David Gravel Set for the 52nd Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals

August 8th, 2012

By DDR Motorsports PR 
Watertown, Conn.—August 7, 2012 — David Gravel is hoping that the third time is the charm when it comes to qualifying for the 50-lap main event in the Goodyear Knoxville Nationals. The 20-year-old has come very close to earning one of the coveted 24 spots in sprint car racing’s biggest event, in each of his first two appearances at the Nationals.
Gravel will take to the track this week on Wednesday, August 8, which is the first of two qualifying nights for the 52nd Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals, sanctioned by the World of Outlaws. A field of over 50 cars will be in action that night, with two laps of time trials awaiting competitors, followed by heavily inverted heat races and feature events. Drivers will earn even points each time they are on the track on the opening three nights of the event, which will help determine the lineups for Saturday night’s finale.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the Nationals,” said Gravel. “I messed up on Sunday night in time trials (during the Capitani Classic), but I feel like we raced well. We had a lot of speed. As long as we don’t mess up in time trials, and get a good couple of laps, I think we’ll be all right.”
The native of Watertown, Conn., will also take part in the Speed Sport Knoxville World Challenge on Friday night. Gravel is eligible for the 20-lap $10,000-to-win event thanks to starts in Canada with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions over the last year. The East Coast racer was victorious a couple of weeks ago north of the border at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg with the All Stars.
“Being in the World Challenge will give us some extra time on the track, and that always helps,” noted the young driver. “I kind of wish that came before our qualifying night, but no matter where we are, it will be beneficial. Hopefully we’ll be locked in the A-Feature already and can try some things, but if we are in the B-main or wherever on Saturday, we can still learn things in the World Challenge to use the next night.”
Last year, Gravel opened the Knoxville Nationals by turning the 25th-fastest lap of the 45 drivers that took to the track on the first of two qualifying nights. He started fourth in the fifth heat race and charged to a second-place finish. Then he started ninth in the preliminary feature, and ran as high as sixth in the early going. He was running eighth when he got caught up in a four-car accident on Lap 18, which ended his night. On Saturday night, he found himself starting 18th in the B-main. He worked his way up to an eighth-place finish in that 22-lap contest, coming up just four spots shy of making the main event.
“Time trials at the Nationals count just as much as your finish in the feature on your qualifying night,” he noted. “You can’t afford to lose any ground at the beginning of the night. Then every time you go on the track after that is important as well. You have to be on it, every time you are out there.”
In 2010, Gravel made his debut Knoxville Nationals debut, earning Rookie of the Year honors, following a run to the B-main. He opened the event as the 21st-fastest qualifier of the 50 entries on the first of two preliminary nights. He started fourth in the first heat race, and finished in that same position, which earned him a spot in the preliminary feature. He lined up third for that 25-lapper and was running up front when an early race spin relegated him to the rear of the field. He would finish that night in 20th. On Saturday, Gravel started 12th and finished 11th in the B-main, which earned him the “Rookie” honors.
“If I can qualify in the Top-10 that would be a huge plus and a great start to the week for us,” said Gravel. “I like my chances in the race with how fast our car is. We just have to put ourselves in a good position and hopefully things will go well for us.”
Gravel geared up for the Knoxville Nationals by racing in the 17th Annual Musco Lighting Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway on Monday, August 6, with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions, where he finished sixth after starting 13th. He also competed in the inaugural Capitani Classic on Sunday, August 5, at Knoxville, which marked his first start at the famed half-mile this year.
Gravel is currently third in points with the All Stars, with one victory and 19 Top-10 finishes. He also has picked up nine Top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws, with seven of those being Top-Five performances. In addition, he has been fastest in qualifying with the All Stars six times this year, and four times with the World of Outlaws.
David Gravel and DDR Motorsports would like to thank: J&J Chassis, JRC Transportation, Kistler Engines, Musco Fuels and P&M Transportation for their continued support.
Keep up-to-date with David Gravel and DDR Motorsports by visiting www.DavidGravel89.com. Follow David on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DavidGravel89g. Like David on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Gravel-Racing/143538695709198

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