Victory at Last: David Gravel Wins with the All Stars in Canada

July 31st, 2012

By DDR Motorsports PR 
Watertown, Conn.—July 31, 2012 — It wasn’t a matter of if, but rather when David Gravel would pick up his first win of the 2012 season. After four runner-up finishes this year, the 20-year-old broke through and was victorious last week, north of the border at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions on Thursday, July 26.
“It definitely feels great to win,” said Gravel. “We had been close so many times this year, and to finally get that monkey off our back is fantastic. Tyler (Swank) and Kyle (Ripper) have been doing such an amazing job all year, and to reward them with a win, I can’t ask for much more than that. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for the next few weeks.”
The native of Watertown, Conn., started on the pole at the high-banked four-tenths-mile and led all 30 laps to pick up the win over Cap Henry and Tim Shaffer. Gravel took the lead at the drop of the green flag, and endured a number of stoppages, including a lengthy red flag on the 11th circuit and another red on the following lap. He used strong restarts each time to remain on the point, en route to his second-career All Stars win.
“I was able to get through traffic pretty well and pick my spots,” noted Gravel. “The car took off great on the restarts thanks to the hard-hitting Kistler engine we have. Everything fell into place and that’s what it takes to win against the tough competition that we race against.”
The 20-year-old was third-fastest in qualifying at Red River Co-op Speedway. He ran third in the third eight-lap heat race to earn a spot in the dash. Gravel lined up on the pole of the dash and led all six circuits to claim the pole for the main event.
Gravel wrapped up the first leg of the Thunder Through the Plains for the All Stars on Sunday, July 29, at Huset’s Speedway in South Dakota. He finished third on a very challenging track, after starting in the fifth spot. He opened the night as the eighth-fastest driver in time trials, and followed that up with a sixth-place showing in his heat race to earn a spot in the dash, where he finished fifth.
“I didn’t have much tire left, so to finish third was a great night for us,” he stated. “My crew was telling me to take it easy on my tire and I probably took it too easy. We finished on the podium and I certainly can’t complain about that. We have consistently been in the Top-Three the last few weeks and just like in Canada, the wins will come if we keep doing that.”
Gravel made his debut at a pair of tracks in Minnesota as well during the stretch that saw four races in six nights for the All Stars. On Friday, July 28, he took to the historic half-mile at Jackson Speedway for the first time, finishing sixth. He was the fourth-fastest driver in time trials, won the first eight-lap heat race, which put him in the dash. The East Coast racer started the dash fourth and finished second, which lined him up on the outside of the front row for the main event. At Hibbing Raceway on Tuesday, July 24, Gravel finished 11th. The event at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., on Saturday, July 28 was rained out, and will not be made up.
Gravel, who is currently third in the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions standings, returns to action with the series in the 17th Annual Musco Lighting Front Row Challenge, at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa on Monday, August 6. Following the Knoxville Nationals next week, the Thunder Through the Plains will resume for the All Stars on Sunday, August 12 at Huset’s Speedway in South Dakota and conclude on Wednesday, August 15, at Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota.
“This is a great time of the year to be hitting our stride with the Nationals coming up,” said Gravel. “We still have a bunch of races in the Midwest over the next couple of weeks, so we’ll keep our heads down and continue to work hard day in and day out.”

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