Inside Line Promotions - BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2021) - Last weekend showcased a dream performance by Big Game Motorsports driver David Gravel, who swept the World of Outlaws Bristol Throwdown at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Gravel set a new track record en route to sweeping the night on Friday when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series made its long-awaited return to the famed pavement bullring that was covered in dirt. The $25,000-to-win finale was delayed from Saturday to Sunday because of wet weather, but Gravel and the team remained stout by capitalizing on traffic to make a late-race pass to garner the feature win.
"Going into it I didn't know if a lot of guys were going to do some wild stuff to try to make their cars go fast," Gravel said. "We did a couple of little things to make sure we had a lot of speed. After the practice day went really well (on Thursday) I felt pretty confident going into the weekend."
Gravel established a new track record - featuring an average speed of more than 138 miles per hour - to open Friday's program, which was the first World of Outlaws race at Bristol Motor Speedway since June 2001. Gravel then won both his heat race and the dash from the pole position to set himself up for success in the 25-lap A Main.
"You wanted to be up front," he said. "In big track racing track position is extremely important. Sometimes the car is tight and sometimes it's loose when you're behind the people. It's just not consistent so you don't know what's going to happen when you're behind someone. Luckily we didn't have to deal with a lot of dirty air."
Gravel took the lead on Lap 3 and pulled away. Traffic made things a bit hairy for Gravel, who took his time making the right passes.
"I couldn't pass Tyler Courtney in traffic," he said. "He set a good pace and was running the top well. I tried to run a decent pace and not make any big mistakes. I didn't want to hand the win to someone. I tried to manage the race the best I could. I'm sure that allowed people behind me to make up ground. Then with the caution coming out and having clean air the car felt amazing. I was wide open and locked down."
A late-race caution allowed Gravel a clean track for the closing laps and he took advantage by picking up his second triumph of the season.
"It was always talked about and you watched on YouTube and played the video game," Gravel said in reference to racing at Bristol Motor Speedway. "It looked like a surreal thing that would never happen again. It was satisfying and cool to win in the return to Bristol. It'll probably take a while to settle in."
Gravel added to the special weekend on Sunday when he qualified second quickest, won a heat race and placed second in the dash to again line up on the front row for the main event.
"After our performance on Friday that built a lot of confidence and on Sunday when we were second quick and didn't get the track record in qualifying we were almost depressed," he said. "That shows where our qualifying program is on big tracks. I've been saying that I think our big track program is really good and that showed this weekend."
Gravel ran second for the majority of the race with a brief stint in third, but he reeled in the leader in traffic as the laps wound down.
"Logan (Schuchart) was running up the track in traffic and I was gaining on the bottom," he said. "Like how (Aaron) Reutzel closed on us in traffic on Friday, I did the same thing with Logan. Sometimes it's better running second. I had no idea what lap it was. I didn't know it was coming to the white when I passed Logan. I was just running hard. I was wide open around there and seeing what would happen and it all worked out."
Gravel took the lead with three laps remaining to garner his 61 st career World of Outlaws win. The strong weekend also moved him into second place in the championship standings - only 60 points out of the lead.
Next up for the team will be a trip to Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Ill., on Thursday prior to the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo., on Friday and Saturday. It marks the first Outlaws event at the track since 1986.
QUICK RESULTS -
April 23 - Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. - Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 1 (1); Feature: 1 (1).
April 25 - Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 2 (2); Feature: 1 (2).
SEASON STATS -
17 races, 3 wins, 9 top fives, 15 top 10s, 17 top 15s, 17 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Thursday at Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Ill., and Friday and Saturday at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo., for the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
MEDIA LINKS -
THE SHOWDOWN -
THE SHOWDOWN is one of the biggest weeks of racing for winged sprint car drivers. The action begins on June 20 with a $6,000-to-win 410ci winged sprint car event followed by two days of the Huset's 50. All three nights are hosted by Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., before Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., showcases the famed AGCO Jackson Nationals June 24-26. The final five nights of THE SHOWDOWN are World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series races with a total purse exceeding $500,000. Additionally, if a driver is able to win the final night of the Huset's 50 and the AGCO Jackson Nationals he or she will bring home a whopping $180,000.
TICKET LINK -
Advanced tickets for THE SHOWDOWN can be purchased at https://mpv.tickets.com/schedule/?agency=JKMV_PL_MPV&orgid=55369#/?view=list&includePackages=true
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS -
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com . For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
*PHOTO BY PAUL ARCH*