A Breakout Year for David Gravel in 2012 with the All Stars and World of Outlaws

November 16th, 2012

By DDR Motorsports PR 
Watertown, Conn.—Nov. 16, 2012 — David Gravel has really put his name on the sprint car racing map over the last few years, including scoring his first career World of Outlaws win in 2011, as well as claiming the Ohio Sprint Speedweek title in 2010. The 20-year-old built on all of that success in 2012 as he had a breakout season, qualifying for both the Knoxville Nationals and the National Open for the first time in his career, as well as setting fast time with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions seven times, the World of Outlaws on five occasions and finishing third in points with the All Stars, winning with the series in Canada.
“It was the most consistent year we’ve had and you can’t complain about that,” said Gravel. “The year seemed to go by a lot smoother, because of how consistent we were. We didn’t tear much stuff up here and had a lot of strong runs. I wish we could have won a few more races, but all in all, it was a pretty good year. I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish and the team we have in place.”
Gravel started the 2012 campaign by setting fast time with the All Stars at Screven Speedway in Georgia, and finishing second in the main event. He finished seventh the following night, before heading to Volusia Speedway Park for the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals. Gravel finished fourth with the All Stars on the opening night of the marquee event and turned a lot of heads in the World of Outlaws finale, as he finished third, after battling wheel-to-wheel for the lead with five-time series champion Donny Schatz and veteran Craig Dollansky for a number a laps.
Gravel earned another fast time award with the All Stars at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., during the finale of a three-night event at that venue, which saw him earn a pair of Top-10 finishes in feature events. The native of Watertown, Conn., headed back north fifth in points, as he prepared for the bulk of the 2012 All Stars season.
“We had a good start to the season and were fast right out of the box most nights, and that shows how strong our Mopar engines are,” shared the 20-year-old. “You have to be aggressive and really hit your marks in qualifying, especially with the World of Outlaws. We seem to have a good set-up in qualifying and Tyler (Swank) and Kyle (Ripper) always had the car ready.”
Following a pair of events at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio with the All Stars, Gravel visited three new tracks, as he competed with the World of Outlaws at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky, Sedalia State Fair Speedway in Missouri and Tri-State Speedway in Indiana. He finished in the Top-10 at Paducah and Tri-State.
“I seem to adapt to new tracks pretty well and got to visit a bunch of new ones this year,” he said. “I really enjoy going to tracks I’ve never been to and as a driver that helps me continue to get better and gain the experience that a lot of the guys we race against have been accumulating for years and years. Hopefully next year we can get to some more new track as well.”
Gravel would earn his first two World of Outlaws fast time awards of the season during the Outlaw Thunder by Goodyear Weekend in May. He was fastest in qualifying at the legendary Ohio oval in three straight appearances with the series. After getting caught up in a vicious wreck while battling for the lead in the opener of the two-night event, he rebounded to finish fourth in the finale. Bad luck would also befall the 20-year-old a couple of weeks later while running second with the World of Outlaws at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York, when an aluminum heim on the throttle broke.
The native of Watertown, Conn., would recover from that as he finished fifth the next night at Orange County Fair Speedway in New York. He would pick up Top-Five finishes in two of his next three starts as well, with the All Stars at Fremont Speedway in Ohio and with the Outlaws at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana.
Ohio Sprint Speedweek took the All Stars to seven different tracks for eight races. Gravel, who claimed the mini-series title in 2010, qualified seventh or better in five of the eight races, including setting fast time at Hilltop Speedway. He would finish among the Top-10 in the main event twice during the always challenging week in the Buckeye State.
“We didn’t quite have the week we were hoping for,” Gravel noted. “We were fast in time trials most of the nights, but then had a lot of bad luck in the heat races and with the number of cars that were racing each night, that makes it tough to come through the B-main. We learned quite a bit that week that should help us down the road.”
With a break in the All Stars schedule, Gravel and his Tyler Swank-led team headed to Wisconsin to race with the World of Outlaws at Cedar Lake Speedway and Beaver Dam Raceway. In his first-ever trip to Cedar Lake, Gravel set fast time and finished seventh in the A-Feature.
Gravel opened the “Month of Money” with the World of Outlaws in the Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park in Ohio, charging from 13th late in the race to finish third. A couple of nights later, he set fast time at Eldora Speedway in the Knight Before the Kings Royal. He would continue the “Month of Money” at Lernerville Speedway in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twin 30s, finishing fifth in the opener. A pair of races in New York for the All Stars at the end of July found Gravel on the podium twice, with two second-place finishes at Brewerton Speedway and Fonda Speedway. 
“We had a pretty good stretch at the end of July and were in contention for a few wins,” Gravel stated. “A few more laps at Limaland and we might have had that one and we had a great run at Lernerville in the first of the Twin 30s as well. We were so close at both of the New York races and I always enjoy getting to race close to home.”
The annual “Thunder Through the Plains” for the All Stars visited seven tracks over a three-week period, with Gravel scoring a win at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He also finished on the podium at Huset’s Speedway in South Dakota, while setting fast time at Wilmot Speedway in Wisconsin.
Gravel qualified for his first Goodyear Knoxville Nationals A-Feature, by finishing second in the main event on the revamped Friday night portion of the Nationals. He led number of laps in the feature on Friday night, before Justin Henderson got around him in the late going. Gravel finished 22nd in his first Knoxville Nationals championship race.
“Making the Nationals was definitely a huge accomplishment,” he noted. “We almost won that race on Friday and it was awesome to get locked into the main event through that race. One of our goals as a team this year was to make the Nationals and were able to do that and run the entire race. I also made the National Open at Williams Grove for the first time and being from the East Coast that meant a lot as well.”
Down the stretch with the All Stars, Gravel picked up eight straight Top-10 finishes to lock up the third position in points. Among those was a runner-up finish at Port Royal Speedway in Pennsylvania, a third-place performance at Wayne County Speedway in Ohio and a third-place showing at Fremont Speedway in Ohio during the Jim Ford Classic.
Gravel wrapped up the season by competing in six consecutive races with the World of Outlaws. He finished fifth at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York during Super DIRT Week, as well as qualifying for the A-Feature of the finale of the famed National Open at Williams Grove Speedway. He earned his fifth fast time honor of the season with the series during the World Finals in Charlotte, with a special pink Beyond Boobs paint scheme on his No. 89G to help promote breast cancer awareness.  Gravel finished the season with a 10th-place performance in the finale of the World Finals, which aired live on SPEED.
In the final tally, Gravel was third in points with the All Stars on the strength of his win at Red River Co-op Speedway, along with 28 Top-10 finishes and seven fast time awards. In a limited number of starts with the World of Outlaws, he earned 11 Top-10 finishes, of which eight were Top-Five performances. He also stopped the clocks first with the series on five occasions in time trials.
With the 2012 season in the books, Gravel recently had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, which he drove a majority of the season with. Following the Holiday Season, he’ll head to Australia for the second straight year to compete in a number of events, before returning to prepare for the season-opening events in Georgia and Florida in February.
“We definitely have some good momentum heading into the off-season and 2013,” said Gravel. “We have a very strong team and a great method of preparation and processes that we use during the season. I’m looking forward to going to Australia again to race this winter and staying sharp, so I’m ready to go when we head south in February.”
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.

Comments are closed.

DavidGravel89.com - Web Site by WRT Web Designs