Opposites Attract: Attica & I-96 On-Tap for David Gravel this Weekend
By DDR Motorsports PR
WATERTOWN, Conn.—May 30, 2013— Attica Raceway Park and I-96 Speedway couldn’t be much more different. One is a third-mile bullring and the other is a sprawling, flat half-mile. David Gravel will try his hand at both this weekend as the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series continues a stretch of races in the Midwest as the calendar turns from May to June.
The weekend will begin for Gravel in the Firetext Response/JRC Transportation/Musco Fuels/Model Craft J&J under the Bill Rose Racing banner at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio, on Friday, May 31 for the running of the Kistler Engines Classic. He then heads north to I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., on Saturday, June 1, for the NAPA Auto Parts Rumble in Michigan.
Gravel competed four times at Attica Raceway Park last season with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. He earned an eighth-place finish in the fall at the track. Gravel made his debut at Attica in 2009, and recorded the best performance of his career at the track in 2011, coming home second in the Fall Classic. Earlier this season he finished fourth at a third-mile at Thunderbowl Raceway in California, while filling in for the injured Bill Rose.
“Attica has some of the best local competition we face all year,” Gravel said. “The pill draw is very important and can really shape your night. There is going to be a lot of cars there, so qualifying is going to be even more important and it’s already one of the biggest parts of the night at a World of Outlaws event. You just have to go out and do your best and try to put yourself in a good position.”
Last season, the East Coast racer made his debut at I-96 Speedway. That event was run on a three-eighths-mile track that combined the outer half-mile with an inner track. This year, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event will be held on the half-mile. In 2012 at I-96, Gravel was fourth-fastest in time trials. He finished fourth in the first eight-lap heat race to earn a spot in the dash. He lined up on the pole of the six-lap dash and won that contest to earn the pole position for the 35-lap main event, in which he would finish 18th. He led the opening nine laps of the race, before getting tangled up with a lapped car while running third on lap-16.
“The track will obviously be different than last year when I was there on the smaller track,” Gravel explained. “I have to approach like I have all of the tracks I’ve visited for the first time this year. The main thing is to get qualified well and get in the dash and start toward the front of the feature.”
In his most recent start, Gravel finished eighth at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana, on Memorial Day. He lined up 19th for the 35-lap main event and steadily worked his way forward, earning the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award in the process. Gravel opened the night 19th in time trials, just missing the heat race inversion by three spots. He finished fifth in the third 10-lap heat race to transfer to the A-Feature.
“We capitalized on some restarts and were able to end up with a top-10, after struggling in qualifying,” he noted. “To pass more cars than anyone else is definitely a plus and when you start that far back you have to. We are working to really step up our game, especially when it comes to qualifying in order to run up front with these guys.”
On Friday, May 24 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Gravel came home 13th in the 30-lap main event, after lining up 17th. He qualified 18th to start the night, which put him on the outside of the third row in the third eight-lap heat race. Gravel crossed the line sixth in that contest to earn a spot in the 30-lap A-Feature at the state-of-the-art four-tenths-mile.
Entering this weekend’s pair of races, the native of Watertown, Conn., is seventh in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship standings on the strength of 11 top-10 finishes, including a season-best runner-up finish at Tri-State Speedway in Indiana last month.
“We built a new car this week, so we are ready to get on the track and try it out,” he shared. “You treat a new car the same as the old car, because they are pretty much the same. We’ve worked hard this week and we know the car is prepared well, so it’s my job to now go out there and drive it hard.”
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.