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David Gravel Wins World Of Outlaws Sprint Car Feature At Knoxville Raceway After Scary Macedo Crash

From Alex Nieten | World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series

BIG GAME BOUNCEBACK: David Gravel Rebounds for Saturday World of Outlaws Victory at Knoxville

Gravel reclaims spot as the winningest Series driver in 2023

KNOXVILLE, IA (June 10, 2023) - A 10th place finish with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars is not something most drivers hang their heads about. But when you’re a championship caliber driver like David Gravel, the nightly expectations are higher.

Completing the top 10 on Friday during night one of Knoxville Raceway’s Premier Chevy Dealers Clash left Gravel disappointed but also hungry. The Watertown, CT native rebounded in the best possible fashion – leading all 25 laps on Saturday at “The Sprint Car Capital of the World.”

“It’s funny that we run 10th and everyone thinks we suck and we’re not good and all this stuff,” Gravel said with a smirk in Victory Lane. “I knew as a driver I made a couple mistakes last night and the car wasn’t the best either, so I felt like if we both cleaned it up, we’d be just fine.”

Clean it up was exactly what Gravel and his Big Game Motorsports crew did to the point of a near perfect night. They laid down the fastest lap in Flight B of qualifying and topped both their heat race and the dash before the excellent drive in the main event.

Gravel now sits at a Series-leading six Feature triumphs this season. It also marked his second win in the last four races after topping last Friday’s visit to River Cities Speedway. In Sprint Car competition, Gravel now owns 11 Knoxville checkered flags. And in the big picture, Gravel closed in to only 14 points behind the championship points lead.

To begin the race Gravel wasted no time pulling ahead when the green flag flew. Throughout the early laps Gravel padded his advantage over outside-pole-sitter – Brian Brown – with each passing circuit.

Behind the top two, Carson Macedo showed early speed by sliding ahead of Garet Williamson on lap two, moving him up to third. Shortly thereafter, the pilot of the Jason Johnson Racing #41 began to close on Brown for second.

Only a handful of laps later, Macedo made a successful bid for the runner-up spot. The Lemoore, CA native slipped inside of Brown as the two nearly made contact, and Macedo emerged from the set of corners as the new second place runner.

Ahead of him, Gravel dealt with thick traffic allowing Macedo to narrow the gap bit by bit. As the race crossed the halfway mark, Macedo had taken a chunk out of Gravel’s lead when trouble struck.

With 12 laps remaining, Macedo’s car snapped toward the right in Turns 3 and 4. He made hard impact, and his car flipped end over end several times before landing. As the car came to rest, a fire broke out. The Knoxville and World of Outlaws safety crews along with several drivers quickly reacted and once the flames were extinguished, Macedo walked, with assistance, to the ambulance and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

After a lengthy red flag to clean up the accident scene, the caution lights were again displayed bringing the engines back to life for a dozen-lap dash to the finish.

Like the start of the race, Gravel lined up next to Friday’s winner – Brown – for the restart. But “Blackjack” couldn’t quite keep up with the Big Game #2 as Gravel darted ahead. The 30-year-old pulled away and held on comfortably over the final 10 laps.

While he wanted to soak up the joy of victory, Gravel couldn’t help but think of his friend – Carson Macedo – after his accident.

“Hopefully Carson Macedo is okay,” Gravel said. “He’s a friend of mine. Even though we get in some tussles on the racetrack and I’m pissed off at him for a little while, he’s still my friend. We still talk a lot and hang out. So, I really hope he’s okay.”

Behind Gravel, Brian Brown was able to maintain the runner-up spot for his second consecutive Series podium after Friday’s win. “Brownie” appears to have the #21 rolling as fast as ever at Knoxville and seems poised to be a threat when the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals roll around in August. Like Gravel, Brown was more worried about the well-being of Macedo than what led to his finish.

“We’re just worried about Carson (Macedo) first and foremost no matter where I finish,” Brown said. “That was right in front of me. Something might’ve broke. The car turned dead right…. It doesn’t matter what I finished tonight. Carson is at the top of the mind.”

Finishing third for his first time standing on the World of Outlaws podium was Garet Williamson. The 23-year-old put together a smooth 25 laps and dramatically improved his best career Series finish. Prior to Saturday, the Columbia, MO native owned a best result of 14th through 11 Feature starts with The Greatest Show on Dirt. After not making the main event on Friday, Williamson came away thrilled with the drastic turnaround.

“This is huge for us,” Williamson said. “Last night, honestly, we sucked. So, we went back to the drawing board. We went back to what we were good at during the beginning of the year. It paid off. I love Knoxville. I love the atmosphere. We have great fans here. To run third to two of the best right now is pretty surreal.”

Cory Eliason and James McFadden completed the top five.

With a drive from 25th to 10th, Logan Schuchart was the night’s KSE Hard Charger.

Brad Sweet reclaimed the points lead courtesy of his sixth place finish aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing #49. David Gravel moved into second while Macedo’s accident dropped him to third in points, 30 markers behind Sweet.

James McFadden opened the evening with his first Simpson Performance Products QuickTime of 2023 and the sixth of his career.

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to James McFadden (39th Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were claimed by Carson Macedo (101st of career), David Gravel (226th of career), and Brian Brown (78th of career).

Kerry Madsen topped the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.


The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars head to “The Badger State” for the first time this year for the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial at Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI) next weekend (June 16-17).

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.

A Feature (25 Laps):

1. 2-David Gravel[1]; 2. 21-Brian Brown[2]; 3. 24W-Garet Williamson[4]; 4. 11-Cory Eliason[8]; 5. 83-James McFadden[7]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet[16]; 7. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[9]; 8. 39M-Anthony Macri[14]; 9. 5-Spencer Bayston[3]; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart[25]; 11. 88-Austin McCarl[6]; 12. 15-Donny Schatz[20]; 13. 24-Rico Abreu[10]; 14. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[12]; 15. 2M-Davey Heskin[17]; 16. 5X-Kerry Madsen[21]; 17. 25-Lachlan McHugh[11]; 18. 2KS-Kaleb Johnson[13]; 19. 7S-Robbie Price[15]; 20. 11K-Kraig Kinser[19]; 21. 12X-Chase Randall[23]; 22. 19-Ayrton Gennetten[22]; 23. 6B-Brandon Wimmer[18]; 24. (DNF) 41-Carson Macedo[5]; 25. (DNF) 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[24]

Catch all of the latest from the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series:

Photo's: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series | Trent Gower


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