Gravel On A Roll Heading Into Kings Royal
Outlaw David Gravel Enters Kings Royal Weekend Riding Wave of Confidence
(courtesy Greg Billing)
ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 13, 2017) – Steadily and methodically, just like running that grueling 90-plus race World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series schedule, David Gravel has worked his way through the pack in the WoO standings.
Gravel finished 17th running a limited schedule in 2012, and has consistently moved up the final point standings from 13th (2013) to 10th (2014) to ninth (2015) and third following the 2016 season. This year, Gravel enters the 34th annual Kings Royal weekend at Eldora Speedway ranked third in the WoO drivers’ points with 10 victories.
His reward for putting the CJB Motorsports No. 5 GoMuddy.com/JRC Transportation Inc./C&S Lawn and Landscape ride in championship contention? Trying to take down three-time defending champion Donny Schatz, who has won eight of the last 11 WoO championships since 2006.
Gravel trails Schatz by 114 points entering Eldora Speedway’s triple-header schedule consisting of the Jokers Wild on Thursday, Knight Before the Kings Royal on Friday and the $50,000-to-win, 40-lap Kings Royal on Saturday. The trio of full racing programs gives Gravel three chances to close the gap on Schatz, as well as second-place Brad Sweet who sits 74 points behind Schatz.
“You just have to push at all times. Run your hardest, don’t make mistakes and see where you end up,” Gravel said. “He’s the best but someone has to knock him off eventually. Hopefully we’re that team.”
Gravel, 25, has extensive experience on Eldora’s half-mile, high-banked dirt oval ranging from his NRA Sprint Invaders win in 2011 to his Jokers Wild victory with the Outlaws in July of 2016, a win he called at the time “pretty friggin’ surreal.”
Gravel has qualified for the Kings Royal A-Main feature the past four years. He finished ninth in 2013, third in 2014, 14th in 2015 and 11th last year.
At the #Let’sRaceTwo doubleheader at Eldora on May 12-13, Gravel finished sixth after Friday night’s show and 14th in Saturday’s racing action.
Gravel joined Roth Motorsports during the middle of the 2014 season. He hooked up with Destiny Motorsports midway through 2015. He then signed with CJB Motorsports for the 2016 season, his most successful in the WoO Series. The team clicked off nine victories, 46 top-five finishes and 68 top-10
finishes. Those were all career highs for the Watertown, Conn., native, who has 15 career WoO victories overall.
Until Tuesday. Gravel set a personal record with his 10th feature win in a come-from-behind victory in the Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park on July 11. Gravel was in fourth with five laps to go before chasing down the leaders. He also has 26 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s.
Gravel and Schatz (13) are the only two WoO drivers with double-digit wins this season.
“If this is where I end up, I can make a living doing this.” Gravel said. “I just want to make a living racing and if that’s NASCAR, Indy Car, go-karts or sprint cars I’ll be happy.”
As the CJB team chases Schatz, the racing program is also in pursuit of a few other goals – most notably the Kings Royal, Knoxville Nationals and the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania.
“We’ll see,” Gravel said. “We won (10) races and finished third (in the standings) so I want to back up what we did last year and hopefully improve on that. Just being with the same team, same equipment and the same crew gives you confidence for sure.”
Confidence is key at Eldora. Gravel said he’s comfortable at the historic high-banked oval where he has three winged victories, including two with the Outlaws in 2014 and 2016.
“It’s intimidating just because you hear about Eldora,” said Gravel, the 2013 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. “Eldora was my best Outlaws finish for a long time. I’m comfortable with it now.
“I’ve always loved Eldora. It’s been a good track for me. It’s somewhere I’ve always been pretty fast and typically the track is the same. You know what you’re getting. I’m definitely looking forward to it and running faster this year.”
The 34th Annual Kings Royal Weekend kicks off with the Jokers Wild on Thursday, July 13, with a complete show featuring WoO Series single-car qualifying, Heat Races, C-Main and B-Mains, Dash event and the 30-lap Feature event paying $10,000 to win. The Knight Before the Kings Royal on Friday, July 14, will feature another full night of racing cumulating with a 30-lap, $12,000 to win Feature event. The Kings Royal will conclude on Saturday, July 15, with Heat Races, C-main and B-main events leading up to the 40-lap $50,000 to win finale.
Single day tickets start at just $25 with children (12 & younger) admitted free to general admission all three days of the Kings Royal Weekend. For ticket prices and camping information, please call (937) 338-3815 or visit www.EldoraSpeedway.com.
About Eldora Speedway:
Since carved from a cornfield in the natural amphitheater that existed between the Eldora Ballroom and the Wabash River by bandleader Earl Baltes in 1954, Eldora Speedway has grown to be a frontrunner in motorsports growth and stability. Baltes chose to sell the legendary high-banked clay oval to motorsports entrepreneur and NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC champion Tony Stewart in 2004. Celebrating its 64th season in 2017, Eldora hosts the biggest events in short-track racing including the 23rd annual Dirt Late Model Dream; the 34th annual Kings Royal Weekend; the Camping World Truck Series’ Eldora Dirt Derby – the only NASCAR National Series race on dirt; and the 47th annual World 100. The complete schedule for Eldora’s 64th consecutive season, including ticket and campsite information, is available at www.EldoraSpeedway.com and can be requested by phone at (937) 338-3815. Fans can get behind-the-scenes access of Eldora Speedway by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, hitting ‘Like’ at www.facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and subscribing to www.youtube.com/EldoraSpeedway.