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Gerdau Presents the 1st Leg of the Northern Tour
River Cities Speedway | Grand Forks, North Dakota
Friday, June 02, 2023
Race Recap  

PRIME POSITION: David Gravel Hunts Down McFadden for River Cities World of Outlaws Win

In Sprint Car racing, the lead isn’t always the best place to be.

Track conditions can change quickly. The preferred line can shift in a lap. Before you know it, the second place car can power ahead leaving the former leader scrambling to switch grooves.

That was exactly the case Friday night at River Cities Speedway as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars invaded the Grand Forks, ND oval. After running second a majority of the 40-lap Feature, David Gravel crept up on James McFadden and slipped by on the 36th circuit before holding on to seal the victory.

“I think running second there all race was the best place to be,” Gravel said. “I knew the top was the fastest, but it’s hard to get there when you start on the bottom. That last restart when I was in the lead there, I probably should’ve started on the outside. But I fell back to third or second there, and then I was letting James go. It was one lane around the top, so he could go wear stuff out or maybe he was conserving, too. I just let him go and get to lap traffic, and I knew that was my only chance. I searched down there (Turns 3 and 4) for two laps. It was a little slower, but I felt it coming. Once it came in, it latched up really good.”

Gravel’s win was his fifth of the 2023 campaign with Big Game Motorsports, enough to equal him for the most this season. It also marked his second career Victory Lane visit at River Cities, making him the sixth driver through 30 Series visits to the North Dakota bullring to own multiple wins.

The Watertown, CT native began the race from the pole after topping the Toyota Racing Dash. Gravel took the lead at the drop of the green, but a caution flag after a lap allowed outside pole-sitter – Brad Sweet – to have another shot at him.

“The Big Cat” would not be denied on the next attempt as he drove ahead of Gravel to secure the top spot. Over the next handful of laps, Gravel stayed within striking distance as the lead duo neared traffic. When Sweet’s slider on a slower car in Turns 1 and 2 didn’t clear, the door opened again for Gravel.

Heading down the backstretch, Gravel went under Sweet and cleared him with a slide job in Turns 3 and 4. But Gravel and Sweet opened themselves up to attack in the next set of corners. Gravel went low to protect, and Sweet followed him around the bottom. Behind them, a hard-charging James McFadden nailed the cushion and ripped around both of them to take the top spot.

From there, McFadden began to distance himself in the Roth Motorsports #83. The Alice Springs, NT native survived a flurry of cautions by driving every restart perfectly. McFadden appeared to be in control and heading toward back to back World of Outlaws wins for the first time in his career.

Then Gravel began to chip away at the advantage. Lap by lap the gap continued to shrink until Gravel neared the tail tank of the Roth #83. Coming to four laps to go, Gravel pulled the trigger and rolled through the middle of Turns 3 and 4 right by McFadden.

In the closing couple circuits, Gravel struggled with a lapped car allowing McFadden to close back in. But a lane to regain the lead never opened, allowing Gravel to take the checkered flag with a three tenths of a second gap.

“I felt urgency like I had to pass that lapped car with two (laps) to go,” Gravel explained. “I couldn’t clear him. Then I heard J-Mac right on me, and I was like I’ve got to run it as hard as I can as close as I can, and if he was going to pass me, he was going to have to go around me.”

Behind Gravel, it was McFadden claiming the runner-up position after leading 25 laps of the main event. With holding the top spot a majority of the race, McFadden couldn’t help but be a little disappointed with losing the lead late. But after a win on Monday and the second place effort Friday, McFadden walked way encouraged with the performance.

“I still felt pretty decent on the top,” McFadden said of the closing stages of the race. “I felt like I could run it in pretty hard. It was sketchy, but I didn’t feel like I was spinning the tires a lot and struggling for grip. I got super tight behind a lapped car there, and that was probably enough for him to sneak by us. Nothing to hang our heads about. Sometimes it’s nice to be in second place.”

After leading early then slipping back nearly outside the top five, Brad Sweet rallied to bring the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 home third. The four-time and defending champion is now up to 11 podiums on the season, and his latest helped him narrowly regain sole possession of the championship lead. Sweet felt that a couple laps early in the Feature changed the trajectory of his race as he struggled with traffic.

“That first lapped car just threw me for a loop,” Sweet said. “He did a 360 and got me slowed up. I thought I had enough of a run to slide him, but then he kind of gained some speed, and it kind of made me a sitting duck. I needed to clear him, and I didn’t get it done. It was really top dominant tonight, so once I got (tire) spinning and David got me, we raced down there and he went to the bottom of (Turn) 1 and we were both sitting ducks. I just felt like there were a couple things I didn’t do good, and it set me up for a few bad laps.”

Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart completed the top five.

Grand Forks’ own Austin Pierce earned the KSE Hard Charger Award with a run from 23rd to 14th.

The battle at the top of the standings is now incredibly tight with Sweet leading both Gravel and Macedo by only two points.

Carson Macedo claimed his Series-leading eighth Simpson Performance Products QuickTime Award to begin the night, marking his third consecutive QuickTime and the 27th of his career.

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One was topped by Carson Macedo (92nd Heat win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heat Races Two and Three were claimed by David Gravel (215th of career) and Gio Scelzi (26th of career).

Tim Estenson topped the MicroLite Last Chance Showdown.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars make their debut at Ogilvie Raceway in Ogilvie, MN on Saturday, June 3. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[1]; 2. 83-James McFadden[4]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet[2]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[6]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[5]; 6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[3]; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen[10]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz[11]; 9. 5-Spencer Bayston[7]; 10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[13]; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[12]; 12. 13-Mark Dobmeier[16]; 13. 7S-Robbie Price[20]; 14. 2A-Austin Pierce[23]; 15. 11M-Brendan Mullen[9]; 16. (DNF) 14T-Tim Estenson[19]; 17. (DNF) 9-Kasey Kahne[8]; 18. (DNF) 8-Jack Croaker[15]; 19. (DNF) 8H-Jade Hastings[21]; 20. (DNF) 26-Blake Egeland[18]; 21. (DNF) 20G-Noah Gass[17]; 22. (DNF) 17M-Zach Omdahl[24]; 23. (DNF) 0-Nick Omdahl[14]; 24. (DNF) 99-Jordan Graham[22]

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Feature Results
1102David Gravel 400.0007Running150$10,000
24+283James McFadden 40-0.30825Running146$6,000
32-149Brad Sweet 40-0.6067Running144$3,500
46+241Carson Macedo 40-1.5431Running142$2,800
5501SLogan Schuchart 40-1.930Running140$2,500
63-318Giovanni Scelzi 40-2.396Running138$2,300
710+31AJacob Allen 40-2.847Running136$2,200
811+315Donny Schatz 40-3.759Running134$2,100
97-25Spencer Bayston 40-4.903Running132$2,050
1013+317Sheldon Haudenschild 40-5.645Running130$2,000
1112+13ZBrock Zearfoss 40-6.235Running128$1,600
1216+413Mark Dobmeier 40-6.725Running126$1,400
1320+77SRobbie Price 40-8.888Running124$1,200
1423+92AAustin Pierce 39-1 LapsRunning122$1,100
159-611MBrendan Mullen 39-1 LapsRunning120$1,050
1619+314TTim Estenson 26-14 LapsDNF118$1,000
178-99Kasey Kahne 18-22 LapsDNF116$1,000
1815-38Jack Croaker 14-26 LapsDNF114$1,000
1921+28HJade Hastings 12-28 LapsDNF112$1,000
2018-226Blake Egeland 11-29 LapsDNF110$1,000
2117-420GNoah Gass 10-30 LapsDNF108$1,000
2224+217MZach Omdahl 10-30 LapsDNF106$1,000
2314-90Nick Omdahl 4-36 LapsDNF104$1,000
2422-299Jordan Graham 4-36 LapsDNF102$1,000
KSE Hard Charger: Austin Pierce
Last Chance Showdown 1 Results
11014TTim Estenson 120.00012Running0$0
23+17SRobbie Price 12-3.876Running0$0
35+28HJade Hastings 12-4.096Running0$0
47+399Jordan Graham 12-6.932Running0$0
54-12AAustin Pierce 12-7.421Running0$0
66017MZach Omdahl 12-8.940Running0$0
72-56Bill Rose 12-11.134Running90$300
89+12KKevin Ingle 12-12.128Running90$250
98-110Josh Swangler 11-1 LapsRunning90$225
10100105Cody Ihlen 11-1 LapsRunning90$200
11110811Todd Mickelson 0-12 LapsDNS90$200
Dash 1 Results
12+12David Gravel 80.0007Running0$0
21-149Brad Sweet 8-0.9221Running0$0
34+118Giovanni Scelzi 8-2.055Running0$0
43-183James McFadden 8-2.513Running0$0
5501SLogan Schuchart 8-3.355Running0$0
66041Carson Macedo 8-4.343Running0$0
Heat 1 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
11041Carson Macedo 100.00010Running
22049Brad Sweet 10-1.954Running
3305Spencer Bayston 10-3.214Running
4401AJacob Allen 10-3.434Running
55017Sheldon Haudenschild 10-4.033Running
66013Mark Dobmeier 10-5.419Running
7707SRobbie Price 10-6.452Running
88017MZach Omdahl 9-1 LapsRunning
910+110Josh Swangler 9-1 LapsRunning
109-1105Cody Ihlen 9-1 LapsRunning
Heat 2 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
1102David Gravel 100.00010Running
2201SLogan Schuchart 10-1.285Running
3309Kasey Kahne 10-3.287Running
45+115Donny Schatz 10-3.972Running
56+10Nick Omdahl 10-5.413Running
67+120GNoah Gass 10-6.471Running
78+12AAustin Pierce 10-7.785Running
89+199Jordan Graham 10-8.425Running
94-514TTim Estenson 0-10 LapsDNF
Heat 3 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
11018Giovanni Scelzi 100.00010Running
23+183James McFadden 10-3.595Running
32-111MBrendan Mullen 10-6.334Running
45+13ZBrock Zearfoss 10-6.956Running
54-18Jack Croaker 10-7.483Running
68+226Blake Egeland 10-7.930Running
7708HJade Hastings 10-8.194Running
86-26Bill Rose 10-9.278Running
9902KKevin Ingle 1-9 LapsDNF
Qualifying Flight 1 Results
1641Carson Macedo Lemoore, CA10.4020.000
212David Gravel Watertown, CT10.405-0.003
3718Giovanni Scelzi Fresno, CA10.509-0.107
41649Brad Sweet Grass Valley, CA10.564-0.162
5101SLogan Schuchart Hanover, PA10.573-0.171
61111MBrendan Mullen Grand Forks, ND10.584-0.182
7245Spencer Bayston Lebanon, IN10.608-0.206
8149Kasey Kahne Enumclaw, WA10.612-0.210
92283James McFadden Alice Springs, NT10.623-0.221
1091AJacob Allen Hanover, PA10.704-0.302
111914TTim Estenson Fargo, ND10.707-0.305
1288Jack Croaker East Grand Forks, MN10.712-0.310
132017Sheldon Haudenschild Wooster, OH10.718-0.316
14315Donny Schatz Fargo, ND10.719-0.317
15213ZBrock Zearfoss Jonestown, PA10.723-0.321
161713Mark Dobmeier Grand Forks, ND10.729-0.327
17230Nick Omdahl East Grand Forks, MN10.746-0.344
1826Bill Rose Plainfield, IN10.756-0.354
19257SRobbie Price Cobble Hill, BC10.766-0.364
20520GNoah Gass Mounds, OK10.797-0.395
2148HJade Hastings Grand Forks, ND10.843-0.441
221517MZach Omdahl East Grand Forks, MN10.907-0.505
23262AAustin Pierce Grand Forks, ND10.931-0.529
241826Blake Egeland Climax, MN11.124-0.722
2513105Cody Ihlen Pipestone, MN11.565-1.163
262799Jordan Graham Grand Forks, ND11.851-1.449
27292KKevin Ingle Huron, SD12.430-2.028
282810Josh Swangler Detroit Lakes, MN12.452-2.050
2912811Todd Mickelson Minot, ND12.452-2.050
Hot Laps Results
1245Spencer Bayston Lebanon, IN10.4330.000
21649Brad Sweet Grass Valley, CA10.456-0.023
3101SLogan Schuchart Hanover, PA10.478-0.045
4149Kasey Kahne Enumclaw, WA10.511-0.078
5641Carson Macedo Lemoore, CA10.533-0.100
6718Giovanni Scelzi Fresno, CA10.608-0.175
72283James McFadden Alice Springs, NT10.609-0.176
81713Mark Dobmeier Grand Forks, ND10.644-0.211
912David Gravel Watertown, CT10.668-0.235
10315Donny Schatz Fargo, ND10.688-0.255
11230Nick Omdahl East Grand Forks, MN10.716-0.283
121914TTim Estenson Fargo, ND10.734-0.301
131517MZach Omdahl East Grand Forks, MN10.744-0.311
1491AJacob Allen Hanover, PA10.773-0.340
151111MBrendan Mullen Grand Forks, ND10.775-0.342
16520GNoah Gass Mounds, OK10.781-0.348
17262AAustin Pierce Grand Forks, ND10.784-0.351
18213ZBrock Zearfoss Jonestown, PA10.785-0.352
19257SRobbie Price Cobble Hill, BC10.962-0.529
2026Bill Rose Plainfield, IN10.993-0.560
21292KKevin Ingle Huron, SD11.046-0.613
221826Blake Egeland Climax, MN11.059-0.626
232017Sheldon Haudenschild Wooster, OH11.065-0.632
2448HJade Hastings Grand Forks, ND11.139-0.706
2588Jack Croaker East Grand Forks, MN11.147-0.714
262799Jordan Graham Grand Forks, ND11.369-0.936
272810Josh Swangler Detroit Lakes, MN11.375-0.942
2813105Cody Ihlen Pipestone, MN11.462-1.029
2912811Todd Mickelson Minot, ND12.419-1.986
DIRTVision Highlights  
Event Info  

Gerdau Presents the 1st Leg of the Northern Tour
Friday, June 02, 2023
River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203 

Event Description
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series proves why it's "The Greatest Show on Dirt" at this tight North Dakota bullring with nine-second laps, jaw-dropping moves, and memorable finishes.

Series Racing
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series

To Win Amount

Feature Laps Length

Event Schedule
2PM Pit Gates open
5PM Grandstand Gates open
6:30PM World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Hot Laps
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Low-E Insulation Qualifying
NLRA Late Model Hot Laps
Opening Ceremonies
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Heat Races - 10 Laps
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Toyota Dash Draw
NLRA Late Model Heat Races
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Toyota Dash - 8 LapsWorld of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown - 12 Laps
NLRA Late Model Feature
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Feature - 40 Laps

**Schedule Subject to Change**
*All times Central

Ticket Options  

Grandstand Type
Select rows in main grandstand have seat back

Family Section Location

Handicapped Seating Location
Bottom row of main covered grandstands

Pit Pass Price

Pit Age Requirement
NO age restriction for pits. 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian with signed Minor Waiver.

Pit Gate Location
East side of the track

Parking Cost

Handicapped Parking Location
Front gate

Camping Availability
electric hookup, onsite

Camping Cost

$20 with water; Contact track for reservations

Frequently Asked Questions  
To Win Amount

Type of Grandstand
Select rows in main grandstand have seat back

Handicapped Seating
Bottom row of main covered grandstands

Handicapped Parking
Front gate

Pit Age Limit
NO age restriction for pits. 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian with signed Minor Waiver.

Pit Gate Location
East side of the track

Personal Coolers
No coolers allowed


Alcohol Sales
Alcohol is sold on site, including beer and malt beverages.

Smoking Policy
No smoking in grandstands. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.

Family Section

Parking Cost

Camping Availability
electric hookup, onsite

Camping Cost

$20 with water; Contact track for reservations

Track Info  

River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203 

Track Phone
(701) 780-0999

Track Email
[email protected]

Track Size

Sprint Car Track Record
9.269 seconds by Jason Meyers on 8/21/09

Late Model Track Record
11.255 by Joey Pederson on 9/9/2018

Closest Airport
Grand Forks Int'l

Other Airport

Pit Gate Location
East side of the track

Track Map
Competitor Info  

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