First he won the Capitani Classic on Sunday. Then he won Thursday night’s feature event at Knoxville Raceway. Now, David Gravel has clinched a spot to start on the front row of the 59th annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals on Saturday Night.
Gravel had one of the very last pill-draws to start the night, going out in slot No. 71 out of the 75 possible spots.
However, he didn’t let it affect his run.
David Gravel wins once more at Knoxville
“I was nervous drawing a 71 out of 75 (for qualifying),” Gravel said after the race. “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.”
Gravel qualified with the ninth fastest time of the night, and would start his heat race in seventh after the invert.
He made quick work there, too.
The No. 41 car rode its way around turns one and two on the inside line and went from P7 to P3 in half of a lap, finally finishing second at the end of the 10-lap sprint.
Once the A-Main got there, it was evident that Gravel had the fastest car on the track.
Gravel started in sixth and fighting for P2 with Brad Sweet in a matter of laps.
He would get around Sweet and attempt to chase down Brock Zearfoss with just over 15 laps to go.
Gravel took Zearfoss and the lapped car of Jacob Allen three-wide before a caution came out for a blown tire on Sye Lynch’s car.
It looked like the 41 would get a shot to do battle with Zearfoss for the lead, but Zearfoss pulled off the track shortly after the green flag flew with 15 to go, due to an engine issue.
It handed Gravel the lead, and he pulled away from Sweet.
With five to go, though, Sweet made up a lot of time on Gravel, and almost got within striking distance for a late pass.
“I was just trying not to crash or hit the berm too hard,” Gravel said. “The last five laps weren’t very good. [I] Just had to get the job done.”
Gravel shook out to 481 points and will start on the front row Saturday, along with Aaron Reutzel on the pole.
Knoxville Nationals A-Main Confirmed Starters
1. Aaron Reutzel
2. David Gravel
3. Joey Saldana
4. Tim Shaffer
5. Parker Price Miller
6. Brad Sweet
7. Tim Kaeding
8. Paul McMahan
9. Brent Marks
10. Daryn Pittman
11. Trey Starks
12. Matt Juhl
13. Cory Eliason
14. Ian Madsen
15. Sheldon Haudenschild
16. Lance Dewease