PETERSEN MEDIA- Already missing a handful of World of Outlaw races at the start of the season, Roth Motorsports elected to send David Gravel out to California to compete in the 21st Annual Trophy Cup, and Gravel did everything right, though a rubber down track relegated him to a 18th place finish after starting 24th due to being the high point driver prior to the main event.
“We were fast all weekend, and I have feeling like there is unfinished business after that race,” Gravel said. “We went quick time both nights and finishing sixth and third in the two preliminary nights. This team worked hard, and we were awesome all weekend.”
Setting quick time on both Thursday and Friday night aboard his Roth Enterprises/HR Livestock Transportation/3H Cattle backed No. 83 machine, Gravel was able to win both of his heat races. On Thursday night he charged from 12th-sixth giving him the highest point tally, and on Friday night he bettered his total by way of his charge to third.
Sitting atop the point standings heading into Saturday night, Gravel went from 8th to fourth in his heat race, to keep his point lead, as he went into the feature event with a 10 point cushion over his teammate, Kyle Hirst.
With the field being inverted fully by points, and each position being a five point difference, Gravel entered the event with one goal, and that goal was to move forward.
With a ton of laps already being turned on the Thunderbowl Raceway, slick conditions made rubber being laid on the speedway almost imminent, and passing from the back of the pack looked to be a problem.
Getting off to a nice start once the race went green, the Watertown, CT driver was able to jump up a handful of spots, as his teammate, Kyle Hirst, remained glue to his bumper.
Sitting in the 19th spot, Gravel’s progress seemed to be halted as the rubber began to go down on the speedway, making maneuvering that much more difficult from the back of the pack.
A lap 34 caution turned into a fuel stop, and with some of the drivers towards the back opting to change tires, Gravel restarted the race in the 15th spot, but once the race went back to green, Gravel’s right rear went flat, and he pulled into the work area as another car came to a stop on the speedway.
Making the change, Gravel was able to restart from the tail end of the field, but passing was at a near premium in the closing laps. Though he entered the event as the point leader, an 18th place finish in the feature event saw his weekend end with a 14th place finish in Trophy Cup standings.
“This team didn’t deserve to be out of contention of the Trophy Cup,” Gravel said. “I have to thank Troy Welty and everyone for working so hard and giving me a really good car every time we hit the track. I also have to thank Dennis and Theresa Roth for flying me back out here for this race. I really love it, and am hopeful scheduling works out in 2015 so I can come back.”
The Roth Motorsports team would like to thank Roth Enterprises, HR Livestock Transportation, 3H Cattle, Mobil1, FK Rod Ends, Weld Wheels, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Kent Performance, Kaeding Performance, and Astro Titanium for their support in 2014.
2014 ROTH MOTORSPORTS BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-90, Wins-4, Top 5’s-29, Top 10’s-59.
ON TAP: Gravel will now meet back up with the World of Outlaw STP Sprint Car Series this Saturday night at the Port Royal Speedway.
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