David Gravel Finishes Eighth in Finale of the National Open

October 6th, 2013

By DDR Motorsports PR

WATERTOWN, Conn. — Oct. 6, 2013— David Gravel had his sights set pretty high heading into this year’s running of the Morgan Hughes National Open at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. After qualifying for the A-Feature in the finale of the historic event for the first time in his career last year, he repeated that achievement on Saturday, Oct. 5, and wound up finishing eighth, with a stout 62-car field in attendance for the event sanctioned by the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.

“To finish in the top-10 with the strong field of cars that was there is a great accomplishment,” said Gravel, who drives the FMR Racing/JRC Transportation/Musco Fuel/Model Craft J&J. “We timed in the right spot and were able to get in the dash and that’s always important, especially at a place like Williams Grove. We knew we were capable of running up there, we just had to have everything work out, and it did.”

Gravel kicked off the night by turning the 18th-fastest lap in time trials, which put him on the pole of the third heat race. He won that eight-lap contest to earn a spot in the 12-car dash. He both started and finished 10th in dash, and lined up on the outside of the fifth row for the 40-lap main event.

The native of Watertown, Conn., gained a spot on the initial start and worked his way up to eighth by the eighth lap. The first caution flag of the night flew on the 13th circuit. Just three laps later, Gravel powered his way up to seventh and was running in that spot when the caution flag flew on lap-25. At that point, a red flag was displayed for a fuel stop. Gravel ran seventh until the 31st go-around when Greg Hodnett got by him. The East Coast racer would remain in the eighth position for the rest of the 40-lapper to earn his best-career finish in the National Open.

“That was a tough 40 laps,” he shared. “We had a couple of longer green flag runs where the field got strung out a bit. Williams Grove is definitely a challenging place to pass and the track very fast after the rain earlier in the night. We were able to gain a few spots and ran as high as seventh and stayed right with a number of drivers that have a ton of laps there over the years. It was a great rebound after Friday night to come home eighth.”

In the opener of the National Open on Friday, Oct. 4, Gravel just missed qualifying for the 25-lap feature event. He was 35th in time trials of the 63 drivers that took to the half-mile. He finished seventh in the fifth heat race, which put him in the B-main, where he ended up ninth.

“We were just a little off on Friday night and at a place like Williams Grove, it doesn’t take much to get behind, especially when there are that many strong cars there,” said Gravel. “We kept battling and made up some ground in the B-main and just came up a little short. Once Friday was over, we put it behind us and started to focus on Saturday.”

Both nights of the National Open were taped for broadcast next month on the CBS Sports Network. The opening night will air on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. Eastern, while the finale will be shown on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. Eastern.

The 21-year-old is currently 13th in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship standings on the strength of two wins and 25 top-10 finishes. Gravel is the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the series. He returns to action next weekend at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y., for an event that is part of Super DIRT Week XLII.

Keep up-to-date with David Gravel and DDR Motorsports by visiting www.DavidGravel89.com. Follow David on Twitter @davidgravel89g and like David on Facebook.

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