David Gravel had one of the most anticipating storylines to an already packed 2020 racing season.
The World of Outlaws star – fresh off his best career season in the sprint car series – was set to take to the asphalt in a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series ride with GMS Racing.
The deal included six races in the truck as well as the ARCA Menards Series season opener at Daytona in February.
Although, before Gravel could even hop into the truck in racing action, NASCAR suspended its season in the midst of concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
David Gravel Addresses COVID-19 Concerns on YouTube
Gravel took to his YouTube channel, hosting a live event on Saturday night to talk about his plans and make comments on the rest of the 2020 season.
“For me, it’s just a frustrating to deal,” Gravel said. “You saw IndyCar and NASCAR go all the way down to their racetracks, unload, and get cancelled. We were in a pretty similar boat, but there’s nobody to blame. It’s something that was serious and then, in the last couple days, has become more serious.”
The World of Outlaws were still set to run Friday evening’s race at Cotton Bowl Speedway until just hours before hand, when the series announced it was cancelling its events for the night, as well as the next four weeks, altogether.
Gravel said that once IndyCar and NASCAR cancelled their events for the weekend, the Outlaws were under more pressure to.
He believes, like many, that the added time off from the track is problematic to the racing world.
“As a [sprint car] driver, we race and that’s how we get paid,” Gravel said. “We race off of a percentage of what racecar drivers make. Drivers do make the most money out of the team as opposed to the crew chiefs or tire chiefs, but crew guys work all winter long. We always expect an off-season like normal, but now we get on a four-week, extra break from racing.”
Gravel encouraged fans supporting their favorite drivers, referencing the earnings disparity between sprint car racers and those of NASCAR and IndyCar.
The sprint car star insists he’ll be alright, but that’s not the situation for everyone.
“It’s eight weeks of not getting paid,” Gravel said. “We all live in America and we all have bills. Luckily, I had a really good season last year and I will be okay financially, but other drivers that are in different situations that maybe have kids in college, a mortgage and all of those things – it gets pretty tough for those people. I’m sure supporting your favorite driver through this time would definitely be appreciated, for them.”
For Gravel, he had flights planned to five different spots ahead of the past weekend to attempt and race somewhere, but it became increasingly aware as the week went on that those events wouldn’t be held – with or without people in the stands.
Again, like many others in the racing world, he just wants to get back on track.
“I just hope this can get contained and handled in a decently timely manner,” Gravel said. “NASCAR is cancelled for two weeks and World of Outlaws has cancelled for four. That puts us in a different spot.”
Him and his teams will now play the waiting game, seeing how this situation pans out over the next couple of weeks.
He plans on taking the upcoming weekend off and said he won’t be racing at Williams Grove or anywhere else in Pennsylvania – at least until they figure out the ensuing weeks of their schedule.
As of right now, though, NASCAR is still scheduled to run its race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway at the end of March. If that event holds steady, Gravel will make his truck series debut there.
The full video can be found below:
David Gravel addresses COVID-19 concerns