Gravel Grabs World Finals Honors on the Last Lap

CONCORD, N.C. (November 4, 2017) – The 2017 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars season finale came down to the final lap with David Gravel swiping the win away from Donny Schatz in Saturday night’s 30-lap World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Bidding for a sweep of the weekend, Schatz had led since the fifth round only to have Connecticut’s Gravel storm by on the final circuit for his 18th series score of the year.

“I showed my cards with about eight laps to go,” Gravel commented in victory lane.  “Luckily, we got back up there and had another shot at him.”

While Gravel started fifth, it was Schatz moving into the lead in a choppy opening handful of laps that was punctuated by four caution periods.

Interrupted just once after that when Kraig Kinser slowed with 16 laps in the books, Gravel took advantage to move into second on the lap 17 restart and began to put pressure on Schatz for the point.

Gravel slid past Schatz for the lead entering turn one on the 23rd lap, only to have Schatz slip back under exiting turn one.  Gravel closed back in and pounced when it mattered, pulling nearly even as the white flag flew and then surging ahead in turns one and two to take command on the final circuit.

“The longer we raced, the worse we were,” Schatz explained after settling for runner-up honors.  “We were really good right after the yellows.”

After leading three early rounds, Brian Brown filled out the podium in third.  “I still felt like with four or five laps to go that these guys might crash and we can win,” Brown said of the wild duel for the win.

Kerry Madsen was fourth with Bill Balog rounding out the top five while Logan Schuchart earned Hard Charger honors by rallying from 22nd to capture sixth.

The Vitals…       

Series:  World of Outlaws

Track:  The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)

Car Count:  53 (52 timed in during Thursday’s qualifying session; John Price joined the party late to push the total late to push the count to 53 with Paul Nienhiser, Cale Conley and Sadie Siegel scratching after Friday woes to leave 50 actual Saturday night competitors)

Quick Time:  Washington native Trey Starks topped the speed charts in Thursday’s Saturday qualifying with a lap of 12.606 seconds.

Heat Winners (starting position in parentheses):  Cole Duncan (2), Ian Madsen (2), David Gravel (1), Trey Starks (1), Joey Saldana (2), Bill Balog (1).

Heat Moments:  Front row starters finished 1-2 in all six heats with Duncan, I. Madsen and Saldana denying pole starters the first position; Jac Haudenschild cut a right rear in the fourth heat to bring out the only caution in six races; Holding the third and final transfer in the fifth heat, Sammy Swindell lost power in the final corner to hand the transfer over to Sheldon Haudenschild; Greg Hodnett (heat one) and Brent Marks (heat four) climbed from row three starting positions to snare feature berths.

Dash Winners (starting position in parentheses):  Brian Brown (1), Ryan Smith (1).

Dash Moments:  Brown and Smith both held serve by winning from their respective pole positions to earn the front row for the feature.

“C” Main Winner (starting position in parentheses):  Tony Stewart (3).

“C” Main Moments:  Smoke wins as Macedo climbs from four rows deep to move on.

“B” Main Winner (starting position in parentheses):  Shane Stewart (1).

“B” Main Moments:  No particular moments as Schuchart advanced a row and transferred after Sammy Swindell scratched from his previous problems with Friday’s third-place runner Dave Blaney moving from eighth to sixth to earn a main event spot.

“A” Main Cautions:  Five

2 Laps – Brad Sweet spins to a stop against the turn two wall. He returns after replacing a flattened right front and repairs Jacobs ladder issues under subsequent cautions.

4 Laps – Shane Stewart, Jac Haudenschild and Parker Price-Miller all spin to a stop on the frontstretch with Ian Madsen spinning at the top of turn two.

5 Laps – Jac Haudenschild, Jason Johnson and Sheldon Haudenschild get upside down in a turn two melee that also includes Shane Stewart and Greg Hodnett.  Johnson is slow to climb from the wreckage with only Stewart and Sheldon Haudenschild continuing on.

Lap 6 Restart – Joey Saldana and Sheldon Haudenschild are eliminated in a turn three fracas that also includes Ian Madsen and Paige Polyak.

16 Laps – Kraig Kinser comes to a stop on the backstretch.

“A” Main Hard Charger:  Logan Schuchart picked up the honors by racing from 22nd to sixth.

The Box Score…

Qualifying: 

Flight A:  1. 2m-Kerry Madsen 12.647, 2. 15-Donny Schatz 12.687, 3. 5-David Gravel 12.695, 4. 12n-Cole Duncan 12.703, 5. 18-Ian Madsen 12.742, 6. 21-Brian Brown 12.744, 7. 2-Shane Stewart 12.746, 8. 3z-Brock Zearfoss 12.759, 9. W20-Greg Wilson 12.762, 10. 1s-Logan Schuchart 12.768, 11. 19p-Paige Polyak 12.772, 12. 49-Brad Sweet 12.782, 13. 1a-Jacob Allen 12.793, 14. 7k-Cale Conley 12.808, 15. 4-Parker Price-Miller 12.812, 16. 49x-Tim Shaffer 12.814, 17. 27-Greg Hodnett 12.826, 18. 17x-Josh Baughman 12.872, 19. 13d-Danny Dietrich 12.875, 20. 14-Tony Stewart 12.919, 21. 39-Spencer Bayston 12.940, 22. 3g-Carson Macedo 12.968, 23. 9x-Paul Nienhiser 13.054, 24. 49d-Shawn Dancer 13.101, 25. 5b-Justin Barger 13.445, 26. 12w-Troy Fraker 14.063.

Flight B:  1. 44-Trey Starks 12.606, 2. 9-Daryn Pittman 12.649, 3. 17b-Bill Balog 12.687, 4. 13m-Paul McMahan 12.694, 5. 71-Joey Saldana 12.729, 6. 59-Ryan Smith 12.774, 7. 17-Jac Haudenschild 12.790, 8. 3-Sammy Swindell 12.823, 9. 41-Jason Johnson 12.828, 10. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 12.846, 11. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild 12.861, 12. 71m-Dave Blaney 12.871, 13. 11k-Kraig Kinser 12.909, 14. 7s-Jason Sides 12.912, 15. 7J-Chad Kemenah 12.918, 16. 19-Brent Marks 12.926, 17. 24-Terry McCarl 13.016, 18. 13-Clyde Knipp 13.024, 19. 00-Dane Lorenc 13.028, 20. 49k-Scott Kreutter 13.045, 21. 17c-Caleb Helms 13.066, 22. 7kx-Dan Shetler 13.326, 23. 27g-Jay Galloway 13.418, 24. 91-Sadie Siegel 14.165, 25. 47-Eric Riggins, Jr. 15.482, 26. 14x-Coleman Gulick – DQ (13.729), 27. 822-John Price NT.

 Heat One (8 Laps – Top 3 Advance to “A” Main):  1.12n-Cole Duncan (2), 2. 2m-Kerry Madsen (1), 3. 27-Greg Hodnett (6), 4. 2-Shane Stewart (3), 5. 1s-Logan Schuchart (4), 6. 1a-Jacob Allen (5), 7. 49d-Shawn Dancer (8), 8. 14-Tony Stewart (7).

Heat Two (8 Laps – Top 3 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 18-Ian Madsen (2), 2. 15-Donny Schatz (1), 3. 19p-Paige Polyak (4), 4. 3z-Brock Zearfoss (3), 5. 4-Parker Price-Miller (5), 6. 17x-Josh Baughman (6), 7. 39-Spencer Bayston (7), 8. 5b-Justin Barger (8).

Heat Three (8 Laps – Top 3 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 5-David Gravel (1), 2. 21-Brian Brown (2), 3. 49-Brad Sweet (4), 4. 13d-Danny Dietrich (6), 5. 49x-Tim Shaffer (5), 6. 3g-Carson Macedo (7), 7. W20-Greg Wilson (3), 8. 12w-Troy Fraker (8).

Heat Four (8 Laps – Top 3 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 44-Trey Starks (1), 2. 13m-Paul McMahan (2), 3. 19-Brent Marks (6), 4. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (4), 5. 17-Jac Haudenschild (3), 6. 11k-Kraig Kinser (5), 7. 7kx-Dan Shetler (8), 8. 14x-Coleman Gulick (9), 9. 00-Dane Lorenc (7).

Heat Five (8 Laps – Top 3 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 71-Joey Saldana (2), 2. 9-Daryn Pittman (1), 3. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild (4), 4. 7s-Jason Sides (5), 5. 24-Terry McCarl (6), 6. 49k-Scott Kreutter (7), 7. 822-John Price (9), 8. 27g-Jay Galloway (8), 9. 3-Sammy Swindell (3).

Heat Six (8 Laps – Top 3 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 17b-Bill Balog (1), 2. 59-Ryan Smith (2), 3. 41-Jason Johnson (3), 4. 7J-Chad Kemenah (5), 5. 71m-Dave Blaney (4), 6. 13-Clyde Knipp (6), 7. 17c-Caleb Helms (7), 8. 47-Eric Riggins, Jr. (8).

Dash 1 (6 Laps):  1. 21-Brian Brown (1), 2. 15-Donny Schatz (2), 3. 5-David Gravel (4), 4. 2m-Kerry Madsen (3), 5. 12n-Cole Duncan (6), 6. 18-Ian Madsen (5).

Dash 2 (6 Laps):  1. 59-Ryan Smith (1), 2. 9-Daryn Pittman (2), 3. 17b-Bill Balog (4), 4. 13m-Paul McMahan (3), 5. 71-Joey Saldana (5), 6. 44-Trey Starks (6).

“C” Main (10 Laps – Top 2 Advance): 1. 14-Tony Stewart (3), 2. 3g-Carson Macedo (7), 3. 39-Spencer Bayston (5), 4. 00-Dane Lorenc (4), 5. 14x-Coleman Gulick (15), 6. 49d-Shawn Dancer (9), 7. 17h-Caleb Helms (8), 8. 49k-Scott Kreutter (6), 9. 47-Eric Riggins, Jr. (14), 10. 5b-Justin Barger (11), 11. 7kx-Dan Shetler (10), 12. 27g-Jay Galloway (12), 13. 822-John Clark (16), 14. 12w-Troy Fraker (13), 15. 13-Clyde Knipp (2), 16. 13d-Danny Dietrich (1-DNS).

“B” Main (12 Laps – Top 6 Advance): 1. 2-Shane Stewart (1), 2. 17-Jac Haudenschild (2), 3. 3z-Brock Zearfoss (3), 4. 1s-Logan Schuchart (7), 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (6), 6. 71m-Dave Blaney (8), 7. W20-Greg Wilson (5), 8. 4-Parker Price-Miller (11), 9. 49x-Tim Shaffer (13), 10. 11k-Kraig Kinser (10), 11. 7J-Chad Kemenah (14), 12. 3g-Carson Macedo (18), 13. 14-Tony Stewart (17), 14. 7s-Jason Sides (12), 15. 17x-Josh Baughman (15), 16. 1a-Jacob Allen (9), 17. 24-Terry McCarl (16), 18. 3-Sammy Swindell (3-DNS).

 “A” Main (30 Laps): 1. 5-David Gravel (5), 2. 15-Donny Schatz (3), 3. 21-Brian Brown (1), 4. 2m-Kerry Madsen (7), 5. 17b-Bill Balog (6), 6. 1s-Logan Schuchart (22), 7. 9-Daryn Pittman (4), 8. 12n-Cole Duncan (9), 9. 19-Brent Marks (14), 10. 59-Ryan Smith (2), 11. 49-Brad Sweet (17), 12. 44-Trey Starks (12), 13. 3z-Brock Zearfoss (21), 14. 2-Shane Stewart (19), 15. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (23), 16. W20-Greg Wilson (28), 17. 7s-Jason Sides (26), 18. 19p-Paige Polyak (15), 19. 13m-Paul McMahan (8), 20. 18-Ian Madsen (11), 21. 4-Parker Price-Miller (27), 22. 11k-Kraig Kinser (25), 23. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild (16), 24. 71-Joey Saldana (10), 25. 41-Jason Johnson (18), 26. 27-Greg Hodnett (13), 27. 71m-Dave Blaney (24), 28. 17-Jac Haudenschild (20).

Lap leaders:  Ryan Smith 1, Brian Brown 2-4, Donny Schatz 5-29, David Gravel 30.