Inside Line Promotions - MERCED, Calif. (March 22, 2022) - A strong start to the 2022 season won't be deterred by misfortune for David Gravel, who endured his first result outside of the top seven last Friday at Merced Speedway.
"It's worse when you don't have speed and you can't have good runs because you can't keep up," he said. "Right now that's not our problem. We did everything right all night long and just made contact with another driver and it caused me to spin out. That stuff will happen throughout the year. You just can't let it happen very often and try not to make that a DNF. You have to salvage the best you can."
The Big Game Motorsports driver put himself in contention throughout the event at the high-banked oval, where he qualified third quickest before winning a heat race. Unfortunately, Gravel pulled the second-highest number - seven - during the dash redraw to line up on the inside of the fourth row.
The racing was sporty in the dash as Gravel advanced a pair of positions to finish fifth, giving him the fifth starting spot in the A Main.
Gravel battled for a top five early in the feature before he was caught up in an incident in turns three and four that resulted with him stopped in the infield. The team replaced a flat tire in the work area and Gravel returned to the track at the rear of the field. He gained a handful of positions to salvage a 15th-place result.
"Everything was going well," he said. "Even though we didn't get the dash draw we wanted we were able to get a row. We lost a little bit of ground and fell back a few spots at the start of the feature. We got settled in and marched back to our starting position. There was a restart and I went to the bottom behind somebody. I misjudged it and clipped his left rear and got sideways. Then someone hit me from the side. It bent our axle, wheel, radius rod, stuff like that. It was okay to drive, but the car wasn't as good as it was before the crash."
Despite the frustrating finish, Gravel remains the World of Outlaws points leader as the series wraps up its trek to California this Friday at Bakersfield Speedway in Bakersfield and Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway in Perris for the SoCal Showdown.
"Bakersfield has put on some good racing the last couple of times we've been there," he said. "At Perris we can stretch our legs a little and get back to a higher speed track."
Last Saturday's race at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., rained out.
QUICK RESULTS -
March 18 - Merced Speedway in Merced, Calif. - Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 5 (7); Feature: 15 (5).
SEASON STATS -
8 races, 1 win, 6 top fives, 7 top 10s, 8 top 15s, 8 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday at Bakersfield Speedway in Bakersfield, Calif., and Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway in Perris, Calif., for the SoCal Showdown 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*