Inside Line Promotions - PERRIS, Calif. (March 29, 2022) - David Gravel rebounded in a big way last Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway, where the Big Game Motorsports driver recorded his second victory of the season.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win came at a much-needed moment following two straight frustrating outings, including the team's first DNF of the season on Friday at Bakersfield Speedway in Bakersfield, Calif.
"We had two bad nights in a row on different weekends," he said. "That's just the way it goes sometimes. To bounce back and win the night after we destroy a race car shows how resilient everybody is. It's great to get back on track and show them that we're supposed to be up front."
The team worked throughout the day on Saturday to rebuild the race car after a promising night on Friday ended early. Gravel set quick time during qualifying, won a heat race and placed second in the dash to line up on the outside of the front row in the A Main. He was running second early in the race when he was caught up in a multiple-car crash in turns three and four.
"When it's out of your hands it's out of your hands," he said. "We caught up to the back of the field and that stuff happens. That's part of sprint car racing. I guess Sheldon (Haudenschild) cut a right front tire and got into the wall. (Spencer) Bayston was pretty much into the corner and couldn't get slowed down. The track was really, really slick. Once you turn the wheels and get it sideways to slow it down you start sliding. You can't really control it and we slid into Sheldon and then Rico (Abreu), who was behind me, slid into me, which is when it did the most damage."
The team replaced the front end among many other parts and Gravel returned to the track, advancing a few positions before something in the steering broke in turn two in the closing laps. Gravel veered into the wall and his night ended early for the first time this season.
Following a long haul to Perris Auto Speedway and a busy day of preparing a new car the team continued to fine tune as the racing program began Saturday evening.
"The guys worked hard," he said. "They had to put together a car that was about halfway built and they were able to get the job done. Going to a little bigger track was a good thing as it's what we're more normal to. It was kind of a thrash, but it went smooth."
Gravel timed in second quickest and he won a heat race to advance into the dash. A run from fifth to second placed him on the outside of the front row for the A Main for the second straight race.
"When you start on the front row you definitely get excited and feel like you have a shot to win the race," he said. "That was a great feeling. The night started flowing."
Gravel briefly took the lead on Lap 8 before falling back to second on the ensuing lap. However, he regained the top spot five laps later and maintained the lead until a competitor executed a slide job in turns three and four on Lap 28. Gravel battled back with a slide job of his own into turns one and two to reclaim the position and he held on during a green-white-checkered restart for his second victory of the season and 71 st career with the World of Outlaws.
"It was a battle nearly the whole event," he said. "The bottom was the dominant groove early, but the outside came into play. It was one of those deals you had to be on your toes and pay attention to where the fastest groove was and it was changing every five to 10 laps. The top came into play in turns one and two. I got slid and I was like, 'All right, the pace is picking up.' I felt like I needed to slide him the next corner. I was able to clear him and I had to step up into the seat the rest of the race."
A three-race week is on tap beginning on Tuesday at Vado Speedway Park in Vado, N.M., where the World of Outlaws makes its debut. Lawton Speedway in Lawton, Okla., hosts a race on Friday before the weekend wraps up on Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, for the Duramax Drydene Texas Outlaw Nationals.
QUICK RESULTS -
March 25 - Bakersfield Speedway in Bakersfield, Calif. - Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 2 (1); Feature: DNF (2).
March 26 - Perris Auto Speedway in Perris, Calif. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 2 (5); Feature: 1 (2).
SEASON STATS -
10 races, 2 wins, 7 top fives, 8 top 10s, 9 top 15s, 9 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Tuesday at Vado Speedway Park in Vado, N.M.; Friday at Lawton Speedway in Lawton, Okla.; and Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, for the Duramax Drydene Texas Outlaw Nationals with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
MEDIA LINKS -
HUSET'S SPEEDWAY -
Huset's Speedway is a dirt oval located in Brandon, S.D. The track opened in 1954 and has undergone a large renovation within the last few years, making it a premier destination for both marquee racing events and weekly programs. For more information, visit http://www.HusetsSpeedway.com.
JACKSON MOTORPLEX -
Jackson Motorplex is a 4/10-mile dirt track located in Jackson, Minn. It hosts special events from May through September, including races with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Midwest Power Series, Tri-State Late Models and more. For more information, visit http://www.JacksonMotorplex.com .
TICKET LINK -
To purchase online tickets for events at either Huset's Speedway or at Jackson Motorplex, visit http://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 TRENT GOWER PHOTOGRAPHY*