May 19, 2024 | By Alex Nietem, WOO Sprint Car PR

Gravel posts 7th World of Outlaws win of the season at Sharon

Photo by Trent Gower

HARTFORD, Ohio — David Gravel and Big Game Motorsports refuse to stay down for long.

The pairing has consistently been the fastest team on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car tour in 2024. Heading into the Ohio weekend (Attica Raceway Park & Sharon Speedway) Gravel had already collected six checkered flags this season. Nine of his last 12 starts had resulted in top two finishes.

But then his fortune faltered Friday at Attica when a troublesome Heat Race put him in the Last Chance Showdown. Gravel won the LCS and went on to finish 11th – only his third time outside the top 10 this season. Both the previous occasions, Gravel promptly rebounded.

Back in March at Cotton Bowl Speedway, an incident gave him a 12th place finish. The following night he brought home a top five. Then a Paducah DNF led to a 23rd place result. The next day he ran second at Tri-State Speedway.

And then on Saturday at Sharon, Gravel and company served up their strongest bounce back. The Watertown, CT native started on the pole and led every single circuit of the main event to park the Huset’s Speedway #2 in Victory Lane for the seventh time in 2024.

“Just happy to get the job done,” Gravel said. “It’s way harder on this type of racetrack to pass cars when you’re behind them, and having that clean air just makes your job so much easier. Cody (Jacobs), Zach (Patterson), and Stephen (Hamm-Reilly) have been working really hard. I can’t thank them enough.”

Gravel upped his career win total with The Greatest Show on Dirt to 95. That mark equals him with Dave Blaney for the eighth most all-time, and fittingly he reached the feat at Blaney’s track. Sharon is now the 48th different track he’s won at with the World of Outlaws.

The 30-lap Feature was led to green by Gravel and Sye Lynch. The opening start was called back for a jump by Lynch. On the second attempt Gravel quickly took off.

Traffic became a factor only five laps into the race, and it allowed second-running Carson Macedo to close in on Gravel. The Sharon surface offered up grip all over the 3/8-mile, so Gravel searched everywhere for speed as he navigated traffic. Eventually, he began to gap Macedo again.

A pair of cautions offered those chasing Gravel a shot at him, but the veteran never flinched on the restarts. Both times he accelerated at the right spot and had a solid advantage entering the first set of corners.

As the final laps closed Gravel did face one scare when he clipped a rough patch of track and nearly spun. But he managed to regain control and drive away comfortably to Victory Lane. He might’ve led every lap, but it was by no means an easy cruise with a tricky racing surface that proved to be difficult to figure out.

“Man, what character the track had,” Gravel said. “It just kept getting rougher and rougher. I didn’t know where to run. Cody told me to run the middle, so I started running the middle. And then he told me elbows up and run the top, and it was just hard to run the top consistently. It was just a very technical track.”

Donny Schatz climbed from fifth to the runner-up spot for his eighth World of Outlaws podium of the season. Finishing second ensured Gravel couldn’t extend his point lead much over the 10-time champion as Schatz now sits 54 markers behind. Schatz and the Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing team continue to show plenty of speed.

“We were good at the end, decent,” Schatz said. The guys are doing a great job. Everybody at Ford is working their tails off. I’ve got some control, and that’s what we’ve been looking for. The performance shows. I don’t know that we were going to be able to get there on open racetrack. But that’s the way racing is anymore. We needed traffic, and we didn’t really have it there at the end. I feel like we were decent, and we’ll just keep building on it.”

Carson Macedo brought the Jason Johnson Racing #41 home third to post a pair of podiums in Ohio over the weekend. The result was also the 11th consecutive top five for Macedo. The Lemoore, CA driver ran second for much of the race but never found a way by Gravel and also slipped back a spot late when Schatz rolled by on a restart.

“I felt like it was going to be tough there in open air,” Macedo said. “Once we would get a restart there and get that clean air back on his (Gravel’s) wings and clean racetrack, he was lightning quick. I feel like we were pretty good. Our car was fairly balanced. I think in traffic I was as good. I would kind of get to him. It would’ve been tough to make a move, and I was prepared to throw something at him if it did happen. I just had a late race restart and went to the top there, probably wasn’t really the place to be.”

Logan Schuchart and Giovanni Scelzi completed the top five.

Schuchart also claimed his Series-leading fourth KSE Racing Hard Charger of the season.

Sheldon Haudenschild claimed his first Simpson Quick Time of 2024 and the 30th of his career in Sea Foam Qualifying.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One, Three, and Four went to Brock Zearfoss (16th Heat Race win of career), Sheldon Haudenschild (106th of career), and David Gravel (254th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two went to Bill Balog (10th of career).

David Gravel topped the Toyota Racing Dash.

Nate Dussel won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

The Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race went to Landon Crawley.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are joined by the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota for two nights of action at Chillicothe, OH’s Atomic Speedway on May 24-25. Then The Greatest Show on Dirt returns to Fremont Speedway for the first time in eight years on Memorial Day (May 27) for the Rick Ferkel Tribute. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.



RESULTS

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[1]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz[5]; 3. 41-Carson Macedo[4]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart[10]; 5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[3]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[6]; 7. 83-Michael Kofoid[12]; 8. 17B-Bill Balog[7]; 9. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]; 10. 24-Rico Abreu[11]; 11. 101-Kalib Henry[16]; 12. 42-Sye Lynch[2]; 13. 49X-Tim Shaffer[19]; 14. 70-Kraig Kinser[9]; 15. 32B-Dale Blaney[15]; 16. 33W-Cap Henry[22]; 17. 29-Logan McCandless[18]; 18. 7S-Landon Crawley[24]; 19. 1-Nate Dussel[21]; 20. 81-Lee Jacobs[13]; 21. W20-Greg Wilson[20]; 22. 11-Carl Bowser[23]; 23. O8-Danny Kuriger[17]; 24. 10-Dave Blaney[14]

MicroLite Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps): 1. 1-Nate Dussel[4]; 2. 33W-Cap Henry[2]; 3. 11-Carl Bowser[1]; 4. 7S-Landon Crawley[3]; 5. 9-Trey Jacobs[9]; 6. 15K-Creed Kemenah[6]; 7. 23J-Cale Thomas[7]; 8. 2F-AJ Flick[5]; 9. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[15]; 10. 46-Michael Bauer[8]; 11. 5K-Adam Kekich[14]; 12. 40-George Hobaugh Jr[10]; 13. 35-Jared Zimbardi[13]; 14. 4S-Tyler Street[11]; 15. 6F-Bob Felmlee[12]

C Feature (10 Laps): 1. 5K-Adam Kekich[2]; 2. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[4]; 3. 38-Leyton Wagner[6]; 4. 3-John Jerich[8]; 5. 6-Bill Rose[7]; 6. 99-Cameron Nastasi[9]; 7. 22R-Ryan Fredericks[10]; 8. 70M-Henry Malcuit[1]; 9. 33-Brent Matus[3]; 10. 13-Brandon Matus[5]; 11. 3J-Jacob Begenwald[11]; 12. 1F-Brandon Fredericks[12]

Toyota Dash (6 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[2]; 2. 42-Sye Lynch[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[4]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[6]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz[5]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[8]; 7. 17B-Bill Balog[7]; 8. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[3]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[2]; 2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[1]; 3. 70-Kraig Kinser[4]; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs[8]; 5. O8-Danny Kuriger[9]; 6. 7S-Landon Crawley[5]; 7. 23J-Cale Thomas[3]; 8. 4S-Tyler Street[6]; 9. 70M-Henry Malcuit[7]; 10. 13-Brandon Matus[10]; 11. 3-John Jerich[11]; 12. 22R-Ryan Fredericks[12]

Milton Hershey School Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 17B-Bill Balog[1]; 2. 42-Sye Lynch[6]; 3. 24-Rico Abreu[3]; 4. 32B-Dale Blaney[5]; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer[7]; 6. 2F-AJ Flick[4]; 7. 9-Trey Jacobs[9]; 8. 11-Carl Bowser[2]; 9. 33-Brent Matus[10]; 10. 6-Bill Rose[8]; 11. 99-Cameron Nastasi[11]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[1]; 2. 41-Carson Macedo[3]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2]; 4. 10-Dave Blaney[5]; 5. 29-Logan McCandless[6]; 6. 1-Nate Dussel[8]; 7. 46-Michael Bauer[7]; 8. 6F-Bob Felmlee[9]; 9. 5K-Adam Kekich[10]; 10. 33W-Cap Henry[4]; 11. 3J-Jacob Begenwald[11]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[1]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz[2]; 3. 83-Michael Kofoid[4]; 4. 101-Kalib Henry[3]; 5. W20-Greg Wilson[6]; 6. 15K-Creed Kemenah[5]; 7. 40-George Hobaugh Jr[8]; 8. 35-Jared Zimbardi[7]; 9. 38-Leyton Wagner[9]; 10. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[10]; 11. 1F-Brandon Fredericks[11]

Sea Foam Qualifying A (2 Laps): 1. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 00:14.141[12]; 2. 17B-Bill Balog, 00:14.361[22]; 3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 00:14.367[17]; 4. 11-Carl Bowser, 00:14.380[1]; 5. 23J-Cale Thomas, 00:14.390[19]; 6. 24-Rico Abreu, 00:14.464[21]; 7. 70-Kraig Kinser, 00:14.522[4]; 8. 2F-AJ Flick, 00:14.522[3]; 9. 7S-Landon Crawley, 00:14.569[2]; 10. 32B-Dale Blaney, 00:14.619[15]; 11. 4S-Tyler Street, 00:14.628[6]; 12. 42-Sye Lynch, 00:14.629[11]; 13. 70M-Henry Malcuit, 00:14.647[23]; 14. 49X-Tim Shaffer, 00:14.673[20]; 15. 81-Lee Jacobs, 00:14.695[9]; 16. 6-Bill Rose, 00:14.745[8]; 17. O8-Danny Kuriger, 00:14.795[13]; 18. 9-Trey Jacobs, 00:14.841[18]; 19. 13-Brandon Matus, 00:14.919[5]; 20. 33-Brent Matus, 00:16.092[7]; 21. 3-John Jerich, 00:16.136[14]; 22. 99-Cameron Nastasi, 00:16.648[16]; 23. 22R-Ryan Fredericks, 00:17.114[10]

Sea Foam Qualifying B (2 Laps): 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 00:14.113[10]; 2. 2-David Gravel, 00:14.152[20]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 00:14.253[11]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz, 00:14.274[3]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo, 00:14.275[14]; 6. 101-Kalib Henry, 00:14.376[18]; 7. 33W-Cap Henry, 00:14.523[16]; 8. 83-Michael Kofoid, 00:14.627[6]; 9. 10-Dave Blaney, 00:14.785[21]; 10. 15K-Creed Kemenah, 00:14.818[17]; 11. 29-Logan McCandless, 00:14.840[4]; 12. W20-Greg Wilson, 00:14.966[5]; 13. 46-Michael Bauer, 00:15.058[8]; 14. 35-Jared Zimbardi, 00:15.124[9]; 15. 1-Nate Dussel, 00:15.147[7]; 16. 40-George Hobaugh Jr, 00:15.194[1]; 17. 6F-Bob Felmlee, 00:15.278[22]; 18. 38-Leyton Wagner, 00:15.312[15]; 19. 5K-Adam Kekich, 00:15.350[19]; 20. 5D-Jacob Dykstra, 00:15.477[13]; 21. 3J-Jacob Begenwald[2]; 22. 1F-Brandon Fredericks[12]

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