David Gravel Beats the Rain to Finish Ninth at I-96
By DDR Motorsports PR
WATERTOWN, Conn.—June 2, 2013— Rain was the operative word this past weekend, as Mother Nature tried her best to down David Gravel and his fellow World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competitors. While she was successful at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio on Friday, May 31, she did not win at I-96 Speedway in Michigan. Following an event that was run in hurry-up-mode, due to impending rain, Gravel was able to garner a ninth-place finish.
The NAPA Auto Parts Rumble in Michigan on Saturday, June 1 marked the first time that Gravel had competed on the half-mile at I-96 in the FMR Racing/JRC Transportation/Model Craft J&J under the Bill Rose Racing banner. Last season’s event was contested on an inner three-eighths-mile that utilized parts of the main track. The half-mile was fast all night, evident by a new track record being set in time trials.
“The track was definitely different that last year when we raced on the smaller track,” Gravel said. “We’ve raced on a number of big tracks the last few weeks and have learned quite a bit that should help us as the season goes on. We had a brand new car at I-96 and it felt pretty good in hot laps and the feature.”
Gravel started 16th in the 30-lap main event and fell back a spot on the start. He ran close to that same position for the first half of the race before working his way forward. The second caution flag of the night appeared on lap-14 and Gravel restarted 15th at this juncture of the race. He would move up a couple of spots when the green flag came back out. He would break into the top-10 on lap-17 and would move up to ninth on the 22nd circuit. The final 14 laps of the race went caution-free and Gravel would cross the line ninth to earn his best-career finish at I-96 Speedway.
“Just like the last few races, the car was really good later in the feature,” he noted. “We have to keep working to put ourselves in a position to get in the dash so we can start in those first couple of rows, because with how fast everyone is out at the front of the field, it’s tough to start in the middle of the pack and get up there and be in contention.”
Gravel opened the night at I-96 Speedway by recording the 16th-fastest lap in time trials, just missing the 12-car heat race inversion by four spots. He would line up sixth in the first eight-lap heat race and finished fifth, with all the cars directly transferring to the 30-lap main event. He would take to the grid on the outside of the eighth row for the A-Feature.
The event originally scheduled for Friday, May 31 at Attica Raceway Park was rained out and no makeup date has been announced.
The ninth-place performance at I-96 Speedway was Gravel’s 12th top-10 finish of the season and he is currently seventh in points, with 28 total nights of racing completed in 2013. He’ll return to action this week at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana on Wednesday, June 5, followed by events in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
“This is a busy week for sure and as a driver, these are the weeks you really look forward to,” shared Gravel. “I’ve visited a lot of new tracks this year, so we’ll approach the four this week the same way we have all of the others that I’ve gone to for the first time this season.”
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.