David Gravel was the man to beat tonight after a full night of racing at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the Can-Am World Finals. He scored the victory after holding off championship contender, Donny Schatz and hot-shoe Logan Schuchart in the closing laps. That marks his 50th World of Outlaws Sprint Car win.
Gravel kicked off the night with a heat race win over Giovanni Scelzi and Anthony Macri. He charged his way to capture the dash win as well, which lined him up on the pole for the 30-lap feature.
Gravel set the pace for the feature and led all but one lap before parking it in victory lane for his 50th career win.
“I think I got a couple lucky breaks and got stuck in lapped traffic,” Gravel said. “Aaron Reutzel got by me and he went high and lapped traffic went high also which opened up the bottom and I was able to get back by him. Luckily a couple things went our way and we were able to secure the victory.
“We had a couple of goals and we really wanted to get to get to number 50 this year,” Gravel added. “That was an accomplishment and I couldn’t do it without this JJR team and without Jaxx being here and a lot of our family and sponsors too.”
Second-place finisher and championship contender, Donny Schatz, closed the gap on the championship battle between he and Brad Sweet to just two points going into the World Finals finale tomorrow night.
‘We got close, just not good enough and we will give it another shot tomorrow,” Schatz said, We’ve got a big team here this weekend and we’re gonna give it a go tomorrow and make the best of it.”
Aaron Reutzel led one lap before nearly tangling with lapped traffic and surrendering the lead back to Gravel. He would finish fourth, with Sweet finishing fifth to maintain his slight points advantage.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Cars will conclude its season as part of the Can-Am World Finals Saturday. Opening ceremonies begin at 3:45 p.m. Eastern.
Fans who missed Friday’s racing can visit Speed51’s Race Day Now updates from the event by clicking here. Speed51 will be back at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Saturday for more Race Day Now coverage of the Can-Am World Finals.
-Story by: Madison Mabry, Speed51 Correspondent - Twitter: @madisonmabry23
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo / Duane Canfield