PETERSEN MEDIA- Getting back to action in the US, David Gravel and his Roth Motorsports team picked up fifth and ninth place finishes with the World of Outlaw STP Sprint Cars during Ironman weekend in Pevely, MO.
“I really like the I-55 Raceway, and was happy with how we raced all weekend,” Gravel said.
In a marathon event on Friday night, Gravel kicked the night off by timing his Roth Enterprises/HR Livestock Transportation/3H Cattle entry in with the fastest lap in time trials, giving him his seventh quick time award for the season.
Being in the first heat race, Gravel was able to finish in the fourth spot to lock into the Dash, before enduring a two hour delay for rain and fence repair. Getting back on the track almost three hours after his heat race, the Watertown, CT driver finished the dash in the third position, putting himself in the second row for the 30-lap feature event.
Even after the rain shower, the track was in great shape for the feature event, and Gravel battled in the lead pack much of the race, as he went wheel to wheel with Kerry Madsen, Donny Schatz, and Daryn Pittman.
With Madsen and Schatz breaking away, Gravel battled with Pittman for the fourth spot, and when the checkered flew on the 30th lap, Gravel was right on Pittman’s rear bumper as he finished in the fifth spot as the event came to a close just shy of 2am local time.
Back in action later in the day on Saturday for the Ironman 55, Gravel went out late for time trials on the extremely slick track, and it resulted in him timing his mount in 17th fastest.
Finishing in the fifth spot of his heat race, Gravel made the transfer into the feature event, though he had his work cut out for him as he lined up for the 55-lap feature event in the ninth row.
With the first 16 laps going green, Gravel slowly worked his way towards the Top-10 as he ran in the in the 13th spot, before the race resumed.
Following a caution on the 20th lap, the final 35 laps would be ran with no issues, and Gravel came into his own, as he found some racing real estate to his liking.
Working into the Top-10, Gravel battled Chad Kemmenah and Greg Wilson, and when the grueling race came to a close, Gravel took the checkered in the ninth spot.
Making the all night journey to Knoxville, IA to compete in the Capitani Classic on Sunday for one final test before the Knoxville Nationals, Gravel timed his entry in 18th fastest with 71 cars on hand to kick off Knoxville Nationals week.
Lining up fourth in his heat race, gravel battled with Kevin Swindell for the third and final transfer spot into the feature event, but he was unable to get the spot, and was forced into one of the twin B Main events.
In the second B, Gravel gridded the field from the seventh starting spot, and again only the top three would move on to the feature.
Going forward in the semi, Gravel was able to get past Knoxville locals, Clint Garner, RJ Johnson and Wayne Johnson as he got into the fourth spot, and chased after Terry McCarl.
Just like his heat race, Gravel missed the transfer by one position, and his Capitani Classic came to a close, but Gravel was pleased with how the night went.
“It was a very tough format, but we had great speed all night,” Gravel said. “We moved forward all night, and that’s what we can ask for. We tried some things that we liked, and gave ourselves a good game plan going into the rest of the week. I am hoping we can have a good showing for the entire Roth Motorsports family this week.”
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-61, Wins-3, Top 5’s-17, Top 10’s-38.
ON TAP: Gravel is scheduled to be in action on Wednesday night at the Knoxville Raceway for the opening night of the Knoxville Nationals.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Roth Motorsports by checking out their new website, www.rothmotorsports83.com, and by following David on Twitter @davidgravel89g.
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