Big Game Motorsports produced a stellar season that was highlighted by more than a dozen feature victories and a runner-up result in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship standings.
David Gravel guided the team to 12 World of Outlaws wins – a series best – as well as a $50,000-to-win High Limit Sprint Car Series triumph.
“Big picture, it was a great year,” he said. “We had a lot of car speed and we were able to challenge for a lot of wins. We ran up front in almost all of the big races. We had a charge at the Knoxville Nationals (from 22 nd to second) and our High Limit win was big stuff. Winning at Devil’s Bowl during the last race there was meaningful. We dealt with three DNFs and felt we still gave ourselves a chance at the end of the year.
“I know we had a lot of things happen. There’s about six nights we had some stuff happen to us that really hurt our performance. The 24th-place finish in blowing a tire at Jackson Motorplex and me crashing at U.S. 36 Raceway, which was my fault. And we had a part failure and finished at the back at Haubstadt. You have to learn from your mistakes and try to get better as a driver.
I was proud of us continuing to put our heads down and go to work.”
The season began on a hot note as Gravel captured the first two and three of the first five World of Outlaws races – all at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. He was also victorious during Outlaws events at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.; at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D.; at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa; at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.; at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis.; at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pa.; at Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y.; at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas; and at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C.
The team earned the biggest payout in sprint car racing history at the time and in World of Outlaws history on June 24 during the $250,000-to-win 2 nd annual BillionAuto.com Huset’s High Bank Nationals presented by MENARDS at Huset’s Speedway. The $50,000 High Limit victory occurred on Sept. 26 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
“We started off the year really, really good at Volusia,” he said. “It was an awesome start. The Devil’s Bowl win, being the final race ever at that track, and winning at Lernerville, beating Kyle (Larson) and Brad (Sweet) for $50,000 stand out. The Huset’s High Bank Nationals in front of the Billion Automotive guys and at Tod’s track, being the highest paid event in World of Outlaws history, was really, really cool. There were a lot of cool moments. And we had a lot of good seconds, too. I think we finished second 18 times.
“We were consistently up front. I know we were in the top five over 50 percent of the time. It’s been a great year and we’re definitely proud of what we’re building and proud of the future.”
This year marked the first time Gravel has led the World of Outlaws in victories. It also marked his third straight second-place finish in the championship standings and seventh podium in the last eight years.
The dozen World of Outlaws triumphs were the second most wins in a season for Gravel, who also posted his most top fives in a season. He led the series in heat race wins and podium results. Gravel ranked second in top 10s, in Quick Time Awards and in dash appearances.
The team will return to World of Outlaws full-time competition in 2024.
SEASON STATS –
80 races, 13 wins, 53 top fives, 68 top 10s, 76 top 15s, 76 top 20s
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