David Gravel Charges through the Field to Finish Sixth in the Finale of the World Finals
By DDR Motorsports PR
WATERTOWN, Conn. — Nov. 10, 2013— Starting in the 24th position in the 30-lap finale of the World Finals for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series on Saturday, Nov. 9, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, David Gravel had his work cut out for him. He masterfully used all 30 laps to slice his way through the field, finishing sixth, earning the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award aboard his familiar No. 89 FMR Racing/JRC Transportation/Musco Fuel/Model Craft J&J with a Kistler Mopar under the hood.
“I just kind of put my head down in the feature and the car really came alive and we were able to make up a ton of ground,” said Gravel. “We had a disappointing night on Friday, so to come from the back to the front on Saturday and get the Hard Charger Award was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend and the season. We passed a lot of good cars on Saturday night and I am pretty proud of that.”
For his efforts with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series in 2013, Gravel earned the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, adding his name to an impressive list of past recipients. Gravel was victorious twice this season with the series, first at I-94 Speedway in Minnesota, and then on the first preliminary night of the Knoxville Nationals at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. He wrapped up World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series campaign with 26 top-10 finishes, with seven of those being top-five showings. Gravel also stopped the clock first in time trials on two occasions.
Gravel started in the second-to-last position on the final night of the World Finals, before a sold-out crowd at the state-of-the-art four-tenths-mile, and quickly powered his way to the front. The race was slowed four separate times by caution flags, with the 21-year-old using strong restarts each time to continue his charge to the front of the field.
The native of Watertown, Conn., found himself in the top-10, just prior to the halfway point of the 30-lap contest. In the late going, he battled both Steve and Kraig Kinser for the fifth position, ultimately ending up sixth. It marked the young racer’s 26th top-10 finish of the season with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
The finale of the Seventh Annual World Finals began for the East Coast racer in the fifth, eight-lap heat race. He lined up fifth, with only the top-four transferring to the A-Feature. He got around veteran Randy Hannagan on the fifth circuit to earn a spot in the main event. In qualifying for the Saturday portion of the event, which was held on Thursday, Nov. 7, Gravel timed in 25th-quickest of the 52 cars that took to the track.
“That was an important pass in the heat race to get into the feature,” he shared. “With as many cars as were there, you want to try to avoid the B-main if possible and on Saturday we were able to get directly into the feature. You kind of wonder what could have been if we had started closer to the front, but we dealt with the hand we were given and made the best of it.”
During the Friday portion of the World Finals, Gravel ended his night in the C-main, after suffering a flat tire that forced him to the work area in that 10-lapper. In heat race action, he worked his way from eighth to sixth in the fourth heat, coming up two spots short of transferring to the main event. Gravel began the night by turning the 39th-fastest lap in time trials.
The World Finals wrapped up the 2013 season for Gravel, who will head to Australia during the off-season to compete in a number of races. The World Finals will air the CBS Sports Network on December 15 and December 22.