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David Gravel claims World of Outlaws Sprint victory at Placerville


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David Gravel Holds Off a Closing Rico Abreu and Promoter Brad Sweet to Claim World of Outlaws Victory at Placerville Speedway


by Gary Thomas


PLACERVILLE, CA - March 29, 2017 - Taking the lead just after the halfway point in the feature, Watertown, Connecticut's David Gravel hung tough through multiple restarts and eventually held off a fast moving Rico Abreu to pick up his second World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win of the season Wednesday night.


The victory at Brad Sweet's Placerville Short Track Showdown was the first of Gravel's career at the tight high-banked quarter-mile and came aboard the familiar CJB Motorsports/ Go Muddy No. 2 Sprinter. He now joins Donny Schatz as the second repeat winner with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in 2017.


Gravel had taken the lead at the original start of the 40-lap race, but a yellow flag before one lap could be completed made for a complete restart. On the ensuing green flag Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart rocketed out to the top-spot. The driver of the Larson/Marks Racing No. 2 held command over the early stages and fended off Gravel as he looked for season win number one.


Racing through heavy traffic just past the midway point, however, Stewart's bid at victory fell through when contact with the front stretch wall left him with a reported broken shock. Gravel and Rutherford's Rico Abreu were both able to get by prior to Stewart slowing on lap 25 to bring out a caution. Back to green, Grass Valley racer and event promoter Brad Sweet went to work on Greg Wilson for the third spot. After battling for a couple laps Sweet assumed the position and attempted to move in on the top duo.


With just six laps left Australian traveler James McFadden climbed the back stretch hill and got upside down to cause a red flag. He emerged okay but was done for the night. The green flag then waved for the final time, and Abreu committed to the bottom side of the speedway, while Gravel railed the top.


Abreu was able to get to his inside going into turn one on lap 38, but Gravel got better drive off the corner and dove to the bottom in turn three. The move broke all the momentum Abreu had built up, and that was all she wrote as Gravel took the checkered flag by 1.147 seconds.


"We haven't really had much luck here at Placerville the last two years, so it feels fantastic to come out of here with a victory," Gravel commented on the front stretch. "Shane Stewart set a torrid pace there at the beginning, and when he made that mistake I knew that I had to capitalize. I saw Rico poke his nose in there late in the race as well, so I moved down to run the bottom coming down for the white flag. It takes an army to win these races, and I have one heck of a team behind me. I can't thank CJB Motorsports, Barry Jackson and this whole team enough."


The runner up finish capped a great night for Abreu in front of his home state fans. "I really tried to be patient there at the end running the bottom, but it was really hard to judge your speed out there," said the driver of the Abreu Vineyards No. 24 machine. "After that red flag we were really good, and even though I wanted to win, we'll take a second with these guys. It was really an electric atmosphere tonight and a lot of fun, so I want to thank all the fans for coming out and supporting this deal."


Sweet capped a solid run in the feature with a third place effort aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing/ NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 Sprinter. "I definitely didn't want to see that red near the end because I felt we had really got rolling at that point. It was another good night for the 49 team though, so we're happy. It was great to see so many people here at Placerville Speedway tonight, and I hope we put on a good show for everyone. Big thanks to my guys for all their hard work on the race car and all the people that helped put this event on."


Greg Wilson put together an impressive night and crossed the stripe in fourth to earn his best finish of the season, while California driver Kyle Hirst tallied his first top-five of the 2017 campaign as well finishing fifth. The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Owasso, Oklahoma's Daryn Pittman; Wooster, Ohio's Sheldon Haudenschild; Campbell's Bud Kaeding; Bartlett, Tennessee's Jason Sides and Eunice, Louisiana's Jason Johnson. Brownsburg, Indiana's Joey Saldana earned the KSE Hard Charger Award coming from 26th to 11th in the feature.


Current NASCAR Monster Energy Cup point leader Kyle Larson also competed during the night and was moving forward in the feature, until he clipped a spinning car. After going to the back he then got forced off the track in turn two, which ultimately ended his night.


The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to action this Friday night at the Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, CA. The following night finds the series in action at Perris Auto Speedway in Lake Perris, CA.


CONTINGENCY WINNERS - MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Shane Stewart; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): David Gravel; Penske Shocks ($50 cash): Greg Wilson; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Daryn Pittman; VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash): Bud Kaeding; Edelbrock ($50 cash): Jason Sides; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Jason Johnson; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Brent Makrs; Super Flow ($50 cash): Logan Schuchart; Craftsman Club ($100 cash each): Shane Stewart, David Gravel, Daryn Pittman, Greg Wilson, Brad Sweet; Craftsman/Sears ($100 cash): Bud Kaeding; KSE Racing Products ($100 product certificate): Joey Saldana; Comp Cams ($50 product certificate): David Gravel; JE Pistons (Set of Rings each): Paul McMahan, Shane Stewart.


SEASON WINNERS: Donny Schatz - 6 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19, Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19, LoneStar Speedway on March 3, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 10, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 18 ); David Gravel - 2 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 17, Placerville Speedway on March 29); Jason Johnson - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17); Brad Sweet - 1 (Stockton Dirt Track on March 25).


World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Placerville Speedway, CA; March 29, 2017


Feature - (40 Laps) 1. 5-David Gravel[2][$10,000]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[5][$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet[7][$3,200]; 4. W20-Greg Wilson[6][$2,800]; 5. 83-Kyle Hirst[10][$2,500]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman[4][$2,300]; 7. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[11][$2,200]; 8. O-Bud Kaeding[3][$2,100]; 9. 7S-Jason Sides[9][$2,050]; 10. 41-Jason Johnson[8][$2,000]; 11. 17-Joey Saldana[26][$1,500]; 12. 15-Donny Schatz[25][$1,200]; 13. 19-Brent Marks[12][$1,100]; 14. 92-Andy Forsberg[14][$1,050]; 15. 1S-Logan Schuchart[21][$1,000]; 16. 83JR-Tim Kaeding[18][$900]; 17. 21X-Carson Macedo[22][$800]; 18. 18-Ian Madsen[20][$800]; 19. 4-Paul McMahan[19][$800]; 20. 11K-Kraig Kinser[15][$800]; 21. 51-James McFadden[23][$800]; 22. 2-Shane Stewart[1][$800]; 23. 21-Brian Brown[13][$800]; 24. 57-Kyle Larson[16][$800]; 25. 22-Shane Golobic[24][$800]; 26. 73-Brady Bacon[17][$800]; Lap Leaders: Shane Stewart 1-21, David Gravel 22-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 17-Joey Saldana[+15]


Qualifying - 1. 5-David Gravel, 10.467; 2. 2-Shane Stewart, 10.565; 3. O-Bud Kaeding, 10.608; 4. W20-Greg Wilson, 10.682; 5. 7S-Jason Sides, 10.757; 6. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 10.762; 7. 73-Brady Bacon, 10.798; 8. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 10.877; 9. 21X-Carson Macedo, 10.907; 10. 4-Paul McMahan, 10.908; 11. 21-Brian Brown, 10.912; 12. 22M-Mason Moore, 10.917; 13. 31C-Justyn Cox, 10.932; 14. 68-Chase Johnson, 10.934; 15. 15-Donny Schatz, 10.952; 16. 13-Clyde Knipp, 11.166; 17. 26-Tayler Malsam, 11.178; 18. 93K-Kalib Henry, 11.188; 19. 41-Jason Johnson, 10.492; 20. 49-Brad Sweet, 10.527; 21. 24-Rico Abreu, 10.551; 22. 9-Daryn Pittman, 10.567; 23. 83JR-Tim Kaeding, 10.626; 24. 57-Kyle Larson, 10.657; 25. 92-Andy Forsberg, 10.669; 26. 19-Brent Marks, 10.684; 27. 83-Kyle Hirst, 10.692; 28. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 10.724; 29. 22-Shane Golobic, 10.734; 30. 18-Ian Madsen, 10.771; 31. 51-James McFadden, 10.772; 32. 2X-Parker Price-Miller, 10.792; 33. 29-Willie Croft, 10.803; 34. 17-Joey Saldana, 10.818; 35. 7C-Sean Becker, 10.828; 36. 1A-Jacob Allen, 10.840; 37. 3C-DJ Netto, 11.096


Heat 1 - (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 5-David Gravel[1] ; 2. O-Bud Kaeding[2] ; 3. 7S-Jason Sides[3] ; 4. 21-Brian Brown[6] ; 5. 73-Brady Bacon[4] ; 6. 15-Donny Schatz[8] ; 7. 31C-Justyn Cox[7] ; 8. 26-Tayler Malsam[9] ; 9. 21X-Carson Macedo[5]


Heat 2 - (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 2-Shane Stewart[1] ; 2. W20-Greg Wilson[2] ; 3. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[3] ; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser[4] ; 5. 4-Paul McMahan[5] ; 6. 93K-Kalib Henry[9] ; 7. 13-Clyde Knipp[8] ; 8. 68-Chase Johnson[7] ; 9. 22M-Mason Moore[6]


Heat 3 - (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 41-Jason Johnson[1] ; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[2] ; 3. 83-Kyle Hirst[5] ; 4. 92-Andy Forsberg[4] ; 5. 83JR-Tim Kaeding[3] ; 6. 3C-DJ Netto[10] ; 7. 7C-Sean Becker[9] ; 8. 22-Shane Golobic[6] ; 9. 29-Willie Croft[8] ; 10. 51-James McFadden[7]


Heat 4 - (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 9-Daryn Pittman[2] ; 2. 49-Brad Sweet[1] ; 3. 19-Brent Marks[4] ; 4. 57-Kyle Larson[3] ; 5. 18-Ian Madsen[6] ; 6. 2X-Parker Price-Miller[7] ; 7. 17-Joey Saldana[8] ; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen[9] ; 9. 1S-Logan Schuchart[5]

Craftsman Club Dash - (8 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of Feature) 1. 2-Shane Stewart[3] ; 2. 5-David Gravel[1] ; 3. O-Bud Kaeding[5] ; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman[4] ; 5. 24-Rico Abreu[6] ; 6. W20-Greg Wilson[7] ; 7. 49-Brad Sweet[8] ; 8. 41-Jason Johnson[2]


C-Main - (10 Laps - Top 2 finishers transfer to the Last Chance Showdown) 1. 17-Joey Saldana[2] [-]; 2. 3C-DJ Netto[7] [-]; 3. 7C-Sean Becker[4] [$150]; 4. 1A-Jacob Allen[6] [$150]; 5. 26-Tayler Malsam[3] [$150]; 6. 93K-Kalib Henry[5] [$125]; 7. 13-Clyde Knipp[1] [$125]


Last Chance Showdown - (12 Laps - Top 4 finishers transfer to the Feature) 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2] [-]; 2. 21X-Carson Macedo[1] [-]; 3. 51-James McFadden[6] [-]; 4. 22-Shane Golobic[4] [-]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz[9] [$300]; 6. 68-Chase Johnson[7] [$250]; 7. 22M-Mason Moore[3] [$225]; 8. 17-Joey Saldana[11] [$200]; 9. 29-Willie Croft[10] [$200]; 10. 3C-DJ Netto[12] [$200]; 11. 2X-Parker Price-Miller[8] [$200]; 12. 31C-Justyn Cox[5] [$200]

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