Gravel scores fourth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win of the season
WEST LEBANON, N.Y. – July 20, 2014 -David Gravel scored his fourth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win of the season Sunday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway – but if not for a little luck, the result could have been very different.
Gravel took the lead in his Roth Motorsports car on a restart following a caution on lap five. He jumped past Kerry Madsen and held the position until another yellow flew on lap 13.
“Kerry kind of jumped me and then I got on the gas and it stumbled real bad,” Gravel said. “[The car] didn’t take off very good.”
Just as the field dove into turn one with Gravel falling back, 20-time champion Steve Kinser wrecked just short of the start-finish line, ending up on his top and bringing out the red flag. Kinser was OK and went on to finish the race in 12th, but not before the field was reset on lap 13 with Gravel again in the lead.
He didn’t make the same mistake twice.
“Obviously, I got lucky.”
Gravel, who joined the Roth Motorsports team in April and his since scored three wins, thanked his crew members and car owners Dennis and Teresa Roth for giving him the opportunity.
“We’re learning every day and it takes a while to gel… they all do an awesome job,” Gravel said.
The Watertown, Conn. native said it meant a lot to win so close to home.
“It’s awesome,” Gravel said. “This track is only an hour and a half away from me and we had a little luck go our way and I took advantage.”
For Madsen, Gravel’s good fortune meant a second place finish for his American Racing Custom Wheels team.
“I had the lead, and I had the decision to choose top or bottom,” Madsen said. “And I won the first start quite convincingly on the top so I thought I would stick with the top and got caught out. That’s just part of the game. Then we got that second one and made it work and got the jump but unfortunately the red came out.”
Later on in the feature Madsen closed the gap on Gravel but was never able to seriously challenge him.
“We tucked up behind him on green flag runs but it was always going to be difficult to do something. Second is a great result for us.”
Points leader Donny Schatz finished the night in third after starting in sixth. He said his car experienced some trouble early on.
“We hurt our motor on lap five – the temperature gauge was pegged,” Schatz said. “On the yellows it didn’t seem to go down, so that’s a common sign of a water pump failure… It didn’t necessarily slow down at the end but you could feel it was laboring a lot harder.”
In the race for the Outlaws championship, Schatz extended his points lead to 65 over second place Daryn Pittman. Third place Paul McMahan is now 106 points out of the lead.
Joey Saldana took home his 19th quick time of the season, posting a 16.620 around the half-mile track.