David Gravel Prevails on Night #2 of NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores!

David Gravel won on Night #2 of the Knoxville Nationals Thursday (Ken Berry Racing Pix)

by Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 8, 2019) – Another great night of racing ended at the Knoxville Raceway with Connecticut’s David Gravel in Victory Lane. The driver of the Jason Johnson Racing #41 will start next to Wednesday high-point driver Aaron Reutzel in Saturday’s $150,000 finale of the 59th Annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores. Thursday’s Fraternal Order of Eagles Night #2 saw a lot of twists and turns!

Quick qualifier Shane Stewart endured a scary crash in turn three of his heat race, but walked away. Unfortunately, he was done and will compete in Friday’s FVP “Hard Knox” Night.

The 25-lap feature saw Brock Zearfoss take off from the pole position to lead early over Brad Sweet, Gravel, Cory Eliason and Matt Juhl. Gravel used the high side to pass a low riding Sweet fo rsecond seven laps in. He then set his sights on the leader, and got by Zearfoss on lap eight. As the leader entered lapped traffic, however, Zearfoss used a lapper to get back by Gravel to lead lap nine.

At that point, Sye Lynch blew a right rear tire. Zearfoss led Gravel and Sweet back to green, but soon lost power with an electrical issue. Gravel assumed the lead for the restart. Joey Saldana moved into fourth at that point, and Carson Macedo followed him into fifth.

Tyler Courtney lost a driveline 11 laps in, bringing the final caution of the event. Gravel led Sweet and Eliason back to green. Eliason grabbed second, while Macedo moved into fourth.

The leaders were back in lapped traffic on lap sixteen. Eliason ran high, while battling a low riding Sweet. Sweet would shoot under Eliason for second with eight laps remaining. With five laps to go, Sweet began to reel Gravel in, but the leader was masterful in traffic in holding onto his fifth career win here.

At the checkers, it was Gravel ahead of Sweet, Macedo, Eliason and a late charging Rico Abreu. Saldana, B main winner and hard-charger Tim Shaffer, Parker Price-Miller, Juhl and Daryn Pittman rounded out the top ten. Jason Sides, Harli White, Zearfoss, Lynch and Sweet won heat races. Bill Balog won the C main. TJ Stutts turned over in the B main, but was uninjured.

“This is the car we ran in the Capitani, and it ran just as good,” said Gravel in Victory Lane. “I really feel good about where we’re at. I was nervous drawing a 71 out of 75 (for qualifying), but we’ve been able to qualify well all year, and were able to capitalize on that. It’s an awesome night. It can’t get any better than this. I felt like my last five laps were terrible. I don’t know if Brad got close to me or what. I could hit three and four like I wanted to, but struggled at the end. We’re happy to win, and happy to have a good points night.”

“We didn’t time that great,” said Sweet, who clocked in 15th quick. “We just didn’t do a good job at the beginning of the race. I was kind of searching around trying to find a spot that my car liked…just a little bit off. I think we learned some stuff tonight. David did a good job in lapped traffic. I thought we were going to have a run at him late. We got close, but he covered his lines. I honestly missed my marks a few times. It’s all about Saturday night. I think we’re locked in now with a decent starting spot.”

“I knew there was going to be a long way to come,” said Macedo. “My car was really good. Late in these races, to be good like that, and be able to come up through the field and finish on the podium is a testament to my mechanic (Joe Gaerte). We didn’t qualify the best, but hopefully, we can do well on Saturday.”

The 59th Annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores continues Friday night with FVP Hard Knox Night! For tickets and other information, visit www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com!

Fraternal Order of Eagles Night #2 of the 59th Annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 5, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (4), 15.679; 2. 49X, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (7), 15.685; 3. 71P, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (2), 15.706; 4. 83, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (16), 15.717; 5. 12N, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (27), 15.740; 6. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (41), 15.759; 7. 1A, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (3), 15.760; 8. 28, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (1), 15.763; 9. 41, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (54), 15.872; 10. 09, Matt Juhl, Tea, SD (14), 15.916; 11. 69K, Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA (24), 15.946; 12. 4, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (46), 15.987; 13. 17B, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (31), 16.018; 14. 91, Cale Thomas, Fairland, IN (8), 16.022; 15. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (42), 16.037; 16. 26, Cory Eliason, Visalia, CA (45), 16.041; 17. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (13), 16.048; 18. 70, Brock Zearfoss, Jonestown, PA (9), 16.049; 19. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD (18), 16.061; 20. 17BX, Bill Balog, Hartland, WI (26), 16.107; 21. 35P, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (19), 16.111; 22. 24, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA (43), 16.117; 23. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (29), 16.127; 24. 39M, Anthony Macri, Dillsburg, PA (21), 16.139; 25. 18S, Jason Solwold, Mount Vernon, WA (20), 16.150; 26. 14M, Marcus Dumesny, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (15), 16.157; 27. 2, Carson Macedo, Lemoore, CA (35), 16.172; 28. 3C, Cale Conley, Vienna, WV (37), 16.194; 29. 92, Sye Lynch, Apollo, PA (38), 16.218; 30. 11T, TJ Stutts, Liverpool, PA (23), 16.242; 31. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (25), 16.249; 32. 71BC, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (36), 16.264; 33. 21K, Thomas Kennedy, Winnipeg, MB, Can. (12), 16.270; 34. 2AU, Andrew Scheuerle, Toowoomba, QLD, Aust. (6), 16.277; 35. 7, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (44), 16.289; 36. 7JS, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (50), 16.290; 37. 17WX, Harli White, Lindsay, OK (56), 16.325; 38. 9JR, Derek Hagar, Marion, AR (11), 16.327; 39. 33M, Mason Daniel, Springville, CA (28), 16.353; 40. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (30), 16.380; 41. 29, Willie Croft, Roseville, CA (32), 16.425; 42. K4, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (47), 16.438; 43. 18M, Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC (52), 16.484; 44. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (34), 16.487; 45. 53, Jack Dover, Springfield, NE (48), 16.497; 46. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (10), 16.498; 47. 28P, Brian Paulus, Mooresville, IN (5), 16.504; 48. 15M, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (51), 16.531; 49. 17W, Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA (55), 16.546; 50. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (49), 16.560 / 51. 84, Tom Harris, Banbury, OXFD, UK (39), 16.631; 52. 21P, Robbie Price, Cobble Hill, BC, Can. (33), 16.640; 53. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (22), 17.036; 54. 10, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (40), NT; 55. 83C, Adam Cruea, Troy, OH (17), NT; 56. 17XL, Caleb Helms, Findlay, OH (53), NT.

Heat one (started), 10 Laps, 2:50.0: 1. Jason Sides (1); 2. Lance Dewease (6); 3. Kraig Kinser (2); 4. Cory Eliason (5) / 5. Brian Brown (7); 6. Skylar Prochaska (4); 7. Josh Schneiderman (10); 8. Marcus Dumesny (3) / 9. Willie Croft (9); 10. Shane Stewart (8)

Heat two (started), 10 Laps, 2:51.2: 1. Harli White (1); 2. Rico Abreu (4); 3. Tyler Courtney (2); 4. Carson Macedo (3) / 5. Tim Shaffer (8); 6. Terry McCarl (6); 7. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5); 8. Jacob Allen (7) / 9. Brian Paulus (10); 10. Chad Kemenah (9)

Heat three (started), 10 Laps, NT: 1. Brock Zearfoss (5); 2. Thomas Kennedy (2); 3. Brooke Tatnell (4); 4. Parker Price-Miller (8) / 5. Scott Bogucki (7); 6. Cale Conley (3); 7. Josh Baughman (6); 8. Lance Moss (9) / 9. Bobby Mincer (10); 10. Derek Hagar (1)

Heat four (started), 10 Laps, 2:51.7: 1. Sye Lynch (3); 2. David Gravel (7); 3. Mason Daniel (1); 4. Clint Garner (5) / 5. Daryn Pittman (8); 6. Anthony Macri (4); 7. Cale Thomas (6); 8. Shane Golobic (10) / 9. Greg Wilson (9); 10. Andrew Scheuerle (2)

Heat five (started), 10 Laps, NT: 1. Brad Sweet (6); 2. Joey Saldana (8); 3. Jason Solwold (4); 4. Matt Juhl (7) / 5. Jack Dover (9); 6. TJ Stutts (3); 7. Chris Martin (10); 8. Craig Dollansky (2) / 9. Bill Balog (5); 10. Sawyer Phillips (1)

C main (started), 10 Laps, 2:54.9: 1. Bill Balog (1); 2. Greg Wilson (5); 3. Willie Croft (3); 4. Chad Kemenah (4); 5. Robbie Price (8); 6. Andrew Scheuerle (2); 7. Bobby Mincer (6); 8. Tom Harris (7); 9. Kevin Ingle (9) DNS – 10. Shane Stewart; 11. Derek Hagar; 12. Sawyer Phillips; 13. Brian Paulus; 14. RJ Johnson; 15. Adam Cruea; 16. Caleb Helms

B main (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Tim Shaffer (1); 2. Daryn Pittman (2); 3. Scott Bogucki (5); 4. Jacob Allen (4) / 5. Terry McCarl (6); 6. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (9); 7. Josh Baughman (7); 8. Shane Golobic (17); 9. Brian Brown (3); 10. Anthony Macri (11); 11. Cale Thomas (8); 12. Cale Conley (13); 13. Bill Balog (19); 14. Marcus Dumesny (12); 15. Chad Kemenah (22); 16. Greg Wilson (20); 17. Skylar Prochaska (10); 18. Willie Croft (21); 19. Chris Martin (18); 20. Lance Moss (16); 21. TJ Stutts (14); 22. Jack Dover (15) DNS – 23. Craig Dollansky; 24. Josh Schneiderman

A main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. David Gravel (6); 2. Brad Sweet (3); 3. Carson Macedo (13); 4. Cory Eliason (2); 5. Rico Abreu (10); 6. Joey Saldana (7); 7. Tim Shaffer (21); 8. Parker Price-Miller (8); 9. Matt Juhl (5); 10. Daryn Pittman (22); 11. Jason Solwold (12); 12. Jason Sides (18); 13. Thomas Kennedy (17); 14. Lance Dewease (4); 15. Mason Daniel (20); 16. Kraig Kinser (15); 17. Scott Bogucki (23); 18. Brooke Tatnell (11); 19. Brock Zearfoss (1); 20. Clint Garner (9); 21. Jacob Allen (24); 22. Sye Lynch (14); 23. Harli White (19); 24. Tyler Courtney (16). Lap Leaders: Zearfoss 1-7, Gravel 8, Zearfoss 9, Gravel 10-25. $350 K1 Race Gear Hard-charger: Shaffer.

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