David Gravel won Monday’s World of Outlaws feature at Volusia Speedway Park. (Jim DenHamer photo)
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — David Gravel dominated the second round of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown, leading all 30 laps of Monday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series feature at Volusia Speedway Park.
Gravel’s third victory in five races this season, was the 79th of his career, tying him with four-time and defending champion Brad Sweet for 11th on the all-time win list.
The last time a driver won three of the first five races, it was Donny Schatz in 2018 and he went on to win the series title.
“It’s been a really good start, man” Gravel said. “I got into a little bit of a scuffle last night and kind of stubbed our toe a little bit there, but, man, if we were able to finish where I thought we would’ve in that feature, it would just be an unreal start. I can’t ask for anymore. It’s a dream to win three out of five races. You really can’t ask for much more than that.”
Gravel made it clear from the drop of the green flag that he was going to be a force during the main event aboard the Big Game Motorsports No. 2. Heading into the first two turns he darted around polesitter Jacob Allen and set a blazing pace.
Even lapped traffic proved to be no match early on as Gravel sliced through slower cars. Behind him, battles broke out for spots within the top-five between Allen, Brad Sweet and Carson Macedo.
Gravel’s biggest challenge arose after the halfway point in the form of the winner of Spring Showdown round one, Macedo. The Jason Johnson Racing No. 41 driver roared into the runner-up spot around Allen and set his sights on Gravel.
Macedo closed in amid heavy lapped traffic and appeared poised to give Gravel a battle. However, a lapped car drove back around Macedo’s outside when he attempted a slider, breaking his momentum and allowing Gravel to drive away.
Some late cautions gave Macedo a hint of hope lining him up next to Gravel, but clean air proved to be too valuable as Gravel again put a gap between himself and Macedo. Gravel went on to claim the checkered flag by 2.055 seconds.
“Our big track program is really good,” Gravel said. “We have great running engines. We won the last race here last year. I feel like we had momentum from there. It’s good to win races because it’s not easy doing it.”
David Gravel (Jim DenHamer photo)
Macedo’s runner-up marked his 69th with the World of Outlaws and second in two nights after he topped Sunday’s Spring Showdown opener.
“When the caution came out, I was a little bit bummed,” Macedo said. “Ultimately, I’m proud of my race team. Phil Dietz, Clyde Knipp, and Nate Repetz did an incredible job. I thought my car was as good as David’s. Obviously, he was really good in clean air. I feel like if we would’ve been in clean air, we would’ve had a good shot to win.
“I said my main goal when this season started was consistency. I feel like we have that right now. My guys are giving me consistent racecars that feel really good every time I hit the track, so that’s half the battle, and I’m just hoping we can keep this car up front.”
Completing the podium was Allen. The Shark Racing driver’s third-place effort marked his personal best at Volusia and the 23rd podium of his World of Outlaws career.
“I have a lot of confidence in my race team and myself,” Allen noted. “To have a couple good runs, start in the top-five, then to have a little bit of issues were, I wouldn’t say disappointing, but you feel a little sad that those things happen. But to end this trip with a podium feels really good. I feel like we’re going to be there to win many races this season, and that’s what I believe we can do is win a lot of races this season.”
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel; 2. 41-Carson Macedo; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen; 4. 15-Donny Schatz; 5. 5-Spencer Bayston; 6. 49-Brad Sweet; 7. 11-Michael Kofoid; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 9. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 10. 83-James McFadden; 11. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 12. 8-Aaron Reutzel; 13. 13-Justin Peck; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 15. 20G-Noah Gass; 16. 9-Kasey Kahne; 17. 21-Brian Brown; 18. 5T-Ryan Timms; 19. 7S-Robbie Price; 20. 97UK-Ryan Harrison; 21. 26-Zeb Wise; 22. 6-Bill Rose; 23. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.