TEXAS TANGO: Gravel Lassos Top-5 Finishes at Cotton Bowl Speedway & Royal Purple Raceway
CJB Duo Set to head to Sin City for two-day showdown in Vegas before trip to Arizona
CARLISLE, PA. – March 2, 2016 – The old saying goes that “everything is bigger in Texas.” That held true this past weekend as CJB Motorsports sent its two best horses to do battle with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Up first on the weekend was Cotton Bowl Speedway near Paige, Texas. It was the series first visit to the quarter-mile bullring but may not be its last after a photo finish awaited the sold out facility.
“Cotton Bowl was a pretty cool track,” said David Gravel, driver of the Big Game Treestands, J.R.C. Transportation Inc., C&S Lawn & Landscape #5. “We raced well in our heat, made the dash and started on the outside of the front row for the feature.”
Gravel was quick all night at the speedway having timed in second overall in time trials and winning his heat race. A second place finish in the dash put the youngster on the front row for the feature event where he battled with Kasey Kahne Racing teammates Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman.
“Starting on the outside was maybe a disadvantage,” said Gravel, who has an average finish of 2.3 in his heat races thus far in 2016. “However, we had a really strong car that night and finished in the top-3. I was really happy with the result We raced really hard at the end and was right there with the leaders.”
The following night at Royal Purple Raceway, Gravel and the rest of the CJB team contended with some unforeseen circumstances as the series timing and scoring suffered a critical error during time trials. Per the series rule book, the heat races were set by the evenings pill draw. The Watertown, Conn. driver would go onto start 15th in the nights feature event.
“Having the heats set by pill draw kind of threw everyone a challenge,” said Gravel, who now has three top-5’s in a row. “We rebounded though and had to start deep. I was able to get the top working and we started making up spots. Our car kept getting better and the track slicked off a little bit. It’s good that our cars are getting better on long runs. It was a 40 lap race but I wished it was 50.”
Texas was more of an experiment for Gravel’s teammate, veteran Sammy Swindell. The three time series champ timed in 15th quick at Cotton Bowl Speedway and used a third place finish to lock himself into the nights feature event.
“Cotton Bowl was a very neat place,” said Swindell, who has an average heat race finish of 2.4. “We drew an early number to go out in time trials and it was a bit greasey. I missed my line on a corner and that cost us a few tenths. The track picked up as time trials went on. We weren’t bad all night really. Someone dove underneath me during the feature and we made contact and that cost us 4-5 spots in the pack we were racing in. I was able to make up a few.”
The following night at Royal Purple Raceway was also a challenge for the #1 Big Game Treestands, GoMuddy.com machine.
“Barry (Jackson) wanted to try some different things when we got to the dash,” said Swindell, who won at the track in 2011. ”We weren’t bad but it may have hurt us in the feature. Overall, we feel like we’ve got the five car working well and they are fine tuning their package. We’re trying some really new things with the one machine. We can do that because we aren’t running for points. We’re trying to find some advantages for when the big money shows come around.”
Now begins a 1,500-mile trip from Houston, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada. The Outlaws will make their annual stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a two-night show on Thursday, March 3rd and Friday, March 4th. Gravel scored a pair of 10’s in Vegas last year while Swindell scored wins at the half-mile oval in March of 2006 and November of 2000.
“The atmosphere at Vegas is really cool,” said Gravel. “I haven’t raced there a ton but it’s always fast and interesting.”
“I really like Vegas,” said Swindell. “It’s a big and fast track. They’ve had several different people prepping it through the years so you are never quite sure what you are going to get. You kinda have to throw out what you did before because of that. Either way though, it’s a great place.”
Wrapping up the weekend is a stop at Arizona Speedway in Queen Creek, Arizona.
“Arizona Speedway is a new track for me,” said Gravel. “I’m looking forward to it and the challenge that a first time track presents.”
“It’s my first trip out there,” said Swindell. “Looking forward to giving it a shot and seeing what we can learn there.”
CAR #5 2016 STATS:
Quick Times: 0
Heat Race Wins: 3
Dash Wins: 0
Average Time Trial: 8.3
Average A-main finish: 10.2
Total Laps Led: 0
CAR #1 2016 STATS:
Quick Times: 0
Heat Race Wins: 2
Dash Wins: 0
Average Time Trial: 11.5
Average A-main finish: 11.4
Total Laps Led: 0
A two-day stop in Las Vegas is up next for the CJB duo on Thursday, March 3rd and Friday, March 4th. From there, they venture further into the desert with a stop at Arizona Speedway in Queen Center, Arizona.
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ABOUT CJB MOTORSPORTS:
CJB Motorsports is a winged, 410 sprint car team that competes across the country with drivers David Gravel & Sammy Swindell. Founded in 2005, the Chad and Jenn Clemens owned organization has worked to establish a standard of excellence in short track racing through fielding competitive entries and providing exceptional exposure for marketing partners. The team is based out of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
CJB Motorsports would like to thank all of our loyal sponsors and product manufacturers for their support and great products. Click on the name of the partner below to visit their web page for more information.
Partners: Mainstream Holdings, Big Game Treestands, Muddy, J.R.C. Transportation Inc., Bairs Tree Service, Nyce, Crete & Landis Block and Concrete, All Star Performance, Henry Dunn Insurance, C&S Lawn and Landscape, Ecynbro Trucking
Manufacturers: Astro Titanium, Arctic Cat, ATL Fuel Cells, Blackbeard Ltd., Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gaskets, Energy Release, Fastener Specialties, FK Rod Ends, Factory Kahne Shocks, High Performance Lubricants, HRP Wings, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Kistler Engines, KSE Racing Products, Lincoln Welders, Moose Blocks, Inc., MSD Ignition, Outerwears, Safety-Klean, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Simpson, Sweet Engineering, TI22, Walker Performance Filters, Weld Racing, Wilwood Brakes, Winters Performance.