Gravel Guides Big Game Motorsports to Second-Place Outing at Knoxville Nationals

August 15th, 2022

Inside Line Promotions – KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 15, 2022) – David Gravel produced his second-best Knoxville Nationals result with a runner-up performance last weekend at Knoxville Raceway.

The Big Game Motorsports driver kicked off the 61st annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s by qualifying 10th quickest last Wednesday. He then advanced from seventh to fourth place in a heat race to lock into the A Main.

“I was kind of disappointed in our qualifying effort,” he said. “I definitely expected more. I guess it was a blessing we ended up in the fifth heat race. If I didn’t transfer through that heat I’d have been screwed in the B Main. It would have killed our chances of getting locked in. Luckily we were able to get it done in the heat race. Starting 8th in the feature after being 10th quickest in qualifying was pretty crazy. We were all right. We struggled early. In the second half of the race we were able to pick guys off and get rolling at the end.”

Gravel used a last-lap pass to score a third-place result. He was tied atop the points following the first preliminary night. Once all preliminary action was completed Gravel ranked fourth out of the more than 100 drivers, lining him up on the outside of the second row in Saturday’s 50-lap main event.

Gravel advanced to third on the opening lap and he maneuvered into second place approximately a quarter of the way through the race.

“When I got to second I let Sunshine (Tyler Courtney) go and charge and do his thing,” he said. “There was a comforting feeling running second at the halfway break. I didn’t know I’d take the lead so quickly into the second half of the race. He went down the track and I ran the top and got a run and passed him. That actually hurt me later on. If he stuck the bottom and pulled away I would have known the bottom had something.”

Gravel took the lead on Lap 27 and maintained his advantage running the top lane until Lap 46.

“It was getting a little trickier to run the top,” he said. “I drove as hard as I could and did what I thought I needed to do and that’s just the good or bad thing about sprint car racing, there’s no spotter or rear view mirrors. There’s an element of surprise. I heard Donny (Schatz) going down the backstretch and he slid in front of me and passed me.

“In a perfect world you’d want to run the bottom of turns one and two and the top of turns three and four. After he passed me I went low in turns one and two behind him. Then I missed the bottom in turns three and four. The next corner I really lost ground on the top. After that lap and a half I was faster. With five laps to go and you screw around for two laps there’s just not enough time to get back there.

“I really want to win this race for Tod (Quiring) and the team. I think we had a good week. We were pretty fast every time we hit the race track. We put ourselves in position to win the race. That’s all you can ask for. Leading the race with six laps to go you want to complete that. Sometimes being out front and not being challenged, nothing tells you to try anything different. At the end of the day we got beat by one of the best ever. You just learn from the experience for the next time.”

Another marquee World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series event is on tap as Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., hosts the 44th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals this Thursday through Saturday.

“It’s a track I’m comfortable at,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve won a race there, but I’ve been on the podium multiple times. We have a unique format this weekend. We’ll take it one day at a time and try to accumulate those points to get us in position for Saturday.”


Aug. 10 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 10; Heat race: 4 (7); Feature: 3 (8).

Aug. 13 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Feature: 2 (4).


50 races, 5 wins, 27 top fives, 43 top 10s, 47 top 15s, 49 top 20s


Thursday through Saturday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., for the 44th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series




Huset’s Speedway is a dirt oval located in Brandon, S.D. The track opened in 1954 and has undergone a large renovation within the last few years, making it a premier destination for both marquee racing events and weekly programs. For more information, visit


Jackson Motorplex is a 4/10-mile dirt track located in Jackson, Minn. It hosts special events from May through September, including races with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Midwest Power Series, Tri-State Late Models and more. For more information, visit


To purchase online tickets for events at either Huset’s Speedway or at Jackson Motorplex, visit


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