By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (August 18, 2017) – Twenty-five year old Watertown, Conn. driver, David Gravel, has been one of the most impressive up-and-comers the World of Outlaws have seen in its youth movement over the last couple of years. Gravel is having a break out season in 2017, compiling 13 victories to date, which is second-most on the Outlaw tour to Donny Schatz.
Gravel also turned heads last weekend at the Knoxville Nationals by completing a “perfect night” on his qualifying night. Gravel was the fastest driver in time trials and won both his heat race and the feature to earn the pole for Saturday night’s championship feature. In doing so, Gravel became the first driver since Steve Kinser in 1992 to accomplish that feat at Knoxville.
“We were the best car all week,” said Gravel. “On our qualifying night, I was worried about getting a good pill draw for time trials and transferring through my heat race. Thankfully, we were able to do that all with flying colors.”
After preliminary action was complete, Gravel was a favorite entering championship night on Saturday. In the first half of the race, Gravel lived up to the expectations as he led the first 22 circuits. However, a mechanical failure forced him to retire from the event early, dashing his hopes of taking the Knoxville title.
Gravel will look to rebound this weekend in North Dakota.
In the Outlaws’ first visit to River Cities Speedway in June, Gravel held off Kerry Madsen in the closing laps to record his first victory at the bullring. The race was delayed for nearly two hours due to rain, but racing resumed just after midnight on a lightning fast and tacky racing surface.
“That was definitely a unique situation with the weather. Lapped traffic was tough and I slipped up once. Kerry got by me, but I was able to get him back,” recalled Gravel of the battle with Madsen for the lead. “It was cool to get a win there.”
Tonight Gravel will look to join Schatz as the second driver to sweep both World of Outlaws events at River Cities. Schatz swept the season in both 2015 and 2016 and comes into Friday’s event having won six of the last nine Outlaw shows at the bullring.
“If we can win (Friday) at River Cities, that would be great,” continued Gravel. “That’s been Schatz’s track over the years, but we still have a shot at (the championship) this season so we are going to try to kick him off his block and win a bunch more races.”
Tickets for the 2nd Leg of the Northern Tour Presented by American Tire on Friday, August 18 can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling 815-344-2023. Tickets can also be purchased at the River Cities Speedway track office, area ticket outlets and at the track on race day.
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