Big Game Motorsports and Gravel Entering Knoxville Nationals With Momentum After Capitani Classic Triumph

August 9th, 2021

Inside Line Promotions – KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 9, 2021) – David Gravel gained confidence in a big way on Sunday when he captured his second Fatheadz Eyewear Capitani Classic presented by Great Southern Bank feature victory at Knoxville Raceway.

The Big Game Motorsports driver led the second half of the 25-lap feature during the 10th edition of the event, which served as a final tune-up leading into this week’s NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores.

“We were average when we were there earlier in the year,” Gravel said. “To run well with a lot of really, really good guys there feels good. It’s nothing but positive and it gives us an understanding of what the car needs moving forward. It’s always good to get a win right before the Nationals. I don’t think we were perfect by any means so we’ll keep on working to get better because everyone else is going to work to get better.”

Gravel was second quickest in his group before he advanced from fourth to second place in a heat race. He placed fifth in the pole shuffle, which lined him up on the inside of the third row for the A Main.

“Qualifying well was definitely something that felt really good,” he said. “It’s so tough to qualify around the bottom there. We were able to put a couple of decent laps together. Then inverting four and taking three in the heat races is a lot easier format than inverting eight and taking four like the Knoxville Nationals.

“In the feature I was able to hit the bottom and we got to third right away. We settled in there. We got into traffic and that’s when I was able to get to the guys in front. I committed to the bottom. Donny (Schatz) was up top and (Cory) Eliason was going where the lapped cars weren’t. It all worked in my favor.”

Gravel took the lead on Lap 13 and pulled away for his ninth win of the season and his ninth career triumph at Knoxville Raceway. He returns to the track on Wednesday for his Knoxville Nationals preliminary night.

Gravel was also successful last weekend at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo., which hosted the famed Ironman 55 weekend with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

The event started on Friday when Gravel timed in fourth quickest. He won a heat race and placed fifth in the dash before gaining two spots to finish third in the main event.

“We were pretty solid all night long,” he said. “In the feature we missed it a little, but so did a lot of other guys. The track was really, really slick. We couldn’t really compete with Sheldon (Haudenschild) and Brad (Sweet), but we were able to make the best of it and run a solid third.”

Gravel put himself in contention to win the Ironman 55 on Saturday after qualifying second quickest and winning both a heat race and the dash. He led four different times for 23 total laps during the 55-lap feature before finishing the race sixth.

“It was a fun race,” he said. “I felt like getting good restarts kept us in the hunt. We got used up a couple of times and broke some momentum. And on that open red (with 15 laps remaining) we made the car worse. We probably should have left the setup alone. After restarting I tried to maintain after I got used up. I went into protect-mode to try to just get to the end. I was up front 80 percent of the race so it was frustrating to end up sixth.”


Aug. 6 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. – Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 5 (3); Feature: 3 (5).

Aug. 7 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 1 (1); Feature: 6 (1).

Aug. 8 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 2 (4); Pole Shuffle: 5; Feature: 1 (5).


57 races, 9 wins, 29 top fives, 46 top 10s, 54 top 15s, 56 top 20s


Wednesday through Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, for the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores




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