May 25, 2024 | By Alex Nietem, WOO Sprint Car PR

David Gravel Aces Atomic World of Outlaws weekend opener

Photo by Trent Gower

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Nothing seems capable of stopping David Gravel and Big Game Motorsports right now. No drivers. No tracks. Nothing.

The Watertown, CT is taking no prisoners as he chases his first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car title. Every time the Huset’s Speedway #2 touches the track, it’s fast. Gravel entered Friday’s race at Atomic Speedway fresh off his seventh victory of the season with a Sharon win. And he added another with an impressive Atomic drive.

Gravel started in the second spot for the 30-lap finale, slid ahead of Brady Bacon on Lap 9 for the lead, and held off a flurry of challenges to seal his eighth win of 2024 with The Greatest Show on Dirt.

“Cody (Jacobs), Zach (Patterson), and Stephen (Hamm-Reilly), man, they’ve been working really, really hard,” Gravel said. “Eight wins this time of year is amazing, and hopefully we can continue to do this.”

The 31-year-old pushed his hot streak to five wins in the last seven races. His 96th career win gives him sole possession of eighth on the all-time World of Outlaws win list. Atomic is the 49th different track he’s won at against the nation’s best Sprint Car drivers. And perhaps most importantly, Gravel extended his lead atop the standings to 64 markers.

Brady Bacon brought the field to green with Gravel alongside. Bacon powered ahead heading into the first set of corners as Carson Macedo slid ahead of Gravel. But Gravel crossed over down the back straightaway to reclaim the runner-up spot.

Bacon paced the field as the opening laps unfolded, but lapped traffic threw the “Macho Man” a curveball. Bacon stared down a hornet’s nest of traffic, and Gravel quickly closed. And then on the ninth circuit, the window opened.

As Bacon made contact with a lapped car in Turns 1 and 2, Gravel got a massive run down the back straightaway. In Turns 3 and 4, Gravel pulled the trigger on a slider and surged ahead of Bacon to takeover the lead.

After taking the top spot, Gravel began to negotiate heavy traffic as the war for second erupted. Carson Macedo, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Michael “Buddy” Kofoid caught up to Bacon and all moved around him. Then that trio traded wild slide jobs and crossovers for multiple laps with Gravel just ahead. Finally, Macedo secured the spot and the yellow flag flew with 11 laps remaining.

Macedo managed to stay right with Gravel on the restart down the front straightaway, but Gravel muscled ahead in Turns 1 and 2 to maintain the top spot.

One last red flag set up a restart with eight laps to go. Gravel pulled away when the green flag brought the field back to life, but traffic became a factor in the final few laps. Macedo closed in as Gravel struggled with lapped cars in his lane. Macedo got one final run as Gravel slipped in the final corner, but it wasn’t enough as Gravel held on to win by just under half a second.

“He (Bacon) was getting messed up pretty early in lapped traffic,” Gravel explained. “He got really messed up off of (Turn) 2 there, and I was able to slide him. But when I went to slide him, I about spun out, so I probably parked it right in front of him. So, it probably didn’t look very good. But I felt like that was my opportunity to pass. Man, lapped cars were so hard to get by. I felt like the top was the fastest, but guys would just kind of park it in front of you. I just tried to be really patient.”

Carson Macedo brought the Jason Johnson Racing #41 home second to continue his impressive streaks of consistency. He’s now up to 17 straight top 10s, 12 top fives, and five podiums. While he’s hungry for a win, Macedo maintained a positive outlook as he and the JJR crew continue to be one of the fastest cars on tour.

“I felt like we had a really strong car tonight,” Macedo said. “We qualified pretty good, won our Heat Race, then we drew, I think, sixth in the Dash, and ran up to second. So, I really can’t complain about that. We just got to keep trying to get that win.”

Rounding out the top three was Buddy Kofoid in the Roth Motorsports #83. The Penngrove, CA native hasn’t missed the top 10 in the last 17 races. He’s also up to eight World of Outlaws podiums in 2024. The third place outing required a major effort as mechanical troubles kept Kofoid from making a Qualifying effort. He drove from last to third in his Heat and from seventh to third in the main event.

“Honestly, it didn’t feel that crazy,” Kofoid said of his night. “Our car is just so good right now. I feel like I can race well from behind or up front. The car just races good. Hats off to these Roth Motorsports/Mobil 1/Toyota guys.”

Cole Duncan and Donny Schatz completed the top five.

A 15th to seventh drive earned Sye Lynch the KSE Racing Hard Charger.

David Gravel secured his fifth Simpson Quick Time of 2024 and the 115th of his career in Sea Foam Qualifying.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One and Three went to David Gravel (255th Heat Race win of career) and Donny Schatz (525thof career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two belonged to Carson Macedo (123rd of career).

Brady Bacon topped the Toyota Racing Dash.

Cole Macedo won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are right back on Atomic Speedway on Saturday, May 25 before a Monday, May 27 visit to Fremont Speedway. 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[2]; 2. 41-Carson Macedo[3]; 3. 83-Michael Kofoid[7]; 4. 22-Cole Duncan[4]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz[6]; 6. 21H-Brady Bacon[1]; 7. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[8]; 8. 42-Sye Lynch[15]; 9. 1S-Logan Schuchart[12]; 10. 17B-Bill Balog[10]; 11. 5T-Travis Philo[11]; 12. 16T-Cole Macedo[19]; 13. 24D-Danny Sams III[17]; 14. 70-Kraig Kinser[13]; 15. 99-Skylar Gee[16]; 16. 7S-Landon Crawley[14]; 17. 5AU-Brock Hallett[24]; 18. A79-Brandon Wimmer[18]; 19. 15K-Creed Kemenah[23]; 20. 5J-Jake Hesson[20]; 21. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]; 22. 2S-Nathan Skaggs[22]; 23. 32-Bryce Lucius[21]; 24. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[9]

MicroLite Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps): 1. 16T-Cole Macedo[1]; 2. 5J-Jake Hesson[4]; 3. 32-Bryce Lucius[3]; 4. 2S-Nathan Skaggs[2]; 5. 15K-Creed Kemenah[10]; 6. 5AU-Brock Hallett[8]; 7. 83X-Nate Reeser[9]; 8. 6-Bill Rose[5]; 9. 16TH-Kevin Newton[6]; 10. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[7]

Toyota Dash (6 Laps): 1. 21H-Brady Bacon[2]; 2. 2-David Gravel[4]; 3. 41-Carson Macedo[6]; 4. 22-Cole Duncan[1]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz[3]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[1]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[2]; 3. 83-Michael Kofoid[10]; 4. 17B-Bill Balog[4]; 5. 70-Kraig Kinser[6]; 6. 99-Skylar Gee[5]; 7. 32-Bryce Lucius[8]; 8. 2S-Nathan Skaggs[7]; 9. 5AU-Brock Hallett[9]; 10. 16T-Cole Macedo[3]

Milton Hershey School Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 41-Carson Macedo[2]; 2. 21H-Brady Bacon[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[3]; 4. 5T-Travis Philo[4]; 5. 7S-Landon Crawley[6]; 6. 24D-Danny Sams III[5]; 7. 5J-Jake Hesson[7]; 8. 16TH-Kevin Newton[8]; 9. 83X-Nate Reeser[9]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 15-Donny Schatz[2]; 2. 22-Cole Duncan[1]; 3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[4]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart[5]; 5. 42-Sye Lynch[3]; 6. A79-Brandon Wimmer[6]; 7. 6-Bill Rose[8]; 8. 5D-Jacob Dykstra[9]; 9. 15K-Creed Kemenah[7]

Sea Foam Qualifying (2 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel, 00:11.143[19]; 2. 21H-Brady Bacon, 00:11.199[1]; 3. 22-Cole Duncan, 00:11.234[9]; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 00:11.245[6]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo, 00:11.258[17]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz, 00:11.279[28]; 7. 16T-Cole Macedo, 00:11.287[7]; 8. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 00:11.301[13]; 9. 42-Sye Lynch, 00:11.347[18]; 10. 17B-Bill Balog, 00:11.361[25]; 11. 5T-Travis Philo, 00:11.363[3]; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 00:11.372[22]; 13. 99-Skylar Gee, 00:11.372[23]; 14. 24D-Danny Sams III, 00:11.445[5]; 15. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 00:11.446[20]; 16. 70-Kraig Kinser, 00:11.473[26]; 17. 7S-Landon Crawley, 00:11.490[12]; 18. A79-Brandon Wimmer, 00:11.533[4]; 19. 2S-Nathan Skaggs, 00:11.540[10]; 20. 5J-Jake Hesson, 00:11.561[8]; 21. 15K-Creed Kemenah, 00:11.602[14]; 22. 32-Bryce Lucius, 00:11.625[21]; 23. 16TH-Kevin Newton, 00:11.639[2]; 24. 6-Bill Rose, 00:11.764[16]; 25. 5AU-Brock Hallett, 00:11.839[15]; 26. 83X-Nate Reeser, 00:11.865[11]; 27. 5D-Jacob Dykstra, 00:11.895[27]; 28. 83-Michael Kofoid[24]

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