Gravel and Big Game Motorsports Rally for Runner-Up Result at Knoxville Nationals

August 16th, 2023


Inside Line Promotions – KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 16, 2023) – The 62 nd annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s showcased a huge rebound for David Gravel and Big Game Motorsports.

The highest of highs was followed by the lowest as Gravel set quick time during qualifying to kick off his preliminary night at Knoxville Raceway last Wednesday. However, an incident in a heat race resulted in a DNF. That relegated the team to the C Main, which Gravel won before he hustled from 21 st to 11 th in the B Main.

“We wanted to be in position to start well in the feature on Saturday,” he said. “With that happening on Wednesday we knew that wasn’t something that would happen. I didn’t want to miss the show. I’d made 10 in a row so I wanted to keep that going. And it pays a lot of money to start the race. It’s always been a good week monetary-wise for me. My first goal was to get in the show.”

Friday’s Hard Knox Night offered a second chance and Big Game Motorsports took advantage. Gravel timed in fourth quickest in his group and won a heat race from third to garner the seventh starting position in the A Main.

“It was a nerve-wracking night, but we were confident in our ability,” he said. “I didn’t get the best pill draw, but was able to have a good qualifying effort. We made the invert and they took three in the heat so it was stressful to start third. Luckily we were able to go really good and get the lead off turn two and set sail from there.

“I knew if we kept our nose clean and ran our race we’d be okay in the feature. I just hoped nothing happened like it did on our prelim night and I could get to the front and control my own destiny. We got to third on Lap 2 I believe and that took a lot of pressure off. We let the race play out and waited for the right time to get a run on (Scott) Bogucki running second and it was all good from there.”

The runner-up result locked Gravel into the 22 nd starting position in Saturday’s 50-lap main event.

“We never gave up on the week,” he said. “Starting that far back you just don’t know how it’s all going to go. You could have a bad start or get lapped early. You just never know. Luckily we got a really good start and was able to clear a couple of rows. We had a really fast race car.”

Gravel quickly worked into the top 15 and continued to make progress as he cracked the top 10 before the mid-race break. The top was the preferred lane and Gravel was able to maneuver into the top five before restarting third on a late-race restart.

“I got a good start and went outside a couple of rows,” he said. “I kept going from there. I ran the bottom a couple of laps. I knew the top would be good so I was able to start passing guys and it all worked out. I kept focused on trying to move forward. I knew we’d have a good shot at a good finish, but with guys like Rico (Abreu) getting a flat and Logan (Schuchart) blowing up that gave me a real opportunity to get up front. I got slowed up with the No. 41 and racing with the No. 15. Those two racing deals cost me a shot to win. That’s all part of it when you come from where we started.

“It was definitely a rebound to be proud of. We were really proud of that second-place run.”

Gravel’s charge earned him the Hard Charger Award winner for passing the most cars. It also marked the second straight year with a second-place finish at the event for the team.

Next up is the 45 th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals powered by FENDT this Thursday through Saturday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn.

“It’s a race that I want to win,” he said. “I want to win for Tod (Quiring) and add that to my resume as well. I feel we’ve been fast there as a team and I’ve been fast there over the years. I feel I can taste it. It’d be real cool to sweep Tod’s big events for the year of the races I’ve been entered in.”


Aug. 9 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: DNF (8); C Main: 1 (1); B Main: 11 (21).

Aug. 11 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 1 (3); Feature: 2 (7).

Aug. 12 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Feature: 2 (22).


54 races, 10 wins, 39 top fives, 48 top 10s, 51 top 15s, 51 top 20s


Thursday through Saturday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., for the 45 th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals powered by FENDT 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 oval located in Jackson, Minn. It hosts special events from May through August, including races with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Midwest Power Series, Midwest Sprint Touring Series 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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