David Gravel Finishes Fifth at Rolling Wheels with the World of Outlaws

October 8th, 2012

By DDR Motorsports PR 
Watertown, Conn.—Oct. 8, 2012 — David Gravel has made a limited number of starts with the World of Outlaws this season, but he has certainly made the most of his opportunities to race against the best sprint car drivers in the world. After challenging for a win with the series earlier this season at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York, only to have a small part break while running second, he returned to the sprawling five-eighths-mile on Saturday, Oct. 6, and came away with a very strong fifth-place finish.
“It was a great night,” said Gravel. “Anytime you can finish in the Top-Five with the World of Outlaws, you are doing something right. We had a good set-up in the spring when we ran up front and were hoping that it would work again and it did. We’ve been strong with the Outlaws all year and I can wait to race with them again in Charlotte at the end of the season.”
Gravel lined up fifth for the 25-lap main event at Rolling Wheels, which was part of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLI. He fell back to seventh on the opening lap, but got around Craig Dollansky on the second circuit to move into sixth. The first of two caution flags would wave on the fourth lap, setting up a double-file restart with Gravel restarting sixth. The 20-year-old would take the fifth spot from Joey Saldana on lap-5.
The second caution flag of the night would fly on the 10th lap, with Gravel restarting fifth. Saldana would get by him for that spot on the restart, with Gravel charging back around the veteran driver on the very next lap. The remaining 15 circuits would run caution-free, with Gravel holding down the fifth position when the checkered flag flew.
The native of Watertown, Conn., opened the night by turning the eighth-fastest lap in time trials, which put him on the front row of the second eight-lap heat. He used a strong start to get by polesitter Lucas Wolfe to take the lead and quickly began to pull away, winning the heat by over four seconds, which was the largest margin of victory in any of the three heat races. The heat race win put Gravel in the dash, where he finished fifth to earn an inside third-row starting spot for the 25-lap A-Feature.
“We qualified in the right spot and that put us on the front row of the heat race and the car really took off in the heat,” he noted. “Rolling Wheels is a place where being out front and having clean air are both very important and we were really able to pull away in that heat race to get in the dash. We were definitely able to put ourselves then in a good position for the feature.”
For Gravel, the fifth-place performance was his eighth Top-Five and 10th Top-10 showing of the season with the World of Outlaws. In his starts with the series in 2012, the East Coast racer has had one of the quickest cars, stopping the clocks first in time trials on four occasions, including in three straight races at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio.
Gravel returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Eldora for the Sprintacular event, which will serve as the season finale for the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. Gravel is currently third in points with the All Stars on the strength of one win and 28 Top-10 finishes. He has been fastest in qualifying with the All Stars seven times in 2012, piloting his Mopar-powered J&J.
“I can’t wait to get to Eldora,” said Gravel. “We were supposed to run with the Outlaws there a few weeks ago and that one got rained out. We’ve been fast at Eldora almost every time we’ve been there this year, so hopefully we are fast right out of the box again and put a complete night together. It would be great to end the All Stars season on a high note.”
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.
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