CONCORD, N.C. – David Gravel proved that patience really does pay Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, using a thrilling last-lap pass to deny Donny Schatz his 250th career World of Outlaws feature win in the finale to the Textron Off-Road World Finals.
Gravel stayed committed to his guns, rolling the high lane fiercely and relentlessly over the final 10 laps as he pursued Schatz in and out of traffic. He made his first attempt at the lead with eight to go, but had to fall back and regroup as Schatz crossed back underneath him.
The second chance Gravel had to go to the lead was with three to go, when Schatz got bottlenecked on the bottom trying to pass the slower car of Parker Price-Miller, but again the slider attempt didn’t quite work out in turns one and two after Gravel got such a run on the outside coming to the line.
But the third time was the charm. After Schatz again lost his momentum on the bottom of turn four coming to the white flag, Gravel pounced with his biggest slider of the night entering turn one for the final time.
He cleared Schatz off turn two and though the North Dakota veteran tried to pass back underneath in the final set of corners, Gravel’s momentum up top was far to much as he sailed home to the twin checkered flags.
The win caps off a career season for Gravel, who closed the book on 2017 with his 18th win on the year in the No. 5 GoMuddy.com entry for CJB Motorsports.
Though Schatz came home second, .555 of a second in arrears at the finish, he was still able to celebrate as a nine-time series champion after wrapping up the title with two features to spare.
“There’s no question (win number) 250 will happen, it’s just a matter of when it comes,” Schatz said confidently.
Brian Brown completed the podium in third, followed by Kerry Madsen and Bill Balog.
Logan Schuchart, Daryn Pittman, Cole Duncan, Brent Marks and Smith were the balance of the top-10.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network, as well as a periodic contributor to SPEED SPORT Magazine.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: [email protected]
Email Race Chaser Online: [email protected]
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews