David Gravel Uses Brilliant Double-File Restart to Win Knoxville Thriller
KNOXVILLE, IA – June 30, 2018 – David Gravel had a perfect restart on Lap 10 charging from third to first and then held off Donny Schatz to win his fourth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Feature of the year on Night Two of the Brownells Big Guns Bash at Knoxville Raceway. Schatz threw everything he had at Gravel, but settled for second with Brad Sweet, who was the leader on the aforementioned restart, completing the podium.
For the second consecutive night, Donny Schatz won the Sears Craftsman Dash, earning the pole for the 25-lap Feature. Schatz took command of the field and led the opening circuit as Sweet and Brian Brown exchanged slide jobs for the runner-up position.
On Lap 8, Sweet made his move underneath Schatz and took the lead to the ninth lap. Schatz battled back hard and would have led Lap 10, but a yellow for fourth-place running Logan Schuchart negated the pass and gave Sweet the lead back.
Sweet and Schatz shared the front row on the double-file restart with Gravel behind Sweet on the inside. Gravel pounced as the Green Flag flew and ducked underneath Sweet and Schatz heading into turn one with a heart-pounding move to take the lead. Sweet and Schatz would jockey for the runner-up position with Sweet taking it on Lap 11, but Schatz coming back and taking the position three laps later.
The final caution of the evening flew for Brooke Tatnell on Lap 17. Gravel elected the bottom on the double-file restart with the 10-time Knoxville Nationals Champion alongside of him. Schatz had an excellent restart and pulled ahead of the CJB Motorsports No.5 down the backstretch, before Gravel regained the lead with a huge slider in turn three and four. That was the move the sealed the victory as Gravel would power away and win by 1.643 seconds.
“Who’s ready for Nationals,” was the first an ecstatic Gravel said upon exiting his CJB Motorsports machine in Victory Lane for the fourth time in 2018.
“We were really good all night yesterday and we knew we had a car capable of winning if we could get up there,” Gravel, who scored the first Perfect 500 score at the Knoxville Nationals last August, only to break while leading the $150,000 to win Feature on Saturday night added.
“This one is for Jason, Bobbi and Jaxx Johnson,” Gravel said to a huge roar from the Knoxville Raceway crowd.
Donny Schatz’ attempt for the weekend sweep ended with him settling for second while Brad Sweet completed the all World of Outlaws regular podium for the second night in a row. Brian Brown finished fourth with Davey Heskin completing the top five. Heskin came from 23rd to finish fifth, good enough for KSE Hard Charger honors.
Friday’s runner-up Ian Madsen, 17th-starting Shane Stewart, Cory Eliason, 24th-starting Brent Marks and Kerry Madsen completed the top ten.
It was a scorching day in Iowa all afternoon and with weather looming, the World of Outlaws and Knoxville Raceway officials were in hurry-up mode to beat Mother Nature, which they did successfully. Despite the triple-digit temperatures all weekend, the Knoxville Raceway track prep team did a tremendous job providing an excellent racing surface as the facility lived up to its nickname as The Sprint Car Capital of the World.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to Knoxville Raceway in six short weeks with the running of the Granddaddy of Them All, the Knoxville Nationals. The Outlaws 40th Anniversary Season will continue Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 with the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown at Cedar Lake Speedway. Tickets for the event at Cedar Lake can be purchased here. As always, if you can’t make it to the track be sure to watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com!
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 5-David Gravel [$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [$5,000]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [$3,000]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [$2,700]; 5. 56N-Davey Heskin [$2,500]; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [$2,200]; 7. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,000]; 8. 83-Cory Eliason [$1,800]; 9. 19-Brent Marks [$1,600]; 10. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$1,450]; 11. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$1,300]; 12. 2KS-Austin McCarl [$1,200]; 13. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,100]; 14. 9-Daryn Pittman [$1,000]; 15. W20-Greg Wilson [$950]; 16. 24-Terry McCarl [$900]; 17. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$850]; 18. 21AU-Jordyn Brazier [$750]; 19. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$725]; 20. 1A-Jacob Allen [$700]; 21. 55-Brooke Tatnell [$700]; 22. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$700]; 23. 83H-Justin Henderson [$700]; 24. 3-Sammy Swindell [$700] Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-8, Brad Sweet 9, David Gravel 10-25; KSE Hard Charger Award: 56N-Davey Heskin[+18]
Qualifying Flight-A: 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 15.399; 2. 83-Cory Eliason, 15.582; 3. 21-Brian Brown, 15.635; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 15.637; 5. 18-Ian Madsen, 15.653; 6. 5-David Gravel, 15.654; 7. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 15.734; 8. 9-Daryn Pittman, 15.735; 9. 2-Shane Stewart, 15.758; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.849; 11. 19-Brent Marks, 15.869; 12. 55-Brooke Tatnell, 15.881; 13. 7S50-Keoni Texeira, 15.898; 14. O9-Matt Juhl, 15.911; 15. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 15.916; 16. 20-A.J. Moeller, 16.029; 17. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 16.095; 18. 15M-Bobby Mincer, 16.587; 19. 19W-Bobby Weuve, 17.094
Qualifying Flight-B: 1. 15-Donny Schatz, 15.671; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.867; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 15.899; 4. 24-Terry McCarl, 15.951; 5. 12-Lynton Jeffrey, 16.066; 6. W20-Greg Wilson, 16.069; 7. 7S-Jason Sides, 16.114; 8. 71-Giovanni Scelzi, 16.135; 9. 2KS-Austin McCarl, 16.155; 10. 83H-Justin Henderson, 16.165; 11. 71A-R.J. Johnson, 16.269; 12. 3-Sammy Swindell, 16.28; 13. 21AU-Jordyn Brazier, 16.292; 14. 9P-Rager Phillips, 16.331; 15. 56N-Davey Heskin, 16.41; 16. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg, 16.446; 17. 7-Carson McCarl, 16.468; 18. 7W-Tasker Phillips, 16.543; 19. 75-Glen Saville, 16.721
For Full Results from Knoxville Raceway – June 30, 2018, click here.