Big Game Motorsports and Gravel Open World of Outlaws Season With Win and DIRTcar Nationals Title

The opening weekend of the season was a success for Big Game Motorsports and driver David Gravel.

The team captured its first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory of the year and produced three top fives during the four-race Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals hosted by Volusia Speedway Park. That was good enough to garner the big gator trophy as the event champion for the second time in the last three years.

“It was a strong week,” Gravel said. “I felt like about every time we hit the track we were good. I wish we could have got back two shots at those features, but we still ran fifth and sixth those nights. The guys did a good job preparing everything and it was a good week. As far as a consistency standpoint, that’s what you’re looking for to win the championship.”

The big gator trophy was Gravel’s third of his career, which is tied for the most.

“That’s cool for sure,” he said. “We were so close to winning last year and got into a wreck in the final feature so it was good to finish strong this year. And this year the big gator paid some money so that was nice.”

The busy week began last Wednesday with Gravel qualifying fourth quickest in his group. He won a heat race and advanced from fifth to third place in the dash. The night ended with a third-place result in the feature.

“The track work got done and the track came back more than we expected,” he said. “That’s dirt racing and what makes it so hard and tough. We ran third so it shows how strong we are even when things aren’t perfect.”

Gravel was victorious on Thursday, when he timed in second quickest in his group and placed second in a heat race before winning the dash and the main event. It marked his fifth World of Outlaws victory in his last eight races at the track.

“I felt good and I think we’re capable of doing that a lot of nights,” he said. “It’s about putting yourself in a good position and getting good dash draws. We made the dash all four nights, but only got one good draw. We capitalized on it Thursday.”

Gravel qualified seventh quickest in his group to open Friday’s program. He hustled from fourth to second place in a heat race to make the dash. Gravel placed fourth in the dash and fifth in the A Main.

“That’s one night we were a little frustrated with that fifth place,” he said. “We worked really hard to get to the dash and weren’t able to capitalize. When we’re not happy with running fifth that shows how good we are as a team.”

The event wrapped up on Saturday. Gravel was second quickest in his group’s qualifying session and he won a heat race to advance into the dash for the fourth straight night. However, he pulled the second-highest number – seven – during the dash draw and he finished where he started in the dash. Gravel gained a position in the feature to end sixth, which was good enough to secure the DIRTcar Nationals title.

“Drawing the seven in the dash was not ideal,” he said. “The track was the wettest, narrowest, fastest all week. We had a car good the last 10 laps. We just needed to be better sooner to pass some guys on that track.”

The team will take the next couple of weeks off before resuming World of Outlaws competition March 3-4 at Volusia Speedway Park during the World of Outlaws Bike Week Jamboree.

QUICK RESULTS –

Feb. 7 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 1 (2); Dash: 3 (5); Feature: 3 (3).

Feb. 8 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 2 (1); Dash: 1 (2); Feature: 1 (1).

Feb. 9 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 7; Heat race: 2 (4); Dash: 4 (5); Feature: 5 (4).

Feb. 10 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 7 (7); Feature: 6 (7).

SEASON STATS –

4 races, 1 win, 3 top fives, 4 top 10s, 4 top 15s, 4 top 20s

UP NEXT –

March 3-4 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the World of Outlaws Bike Week Jamboree with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series

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