|Josie McIntyre Photo|
“I’d like to win one more race, hopefully two,” said Gravel, who has 48 career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series wins. “I’d like to get to that magical number fifty for me in my career. That’s a goal that’s really important to me. I hope to do that.”
He could reach that goal this weekend with the World of Outlaws on Oct. 18 going to Lakeside Speedway for the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown and on Oct. 19 returning to Lake Ozark Speedway for the Jason Johnson Classic.
Both races will play a big part in the World of Outlaws’ championship battle, which Gravel still has a part in. He and second-place Donny Schatz had bad luck at Tri-State Speedway and lost points to leader Brad Sweet – Gravel is now 102 points behind Sweet and Schatz is 30 points back. However, just one weekend can create a large swing in the points, as Schatz had cut Sweet’s points lead in half after the Williams Grove Speedway doubleheader before going to Tri-State.
Gravel has finished third in points the last three years – driving for CJB Motorsports. He has a solid hold of the position for the remainder of the year and could find himself finishing third for the fourth year in-a-row. There is a slim chance for him to catch Sweet without a lot of luck, but Schatz is only 72 points ahead of him.
“My goal is to keep the front two guys honest,” Gravel said. “You know, we have an extremely slim chance of making anything happen, especially with the rainout [at Terre Haute]. I mean, just to be in the conversation at the end of the season with a first-year team, with a team like this, it’s just been really cool. We’ll just try to finish out strong. Be competitive every night.”
He and JJR have unloaded with speed all season long, being fastest in practice 11 times and collecting 20 Quick Times, so far. There’s a combination of elements that have helped the No. 41 car be fast early on in the night, said Philip Dietz, crew chief for JJR.
“Our engines have to run good. They have to be fueled right,” he said. “Just our car balance in general has to be really, really good to start the night off.”
Gravel will be going for his first win at Lakeside Speedway and Lake Ozark Speedway this week. He finished 14th at the half-mile Lakeside Speedway last year. It’s a track he said he usually struggles at. However, he and JJR have been one of the most dominate teams on half-mile tracks this year. They won at Calistoga Speedway, Knoxville Raceway and twice at Williams Grove Speedway.
“We’ve been really good on big tracks, so I’m hoping to go there and qualify good and just keep doing what we’re doing,” Gravel said.
Lake Ozark Speedway may be his next best opportunity to pick up another win before the end of the season. He finished second the last two races there.
The Eldon, Mo. track is also a home track for JJR. Their shop is eight miles away from the speedway. Gravel knows a win at the 1/3-mile track would be special for the team, especially with the event being the Jason Johnson Classic – which will pay $10,410-to-win due to an added bonus by FK Rod Ends.
“That’s a track I’m pretty confident at and excited to go back to,” Gravel said. “To win it for Bobbi (Johnson), and for Jason’s race, that would be very cool. Definitely looking forward to that. They’re going to have a lot of friends, family and sponsors there, so going to be a pretty cool moment.”
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
WHEN & WHERE
Friday, Oct. 18, at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. for the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown. Get tickets and more information.
Saturday, Oct. 19, at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo. for the Jason Johnson Classic. Get tickets and more information.
ABOUT THE TRACK
Lakeside Speedway is a semi-banked half-mile track. The track record is 13.304 sec. set by Paul McMahan on June. 7, 2014.
Online – LakesideSpeedway.net
Phone – (913) 299-2040
Lake Ozark Speedway is a slightly banked 1/3-mile track.
Online – LakeOzarkSpeedway.net
Phone – (573) 418-0565
Tickets can be purchased by going to WorldofOutlaws.com/tix.
1/3-MILE AND 1/2-MILE WINNERS THIS YEAR
There have been seven races on a 1/3-mile track, so far, this year.
Thunderbowl Raceway: Ian Madsen won on March 9
Arizona Speedway: David Gravel won on April 6
Lake Ozark Speedway: Brad Sweet won on April 26
Beaver Dam Raceway: Brad Sweet won on June 22
Wilmot Raceway: Donny Schatz won on July 13
Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55: Brad Sweet won on Aug. 2 and Sheldon Haudenschild won on Aug. 3
There have been 23 races on a 1/2-mile track, so far, this year.
-Volusia Speedway: Daryn Pittman won on Feb. 8 and 9
-The Dirt Track at Las Vegas: Tim Shaffer won on Feb. 27 and Donny Schatz won on Feb. 28
-Perris Auto Speedway: Aaron Reutzel won on March 30
-Devil’s Bowl Speedway: Logan Schuchart won on April 12
-Eldora Speedway: Donny Schatz won on May 10, July 17 and July 19, Brad Sweet won on July 18 and July 20 and Logan Schuchart won on Sept. 27
-Williams Grove Speedway: David Gravel won on May 17 and Oct. 4; Lance Dewease won on May 18; Tim Shaffer won on July 26; Donny Schatz won on July 27 and Brent Marks won on Oct. 5
-Knoxville Raceway: Brian Brown won on June 14; Brad Sweet won on June 15; David Gravel on Aug. 10
-Black Hills Speedway: Carson Macedo won on Aug. 23
-Calistoga Speedway: David Gravel won on Sept. 14
LAKESIDE SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2018 – Daryn Pittman on Oct. 19
2017 – Brian Brown on Oct. 20
2016 – Brad Sweet on Oct. 21
2015 – Donny Schatz on July 1
2014 – Kerry Madsen on June 7
2013 – Craig Dollansky on June 8
2012 – Sammy Swindell on June 30
2011 – Steve Kinser on June 4
2010 – Steve Kinser on June 26
2003 – Daryn Pittman on June 21
2002 – Mark Kinser on April 24
2001 – Steve Kinser on April 24
1992 – Sammy Swindell on April 5
LAKE OZARK SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2019 – Brad Sweet on April 26
2018 – Donny Schatz on May 4
2007 – Craig Dollansky
2005 – Tim Shaffer