After back-to-back championship runner-up efforts in their first two years together, David Gravel and Big Game Motorsports are confident the third time is the charm as they return to pursue their first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series title in 2023.
In 2022, the Tod Quiring-owned operation was closer than ever to reaching the mountaintop with Gravel taking the tight fight all the way down to the 69th and final race at World Finals. With Ohioan Cody Jacobs returning to his crew chief role, all major sponsors back on board, and Gravel more hungry than ever behind the wheel, the #2 is determined to finish #1 this season.
“It’s championship or bust for us,” Gravel noted. “I think we’ve proven that we’re year-in and year-out title contenders by now and if maybe 20 or so laps go a different way last year then this is a different story. We know what we’re capable of and we know what is expected of us now, too. I’m excited to get to Volusia and get the ball rolling.”
Officially finishing 48 points behind Brad Sweet, it was little incidents like lap traffic chaos at Bakersfield and a flip while leading at Huset’s that can hurt the most when looking back. In the non-points department, five laps are all that separated him from becoming a two-time champion of the Knoxville Nationals as well.
There was plenty of positive, too, like last year’s trip to the DIRTcar Nationals, which resulted in a win and the Big Gator Championship. It was vital in giving Gravel and Big Game that early shot in the arm that nearly propelled them to the title stage in Charlotte. They’re heading back to Barberville, FL in two weeks with a fiery new design on the Huset’s Speedway, Billion Automotive #2.
Along with the usual Crown Jewels – $175,000/Win Knoxville Nationals, $175,000/Win Kings Royal, and $75,000/Win National Open – the Watertown, CT native also has the second annual High Bank Nationals circled on his calendar for June 21-24. The $250,000-to-win showdown at Huset’s Speedway will offer the richest payday in the history of Sprint Car Racing when conducted at the track promoted by Gravel’s car owner, Tod Quiring.
“Huset’s is obviously going to be a big one for us,” Gravel added. “I’ve always felt really well there since teaming up with Cody [Jacobs] and our results have shown that. Driving the Huset’s Speedway #2 at Huset’s Speedway for literally the biggest race in history when it goes down, that’s going to be special. I know we’re going to show up extra motivated that week.”
Entering 2023, the 30-year-old currently owns 753 starts, 76 career wins, 2,115 laps led, 191 podiums, 324 top fives, 545 top 10s, 97 quicktimes, and 208 heat wins with The Greatest Show on Dirt.
As mentioned, 2021 Crew Chief of the Year Cody Jacobs will resume his role as the head wrench on Gravel’s #2. Zach Patterson is back as the Tire Specialist for a second season, while Scott Vogelson – who was with the team in 2021 before joining CJB in 2022 – returns to Big Game in the Car Chief role.
Gravel’s 11th full-time campaign on the World of Outlaws trail officially begins with the season-opening Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on February 9-11. He’s made 62 appearances at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” with recent successes highlighted by his 2022 Big Gator Championship and a wildly impressive streak of 18 consecutive top-10 finishes at the track.
To watch David and the rest of the Outlaws all year, get tickets HERE or watch every race live on DIRTVision.