David Gravel Makes the Trip to Williams Grove for the National Open

October 3rd, 2013

By DDR Motorsports PR

WATERTOWN, Conn. — Oct. 3, 2013— “The Grove.” Officially known as Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., it’s hallowed ground in sprint car racing. Every fall, the East Coast’s most prestigious and historic sprint car event — the National Open — takes to the famed half-mile in Central Pennsylvania. David Gravel qualified for the main event of the National Open for the first time in his career last year and he looks to accomplish that feat again this weekend as the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series makes their final visit of the season to Williams Grove.

The National Open for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series is set for Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5. A full race program will be contested each night, with a 25-lap A-Feature capping the opener, while the finale of the National Open will be 40 laps and pay $50,000-to-win.

“Williams Grove is definitely one of the toughest tracks in the country, and the National Open is the biggest race they have each year,” said Gravel. “There are going to be a lot of cars, so the pill draw will be important, as will qualifying and then transferring from the heat race to the feature. You can’t skip a beat when you go out there.”

Gravel has made two starts at Williams Grove Speedway thus far in 2013 aboard the FMR Racing/JRC Transportation/Musco Fuel/Model Craft J&J. He finished 17th in the spring at the half-mile and was 25th in July. The 21-year-old qualified 20th-fastest on May 17 at Williams Grove, just missing the 16-car heat race inversion by 98-thousandsths of a second. He lined up fifth in the fourth heat race and finished in that same position to earn a spot in the 25-lap main event.  In July at Williams Grove, Gravel was forced to use a provisional to start the main event in the 27th position. The finale of the spring event was rained out, as was the first night of the Summer Nationals, and neither was rescheduled.

“We’ll have a good car and motor this week, so we’ll just have to get the car right and I’ll just have to drive right,” he noted. “We were able to get in the invert and win a heat race last year, which helped quite a bit. Hopefully we can do that again this year and make the night go a whole lot easier. If not, we’ll work for it.”

The East Coast racer made a total of five starts at Williams Grove Speedway last year. He earned a best finish of ninth with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. He finished 12th in his first start of the year at the half-mile in the spring in a weekly show. Gravel came home 12th again a few weeks later at the end of April in an All Stars event.

Gravel has competed in the National Open in each of the last three years. In 2010, he was the fastest qualifier of the 58 entries that were in attendance for the opener of the two-night event. After finishing sixth in the first heat that night, he raced his way into the main event by coming home second in the B-main. Gravel would finish 14th in the 25-lap A-Feature. He finished 17th in the main event of National Open in 2012, against a field of 53 cars.

“You get a little nervous, knowing it’s Williams Grove, especially with all the cars there, but you have to try to treat it as just another race,” explained Gravel. “You can’t get caught up in worrying about this or that or who is there to race, because then you get away from what you have to focus on with your car. It’s an intense weekend for sure out there and the best plan is to try and keep things simple and focus on your car and what you have to do to make that main event.”

Last weekend at Fremont Speedway in Ohio, Gravel finished 11th in a caution-filled 40-lap event at the one-third-mile bullring. He opened the night by turning the fastest lap in qualifying of the 46 entries to earn his second quick time award of the season. The East Coast racer finished sixth in the first heat race at Fremont, which put him in the B-main, which he won to earn a spot in the A-Feature.

Gravel has a pair of wins this season with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, including on a half-mile at the legendary Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, on the first preliminary night of the Knoxville Nationals. He also was victorious at I-94 Speedway in Minnesota in May. Gravel has 24 top-10 finishes this season and is the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.

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.

Comments are closed.

DavidGravel89.com - Web Site by WRT Web Designs