With Luck on His Side, David Gravel Gets Win at Lebanon Valley
Author : WOO
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.
Fulton Speedway hosts the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series on Wednesday, July 23. The Outlaws then make a three race swing through Canada with stops at Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, Que., Cornwall Motor Speedway in Cornwall, Ont., and Ohswheken Speedway in Ohswheken, Ont.
LEBANON VALLEY SPEEDWAY NOTES: Joey Saldana picked up his 19th quick time of the season at Lebanon Valley… David Gravel scored his sixth career World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win at Lebanon Valley… Steve Kinser started on the pole for the feature… Reigning champion Daryn Pittman was the KSE Hard Charger of the night, advancing 5 positions to finish in fourth.
SEASON WINNERS: Daryn Pittman - 10 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 14, Calistoga Speedway on April 6, Devil's Bowl Speedway on April 19, Williams Grove Speedway on May 16 and May 17, Orange County Fair Speedway, May 18, New Egypt Speedway, May 20, Dodge City Raceway Park on July 4 and 5 and Lincoln Speedway on July 17); Donny Schatz - 9 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 15, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 6, Devil's Bowl Speedway on April 19, Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 27, I-96 Speedway on May 31, River Cities Speedway on June 20, 34 Raceway on June 27, Cedar Lake Speedway on June 29 and Lernerville Speedway in July 15); Joey Saldana - 5 (Perris Auto Speedway on April 12, Salina Highbanks on April 25, The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 23, I-80 Speedway on June 6 and Jackson Speedway on June 13); Brad Sweet - 5 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14, Tucson International Raceway on March 8, Calistoga Speedway on April 5, Knoxville Raceway on June 14 and Beaver Dam Raceway on June 28); David Gravel - 4 (Merced Speedway on March 28, Eldora Speedway on May 3, Wilmot Raceway on May 9 and Lebanon Valley Speedway on July 20); Kerry Madsen - 4 (Stockton Dirt track on March 22, El Paso Speedway Park on April 15, Lakeside Speedway on June 7 and Eldora Speedway on July 12); Paul McMahan - 3 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 5, Tri-State Speedway on May 10 and Limaland Motorsports Park on July 9); Cody Darrah - 2 (Kings Speedway on April 11 and Lernerville Speedway on July 15); Rico Abreu - 1 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 15); Sammy Swindell - 2 (Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on April 26 and Eldora Speedway on July 11); Dale Blaney - 1 (Attica Raceway Park on May 30); Christopher Bell - 1 (Jacksonville Speedway on May 7); Lance Dewease - 1 (July 20 at Williams Grove Speedway); Greg Hodnett - 1 (July 18 at Williams Grove Speedway); Roger Crockett - 1 (I-94 Speedway on June 21); Mark Dobmeier - 1 (Huset's Speedway on July 2); Steve Kinser - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 16); Stevie Smith - 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 14); Shane Stewart - 1 (Eldora Speedway on May 2).
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Lebanon Valley Speedway; West Lebanon, N.Y.; July 20, 2014
A-Main - (25 Laps) - 1. 83-David Gravel  [$10,000]; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$5,500]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz  [$3,200]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,800]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet  [$2,500]; 6. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$2,300]; 7. 51-Paul McMahan  [$2,200]; 8. 5W-Lucas Wolfe  [$2,100]; 9. 1s-Logan Schuchart  [$2,050]; 10. 5-Justin Barger  [$2,000]; 11. 4-Cody Darrah  [$1,500]; 12. 11-Steve Kinser  [$1,200]; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$1,100]; 14. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$1,050]; 15. 42-John Smith  [$1,000]; 16. 49H-Todd Hoddick  [$900]; 17. 7S-Jason Sides  [$800]; 18. 6X-Mark Cole  [$800]; 19. 1Z-Jessica Zemken  [$800]; 20. 90-Matt Tanner  [$800]. Lap Leaders: Kerry Madsen 1-5, David Gravel 6-25. KSE Hard Charger Award: 9-Daryn Pittman [+5]
Qualifying - 1. 71M-Joey Saldana, 16.260; 2. 4-Cody Darrah, 16.344; 3. 49-Brad Sweet, 16.376; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen, 16.410; 5. 83-David Gravel, 16.444; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman, 16.450; 7. 1s-Logan Schuchart, 16.481; 8. 11-Steve Kinser, 16.515; 9. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 16.542; 10. 15-Donny Schatz, 16.646; 11. 51-Paul McMahan, 16.651; 12. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 16.882; 13. 1Z-Jessica Zemken, 17.101; 14. 5-Justin Barger, 17.194; 15. 7S-Jason Sides, 17.266; 16. 49H-Todd Hoddick, 17.396; 17. 1A-Jacob Allen, 17.627; 18. 42-John Smith, 17.809; 19. 6X-Mark Cole, 18.896; 20. 90-Matt Tanner, 18.259
Heat 1 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 15-Donny Schatz ; 2. 71M-Joey Saldana ; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 4. 1Z-Jessica Zemken ; 5. 49H-Todd Hoddick ; 6. 6X-Mark Cole ; 7. 1s-Logan Schuchart 
Heat 2 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 11-Steve Kinser ; 2. 51-Paul McMahan ; 3. 83-David Gravel ; 4. 4-Cody Darrah ; 5. 5-Justin Barger ; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 7. 90-Matt Tanner 
Heat 3 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 5W-Lucas Wolfe ; 2. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 4. 49-Brad Sweet ; 5. 7S-Jason Sides ; 6. 42-John Smith 
Dash - (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of A-feature) - 1. 11-Steve Kinser ; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 3. 83-David Gravel ; 4. 49-Brad Sweet ; 5. 71M-Joey Saldana ; 6. 15-Donny Schatz ; 7. 5W-Lucas Wolfe ; 8. 4-Cody Darrah