David Gravel’s night couldn’t have been much more perfect.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series took to Bristol Motor Speedway to race for the first time in two decades on Friday night, throwing down track record speeds in the 13-second range during qualifying. Gravel and Big Game Motorsports took advantage of the opportunity with a near-untouchable evening. The Watertown, Connecticut native set the new track record in qualifying, drew first for the Dash, won it and led wire-to-wire for his 60th career World of Outlaws feature win.
With Friday’s win at Bristol Motor Speedway, David Gravel now matches Donny Schatz for the most World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series wins on tracks a half-mile or bigger since the start of 2019. The pair each have nine such victories during the stretch.
“This is so cool,” Gravel said afterward. “This is just such an iconic place that everyone always talks about. I can’t thank Bristol Motor Speedway and the World of Outlaws enough for making this event happen. I hope we get to finish out this weekend and go after that $25,000 check.”
That’s not to say he was able to breeze through the feature. A hard-charging Aaron Reutzel rose from ninth to second and was closing in on Gravel at one point before a caution flag changed everything. Reutzel wound up settling for second after he proved unable to top Gravel without lapped traffic.
“That caution killed every ounce of momentum I had,” Reutzel said. “We went from ninth-to-second, we were flying through there and he couldn’t pass the lap cars. That restart gave him clean track and he was gone, though. He was the fastest car all night until lap traffic, and then I thought we were the car to beat. You have to be good to win these races, but you also have to be lucky.”
Carson Macedo, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Donny Schatz rounded out the top-five, with Kyle Larson, Giovanni Scelzi, Brad Sweet, Paul McMahan and Brock Zearfoss completing the top-10.
(Source(s): Brian Walker / WorldofOutlaws.com, Jacob Seelman / Speed Sport)