David Gravel raced to his second career Williams Grove National Open triumph on Saturday evening, Sept. 30.
Gravel collected $50,000 for his victory in the 40-lap 410 sprint-car event sanctioned by the World of Outlaws.
Pole-sitter Donny Schatz outgunned outside-front-row starter Gravel at the start and led the first five laps, before Gravel took over the top spot. Gravel led all but one of the remaining laps. Australian James McFadden grabbed the lead from Gravel on a 19th-lap restart, but Gravel was back on top by lap 20.
In the end, Gravel picked up the win over Schatz and McFadden, with Hanover’s Logan Schuchart and Daryn Pittman in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett, Kerry Madsen, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brock Zearfoss and Jason Sides.
Freddie Rahmer, who charged from the 25th starting spot to finish 14th, wrapped up his first career track title just by taking a green flag in his heat race. McFadden picked up $2,250 from the Beer Hill Gang as this year’s National Open Rookie of the Year. Ryan Smith earned $1,125 as the first alternate to the feature.
On Friday, McFadden raced to his first career Outlaws and Grove win.
The Australian led all 25 laps on his way to the $10,000 victory. Hodnett finished second, with Schatz, Brad Sweet and Shane Stewart in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Jason Johnson, Ian Madsen, Lucas Wolfe, Kerry Madsen and Gravel.
Gravel also won Thursday’s National Open preliminary event and collected $10,000. Gravel took over the top spot on the 10th of 25 laps when leaders Hodnett and Stewart tangled. Pittman finished second ,followed by Lance Dewease, Schatz, York’s Cory Haas, Haudenschild, Kerry Madsen, Rahmer, Brian Brown and Sweet.
Hodnett had to switch cars after the preliminary-race crash, but came back to win the 30-lap make-up of the rained-out Summer Nationals feature. Hodnett led all the way for the $20,000 victory. Wolfe finished second, followed by Schatz, Pittman, Gravel, Sweet, Stewart, Dewease, Schuchart and Haudenschild.
Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com.