By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (June 16, 2017) – River Cities Speedway had another packed house on hand as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and NLRA Late Models co-headlined the night, presented by Gerdau Metals Recycling.
David Gravel picked up his first win at the bullring and ninth of the year in an action packed night at River Cities.
Jacob Allen picked up the Craftsman Club dash win to put his Shark Racing No. 1A on the pole of the 40-lap, $10,000-to-win main event with David Gravel to his outside.
Allen led the first four circuits uncontested until he approached the tail of the and encountered lapped traffic. While exiting turn four to complete the fifth lap, Allen got too high on the banking and slammed into the water barrels protecting the outside retaining wall. Allen rolled before coming to rest on his side to bring out the red flag.
Under the red, the threatening skies opened up and doused River Cities Speedway, causing over a two-hour rain delay. The River Cities faithful came back to jam the stands as the cars were pushed on the track once the A-main was resumed close to midnight.
Gravel inherited the lead as a result of Allen’s incident.
Gravel led the first 10 laps unchallenged until he closed in on lapped traffic, which allowed Kerry Madsen to challenge him for the lead. The two GoMuddy.com sponsored cars raced for the lead into turns one and two and made significant contact exiting the corner, but both drivers remained in control of their machines.
Gravel held the lead over Madsen and Donny Schatz, who brought in a four-race win streak with the Outlaws at River Cities Speedway.
Madsen set his sights on Gravel once again in the closing stages and momentarily took the lead away from Gravel. Madsen snuck underneath the Watertown, Connecticut driver in turn one after Gravel jumped the cushion racing with lapped traffic.
On the following lap, Madsen also endured the same issue, and Gravel capitalized to regain the point.
The final caution flew with five laps remaining and set up a thrilling finish.
Gravel led Madsen and Schatz to the green, but with clear track ahead, Gravel was able to pull away from the two veteran drivers.
Gravel led the final laps unchallenged as he went on to score the win.
Madsen, Schatz, Brad Sweet and Joey Saldana rounded out the top five.
The NLRA Late Model portion of the event was postponed. A date for the make-up feature has yet to be determined.
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River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks ND 58203
1928 8th St. SE
East Grand Forks, MN 56721