it just became a matter of time before the next caution would fly as you began to see the cords showing through as they rolled under yellow conditions. The distinct white strip that was easily seen from the stands made it easy if you were a gamble to guess who was next. Competitor after competitor was relegated to the pit area as their Hoosier Racing Tires surrendered to the track conditions and extreme wear. The race activities were reminiscent of the early race at Charlotte last year and the King’s Royal that Jason Sides’ won back in 2004, as the race strategy was evolving around tire wear. With each competitor forced to the work area, Kyle Larson still maintained the lead and Gravel was picking up a spot each time on the leader board. Could any of the drivers survive if they took care of their tires? Could they hold off the drivers who had tires replaced who were letting everything hang out like early leader Sheldon Haudenschild? As the expiring tires matriculated throughout the field, with six laps to go there were only four drivers who had their original right rear tires still bolted on. Two of those were on your leader and runner-up’s cars, Larson and Gravel respectively. But it was clear they had very little if any rubber left as they had a widening white stripe showing through. There was an open red, but under the rules you cannot change tires. The race restarted and they got a lap in and the next caution was for David Gravel whose tire had just given up. He raced into the work area and the JJR #41 team put on a new tire on. He tagged the rear of the field. On the next restart, it was Larson who finally saw his luck, and right rear, run out. Sheldon Haudenschild, who pitted with a flag on lap 27 inherited the lead with Carson Macedo running second. Haudenschild would go on to collect his fourth WoO win of the year over Macedo and Daryn Pittman who rounded out the podium. Gravel raced his way back to tenth to end a promising night. A good run for the forty-one, unfortunately the result did not reflect the work and speed the team had all night. They will be back at it on Saturday night at Huset’s Speedway, this time for the $20,000 winner’s check.
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.