David Gravel Celebrate Woo Win The Rev 031321
David Gravel in victory lane at The Rev. (TWC photo)

Gravel Tops Louisiana WoO Thriller

MONROE, La. — The echoing roar of the standing-room-only crowd said it all.

Making their debut appearance at The Rev , the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series delivered a race of the year candidate on Saturday night.

It was an emphatic return to the state of Louisiana — first race since 2004 — capped by a non-stop 30-lap feature that saw three different leaders, six official lead changes and 13 total passes for the top spot.

David Gravel and Brad Sweet were the stars of the show, squaring off in an exhilarating duel. Ultimately, three-tenths of a second is all that separated the Big Game Motorsports No. 2 and the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 at the checkered flag, as Gravel held secured his 59th career World of Outlaws victory and his first off the season.

“That was freaking badass,” Gravel shouted in victory lane. “If you didn’t like that, I don’t what you’d like. That was amazing! This is what sprint car racing is all about. Brad raced me clean and I raced him clean, but it was hard racing. We passed each other so many times. Damn, I earned that one!”

Kasey Kahne won his heat and the dash and started on the pole. He led the opening circuit, but Gravel slid by him on the second lap to take his first lead of the season. Fourth-starter Sweet entered the picture and brought his NAPA Racing machine into contention on lap 12 when lap traffic forced a mistake on Gravel, allowing Sweet to race by, albeit for only one lap.

Gravel came dashing back to re-claim the lead on lap 13 and held it firmly for another nine laps before the duo went side-by-side for almost three consecutive laps.

They exchanged the lead at least four-to-five times on the 22nd circuit alone and eventually Sweet was back on top for lap 23. However, with each of Sweet’s strikes, Gravel had a counter offer. Gravel never let the two-time and defending World of Outlaws champion lead more than one lap a time.

Sneaking away and surviving one last-lap effort, Gravel became the sixth different winner through six races with the World of Outlaws sprint cars, joining Sweet, Logan Schuchart, Carson Macedo, Aaron Reutzel and Sheldon Haudenschild.

“That was so much fun,” Gravel said. “That’s why I got out of the car and went right over to him, I mean we passed back and forth like four or five times. This was such a great race track, and a great debut for the World of Outlaws. Hopefully this can be an early-season trip for years to come. I’m so happy to finally get that first win for this new team. We’ve been ‘there,’ but haven’t been right in the feature. We made all the right calls tonight, though, and that gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.”

Even Sweet couldn’t help but smile following his runner-up effort, which marked his fifth top five finish through six races this year.

“I hope you fans enjoyed it,” Sweet said. “From the driver’s seat that was a blast. Trading the lead back and forth like that is so much fun, and it was clean, hard racing too. I feel like we went back and forth like ten times or something. We were really dicing through traffic there, that really amped it up. I felt like at times I had the better race car, but at other times he just outdrove me.”

Schatz finished third in the the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 15.

“All you can do is be in the mix,” Schatz said. “I thought we had a shot there, but we were too good early and faded at the end. The race track was really great tonight, though. You could rip the top if you needed tom, you could kind of slide through the middle, and run down on the bottom. It’s great to see a full house here tonight.”

Schuchart and Haudenschild rounded out the top five.

David Gravel (2) races under Brad Sweet at The Rev. (TWC photo)
David Gravel (2) races under Brad Sweet at The Rev. (TWC photo)

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, The Rev, Monroe, La., March 13, 2021

Slick Woody’s Qualifying – 1. 2-David Gravel, 11.582; 2. 9-Kasey Kahne, 11.693; 3. 41-Carson Macedo, 11.782; 4. 15-Donny Schatz, 11.798; 5. 49-Brad Sweet, 11.813; 6. 83-Aaron Reutzel, 11.814; 7. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 11.845; 8. 11-Ian Madsen, 11.854; 9. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.873; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 11.875; 11. 21-Brian Brown, 11.879; 12. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.891; 13. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.918; 14. 19-Parker Price-Miller, 11.926; 15. 73-Scotty Thiel, 11.936; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen, 11.939; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 12.034; 18. 8M-TJ Michael, 12.049; 19. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 12.079; 20. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 12.127; 21. 18-Gio Scelzi, 12.131; 22. 15H-Sam Hafertepe, 12.178; 23. 33M-Mason Daniel, 12.216; 24. 20G-Noah Gass, 12.224; 25. 24-Garet Williamson, 12.243; 26. 44-Chris Martin, 12.488; 27. 5-Brent Marks, NT

DRYDENE Heat #1 (8 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer – 1. 2-David Gravel [1]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [2]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4]; 4. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [3]; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen [6]; 6. 26-Cory Eliason [5]; 7. 3-Ayrton Gennetten [7]; 8. 24-Garet Williamson [9]; 9. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [8]

DRYDENE Heat #2 (8 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer – 1. 9-Kasey Kahne [1]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 3. 11-Ian Madsen [3]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [4]; 5. 19-Parker Price-Miller [5]; 6. 2C-Wayne Johnson [7]; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser [6]; 8. 44-Chris Martin [9]; 9. 33M-Mason Daniel [8]

DRYDENE Heat #3 (8 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer – 1. 41-Carson Macedo [1]; 2. 83-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [3]; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [4]; 5. 73-Scotty Thiel [5]; 6. 8M-TJ Michael [6]; 7. 5-Brent Marks [9]; 8. 18-Gio Scelzi [7]; 9. 20G-Noah Gass [8]

DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash (6 Laps) – 1. 9-Kasey Kahne [1]; 2. 2-David Gravel [4]; 3. 83-Aaron Reutzel [3]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo [6]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz [5]

Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer – 1. 11K-Kraig Kinser [1][-]; 2. 5-Brent Marks [3][-]; 3. 18-Gio Scelzi [6][-]; 4. 3-Ayrton Gennetten [2][-]; 5. 20G-Noah Gass [9][-]; 6. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [7][-]; 7. 24-Garet Williamson [4][$300]; 8. 33M-Mason Daniel [8][$250]; 9. 44-Chris Martin [5][$225]

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 2-David Gravel [2][$10,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [4][$6,000]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [6][$3,500]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart [7][$2,800]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [12][$2,500]; 6. 9-Kasey Kahne [1][$2,300]; 7. 41-Carson Macedo [5][$2,200]; 8. 11-Ian Madsen [8][$2,100]; 9. 83-Aaron Reutzel [3][$2,050]; 10. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [10][$2,000]; 11. 11K-Kraig Kinser [19][$1,600]; 12. 1A-Jacob Allen [13][$1,400]; 13. 7S-Jason Sides [9][$1,200]; 14. 26-Cory Eliason [16][$1,100]; 15. 21-Brian Brown [11][$1,050]; 16. 18-Gio Scelzi [21][$1,000]; 17. 5-Brent Marks [20][$1,000]; 18. 73-Scotty Thiel [15][$1,000]; 19. 3-Ayrton Gennetten [22][$1,000]; 20. 8M-TJ Michael [18][$1,000]; 21. 2C-Wayne Johnson [17][$1,000]; 22. 19-Parker Price-Miller [14][$1,000]; 23. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [24][$1,000]; 24. 20G-Noah Gass [23][$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Kasey Kahne 1, David Gravel 2-11, 13-22, 24-30; Brad Sweet 12, 23. KSE Hard Charger Award: 11K-Kraig Kinser[+8]

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