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David Gravel Wins Thriller at Eldora; Fifth of the Year

David Gravel

David Gravel competing at Eldora Speedway with the World of Outlaws (Photo: Trent Gower | World Racing Group)

ROSSBURG, Ohio — The World of Outlaws sprint cars stayed at Eldora Speedway to take part in the #LetsRaceTwo finale on Saturday night.

During the course of the day, the previous race winner, Sheldon Haudenschild, came down with a sickness and had to go into the infield care center to get an IV put in his arm. Luckily, Haudenschild recovered enough to be able to take part in the festivities.

David Gravel was deemed quickest of the night during qualifying by pulling off a 13.200 second lap. Gravel kept up the momentum throughout the other preliminary races and started on the pole alongside Michael “Buddy” Kofoid for the 30-lap main event.

At the drop of the green flag, Gravel shot out to the lead but Kofoid was right there. Meanwhile, Carson Macedo and Skylar Gee battled it out for fourth. Macedo took over fourth from Gee by running the top on Lap 4.

Gee’s battles were far from over though, as Giovanni Scelzi began to challenge him for fifth. Up ahead in third, Donny Schatz was trading paint, and positions, with Kofoid. Six laps later, Schatz had passed Kofoid and was reeling in on Gravel.

Macedo saw an advantage with Kofoid’s slight fade and capitalized on it. He passed him on the bottom to put Kofoid down yet another spot.

Schatz and Gravel got side-by-side and raced throughout the turns, each trying to find that little bit of extra speed. Schatz found an extra burst coming down the front stretch and claimed the lead at the halfway mark.

As they raced into Turns 1 and 2, Gravel and Schatz tried to split themselves around lap traffic car McKenna Haase, but Gravel couldn’t find the correct line and Schatz ended up keeping the top spot.

Up from 11th, Logan Schuchart was on Scelzi’s tail and gaining pretty quickly. But Kalid Henry slowed in Turn 4 drawing a caution.

On the restart, Schatz jumped out front but Gravel got by him on the back straight by running the lower lane. One spot back though, Macedo and Kofoid were going at it again. And Scelzi was sticking his nose in the mix too. This proved to be a good move for “Hot Sauce” as he passed Kofoid by going on the high side. 

Michael "Buddy" Kofoid

Michael “Buddy” Kofoid competing with the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway (Photo: Trent Gower | World Racing Group)

Schuchart, who was cruising in sixth, saw Kofoid get bumped down again and decided to try his hand at passing the number 83. Kofoid ran the high side and so did Schuchart, creating a cat-and-mouse game between the two. 

With eight laps to go, Gravel caught up to traffic. Once again, Gravel ran into Haase as a car to pass. While trying to pass, Gravel and Haase made contact but Gravel kept it together and maintained total control over the car. This did allow Schatz to close the gap between himself and Gravel.

On Lap 27, Schatz had caught up to Gravel and both together had to navigate their way through traffic. Schatz went low and slid in front of Gravel but Gravel slide-jobbed him as they entered Turn 2. Just as Schatz was going to get Gravel back Bryce Lucius flipped over in Turns 1 and 2 bringing out red flag conditions.

On the restart Gravel and Schatz were immediately side-by-side. Gravel pulled away from Schatz and getting the lead, but only momentarily as Schatz slid in front of him to claim it back. As they raced down the back chute, Gravel stole it back from Schatz once again and kept the lead until they crossed the start/finish line. Schatz, Macedo, Scelzi and Schuchart rounded out the top five.

“This lower air and tire pressure [made us] really good,” said Gravel on his fifth win of the year. “I couldn’t really move around and had to hold it straight. It’s hard to beat Donny [Schatz] and it feels good to win again. We worked on the car to make it better and better, but there’s still work to do. It’s been a great year.”

Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor Status
1 1 2 David Gravel Huset’s Speedway Running
2 4 15 Donny Schatz Carquest/Ford Performance Running
3 6 41 Carson Macedo Albaugh Running
4 5 18 Giovanni Scelzi Aspen Aire Running
5 11 1S Logan Schuchart Take 5 Oil Change Running
6 2 83 Michael “Buddy” Kofoid Mobil 1 Running
7 7 3Z Brock Zearfoss Moose’s LZ Bar and Grill Running
8 3 99 Skylar Gee Dirt Sharks Running
9 21 17 Sheldon Haudenschild NOS Energy Running
10 13 22 Cole Duncan Helms Construction Running
11 8 27 Emerson Axsom N/A Running
12 9 23J Cale Thomas Napa Auto Parts Running
13 23 21H Brady Bacon Dahmer Powertrain Inc. Running
14 15 7S Landon Crawley MPV Express/King Racing Products Running
15 17 17B Bill Balog Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup Running
16 24 1 Nate Dussel Fausey Farms Running
17 20 42 Sye Lynch Fischer Body Shop Running
18 16 101 Kalib Henry N/A Running
19 22 23 Garet Williamson S&S Nationwide Running
20 19 24D Danny Sams III Running
21 18 55T McKenna Haase Interstate Batteries Running
22 10 32 Bryce Lucius CML Transport Running
23 14 24 Logan Seavey N/A Running
24 12 49X Tim Shaffer Rudzik Excavating Running

Brooke Johnpier is a staff writer at The Podium Finish covering NHRA and professional dirt racing, as well as a social media promoter. Besides TPF, Brooke is a part-time motorsports journalist with Speedway Illustrated magazine, and Race Pro Weekly, which is an outlet similar to TPF. Aspiring to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time automotive/motorsports journalist, Brooke is a freshman at St. Bonaventure University where she is majoring in Sports Media, and double minoring in Native American and Indigenous Studies and English. There, she is involved with all of the campus media, as well as the literary magazine. She is also an officer in two clubs. In her free time, Brooke loves reading, writing, going to the local racetrack, riding four-wheelers, working on cars, and riding in tractor trailers. Brooke is a music lover and percussionist, as well as a published author and women's rights activist.

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