By DDR Motorsports PR
WATERTOWN, Conn.—July 1, 2013— David Gravel has run pretty well on the smaller, high-banked bullrings with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series this season. He continued that trend at the quarter-mile LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway and third-mile Beaver Dam (Wis.) Raceway over the weekend, finishing eighth and seventh, respectively, at the pair of tracks that were part of a three-race swing through Illinois and Wisconsin aboard the FMR Racing/JRC Transportation/Musco Fuel/Model Craft J&J.
In his debut at LaSalle Speedway in Illinois, Gravel finished eighth. The 21-year-old started seventh and fell back a few spots at the start and found himself in 11th on the third lap. He then got around Kraig Kinser for 10th on lap-4. Gravel would run in that position for the first half of the race and worked his way into ninth on lap-26, passing Jason Sides. On lap-33, the East Coast racer got by 20-time series champion Steve Kinser to move into eighth and would finish in that spot.
“LaSalle is definitely a racy little place and there was a lot going on during that main event,” said Gravel. “We got in the dash and that’s what I keep stressing day in and day out. If you start in the first few rows of the feature, you give yourself a lot better of a chance. We’ve been really strong on the quarter-miles this year and feel pretty confident in the set-up we have for those types of tracks.”
Gravel timed in 16th at LaSalle, which put him on the pole of the fourth heat race. He finished second in the heat to earn a spot in the dash, lining 10th for that 10-lap contest. When the checkered flag flew on the dash, Gravel was seventh, which put him on the inside of the fourth row for the main event.
At Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday, June 29, Gravel started eighth and finished seventh, in a race that saw just one stoppage for a red flag on lap-22. After falling to 12th in the early going, the young driver, found himself in 10th following the red flag. He would gain a couple of more positions during the second half of the race to finish seventh, which marked his 17th top-10 finish of the season.
“The car was pretty good toward the end of the night,” he shared. “Again, we qualified in the right spot to start up front in the heat race and took advantage of that. Both times I’ve raced at Beaver Dam, I’ve felt pretty comfortable and the track suits my driving style. It can be a pretty tricky place, so you have to keep up with what the track is doing all night.”
Gravel opened the night at Beaver Dam by timing in 13th-quickest with a strong 36-car field in attendance, which put him on the pole of the first heat race. He would win that 10-lap contest to earn a spot in the dash. The native of Watertown, Conn., started ninth in the dash and wound up eighth, to line up on the outside of the fourth row for the 40-lap Jim Boyd “JB” Memorial at the high-banked, third-mile.
The weekend ended on a sour note at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin, on Sunday, June 30, as the inboard brake caliper fell off his car and caused him to make contact with the wall, leading to front end damage that was too severe to continue. Gravel finished sixth in the fourth heat race to earn a spot in the 35-lap main event.
“That’s not how we wanted to end the weekend, but at least we race again on Wednesday night at Huset’s (Speedway) and can put that one behind us pretty quick,” Gravel said. “We got behind in qualifying and were fighting an uphill battle the rest of the night and just didn’t have luck on our side, with the (brake) caliper falling off the car. We’ll just keep looking ahead and are working hard to be ready for the three races coming up.”
Gravel remains seventh in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship standings. He won earlier this month at I-94 Speedway in Minnesota, and has 17 top-10 finishes, with five of those being top-five performances.
Keep up-to-date with David Gravel and DDR Motorsports by visiting www.DavidGravel89.com. Follow David on Twitter @davidgravel89g and like David on Facebook.