SECOND NO MORE: David Gravel Rolls to Elusive Cedar Lake World of Outlaws Victory

The 31-year-old perfects the bottom on the way to his eighth win of the season


NEW RICHMOND, WI (July 1, 2023) - David Gravel is finally a Cedar Lake Speedway winner.

Seven times he’d been forced to endure the bitter taste of finishing second. Seven times he’d missed out on victory by a single spot. But on Saturday night at the Wisconsin 3/8-mile, Gravel brought the runner-up narrative to a close.

The Watertown, CT native started fourth and rolled the bottom masterfully – patiently working his way forward and taking the top spot from Spencer Bayston with only nine laps remaining. From there, Gravel drove away to a comfortable margin and the win.

The victory puts Gravel at eight for the season with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars – already one more than last season. The 31-year-old is the 22nd different driver to top a race at the New Richmond, WI facility. Gravel’s career win total with The Greatest Show on Dirt elevated to 84 – enough to tie him with Stevie Smith for 11th on the all-time list.

Gravel credited his veteran savvy with leading him to Victory Lane.

“It feels good to finally win one here,” Gravel said. “Man, I love this track. This track is a lot of fun. It just shows you how much this track changes. The top was the fastest groove, and those young bucks can’t slow down like I can. You’ve just got to be real patient there on the bottom, and it really worked out. I got the wing back, and I know I was being way easier on my tires than those guys ripping the top for all of those laps.”

Spencer Bayston and Carson Macedo brought the field to green. As the duo roared down the back straightaway, Macedo rocketed around Bayston’s outside to claim the early lead. 

Some early incidents plagued the beginning of the race, and Macedo maintained the top spot throughout the restarts. Finally, the green lights stayed on long enough for the leaders to reach lapped traffic. As Macedo worked through slower cars, Bayston found an opportunity to swipe the lead. The CJB Motorsports driver threw a successful slider on Macedo to secure the spot. Bayston quickly pulled away after taking the lead.

Behind Bayston, Gravel began to make his way forward as he found his footing on the bottom. He moved the Big Motorsports #2 underneath Gio Scelzi for third. Then he began the pursuit of second-running Macedo. Gravel continued to inch his way forward. A few laps later Gravel showed Macedo a nose. The next lap, he rolled by the Jason Johnson Racing #41.

But then the yellow flag flew before the lap was completed, giving Macedo the second spot back. On the restart, Macedo attempted to switch his line after seeing Gravel move by on the bottom. But after a couple laps, Macedo returned to the top and opened the bottom again for Gravel, who quickly capitalized to take over second.

Then only a few short laps later, Gravel closed on the tail tank of Bayston for the lead. Once he caught him, it didn’t take long and he was rolling by on the bottom for the top spot with only nine laps remaining.

Once he had the lead, Gravel pulled away and took the checkered flag with a nearly two second advantage. Second no more. Gravel finally bagged a Cedar Lake victory.

“Seven second place finishes sucks here,” Gravel said. “It’s definitely good to get a win. We’ve been awesome all year long, and, man, I just hope we keep this rolling.”

Bayston brought the CJB machine home second after leading 18 laps to notch his best finish of the season. The Lebanon, IN native is beginning to build some momentum with nine consecutive top 10s including top fives in three of the last four races. While the continued consistency is encouraging, Bayston found himself reflecting on the race wishing he might’ve been able to try something different to potentially lock up his first win of the season.

“We started off really, really strong,” Bayston explained. “We got to running there in second. Carson got the lead away from me, and sometimes it’s almost better to be second there, amd we were able to pounce on him and then control the middle part of the race and felt really good with what I was doing. As many restarts and cautions as we had, I felt really strong on all of those. I felt like I was able to get back going, but I just knew that as soon as it started getting dusty and that top started getting thinner and thinner that it was going to get really tricky. There’s a couple things I’m thinking back on I could’ve maybe done a little bit differently there.”

Completing the podium was a fast-closing Jacob Allen in the Shark Racing #1A. The Hanover, PA native put together a run from 13th to third as he followed in Gravel’s footsteps on the bottom. The result marked his first podium since Devil’s Bowl in early April and gave him the night’s KSE Racing Hard Charger honors.

“You pretty much have to go where you need to, so if somebody is on the inside and you’re faster, you’ve got to go to the outside,” Allen said. “That just seems like the name of the game. I had a great race car. Once I got closer toward the front, David did show me a little bit of a better line in (Turns) 3 and 4 than I was running. It’s pretty wild how just a small, little change to my line picked up a lot more speed.”

Carson Macedo and Gio Scelzi rounded out the top five.

With his win and Brad Sweet finishing sixth, David Gravel trimmed Sweet’s points advantage down to four markers.

Macedo claimed his 11th Simpson Performance Products QuickTime of the season in Low-E Insulation Qualifying – already equaling his total from last year.

Rico Abreu topped the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to Carson Macedo (104th Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were claimed by Buddy Kofoid (11th of career), Spencer Bayston (17th of career), and David Gravel (229th of career).

The Smith Titanium Brake Systems “Break of the Race” went to Josh Schneiderman. After making a strong run to transfer to the Feature from the Last Chance Showdown, Schneiderman was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got collected in a nasty wreck that ended his night early.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars roll on to an Iowa, Wisconsin doubleheader with trips to 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA) on Friday, July 7 and Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI) on Saturday, July 8. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel[4]; 2. 5-Spencer Bayston[1]; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen[13]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[2]; 5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[6]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet[9]; 7. 1S-Logan Schuchart[7]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz[5]; 9. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[10]; 10. 83-James McFadden[14]; 11. 24-Rico Abreu[21]; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]; 13. 6C-Carson McCarl[18]; 14. 34DD-Kraig Kinser[11]; 15. 17B-Bill Balog[19]; 16. 22-Riley Goodno[23]; 17. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[20]; 18. 5T-Ryan Timms[16]; 19. (DNF) 83JR-Michael Kofoid[3]; 20. (DNF) 88-Austin McCarl[15]; 21. (DNF) 49J-Josh Schneiderman[22]; 22. (DNF) 20G-Noah Gass[17]; 23. (DNF) 24T-Christopher Thram[24]; 24. (DNF) 7-Brooke Tatnell[12]; 25. (DNF) 6-Bill Rose[25]

BRADGER: Brad Sweet Survives Late Challenge for Seventh Cedar Lake Victory

The four-time champion holds off Logan Schuchart to make history at the Wisconsin oval

NEW RICHMOND, WI (June 30, 2023) - Not many guarantees exist in the sport of Sprint Car racing. But Brad Sweet’s speed in Wisconsin is about as close to a lock as you can get.

On Friday night at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, WI, the four-time and defending champion flexed his Badger State muscle yet again. Sweet took the lead early from Logan Schuchart and held on as the Shark Racing driver made one final run at him in the closing laps.

Sweet’s résumé in Wisconsin continues to grow to astonishing levels. He’s now up to a dozen World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victories in the northern state. Friday was his seventh triumph in only 20 starts at Cedar Lake in Series competition – equaling him with Sammy Swindell for the most all time. 

The Kasey Kahne Racing pilot upped his career win total with The Greatest Show on Dirt to 85 – giving him sole possession of 10th all-time and within one of former teammate – Daryn Pittman – for ninth on the list. He’s now at six victories in 2023 alone, already one more than his 2022 total.

“Seven wins here, that’s pretty special,” said a grateful Sweet. “The NAPA Auto Parts guys always bring me a good race car, and this track fits my style. Just happy to get a win. We haven’t won in a little bit, so it’s nice to get back here and get some confidence. Just a nice night for the guys.”

Sweet’s path to Victory Lane began from the outside pole position. On the race’s initial start, pole-sitter Logan Schuchart jumped out to an early advantage. But Sweet never let him get far ahead.

“The Big Cat” moved his machine all over the 3/8-mile surface in search of a route by the Shark Racing #1S. On lap six, Sweet built momentum on the exit of Turn 2 and found the opportunity he needed. As the lead duo roared down the back straightaway, Sweet dipped to Schuchart’s inside and finished a slide job in Turns 3 and 4. 

From there, Sweet began to pad his advantage and survive a handful of restarts as a few cautions plagued the race’s opening portion.

On a restart with 21 laps to go, Sweet was forced to face a challenge as third-running Rico Abreu aced the restart and surged into second as they accelerated down the front straightaway. Then in Turn 1, Abreu tossed a slider at Sweet and cleared him. Sweet returned the favor in the next set of corners. Abreu attempted to drive below him on the next lap in Turn 3 but didn’t have enough momentum.

Shortly after the fight for the lead, Abreu’s right rear tire went down and took him out of contention.

Without Abreu behind him, Sweet appeared as if he may cruise away to the victory. But as the race dipped inside 10 laps to go, Sweet found himself unable to make his way through lapped traffic as quick as he had early in the race. The Grass Valley, CA native searched for lines to move by slower cars but didn’t have much luck.

“This place changes a lot,” Sweet explained. “It can go from the bottom to the top back to the bottom. It can even get a little bit clean into (Turn) 3 there. You can judge yourself off the lapped cars, and the fact that Kraig (Kinser) was running back by me was making me not feel very good about what I was doing. When I tried to run the bottom, I wasn’t patient enough or just wasn’t good enough to stick down there.”

Sweet’s struggles allowed Schuchart to close quickly as the laps clicked away. As they came to the white flag, Schuchart looked to Sweet’s inside to let him know he was there. On the final circuit Sweet protected enough to hold him off and cross the finish line with less than two tenths of a second over Schuchart.

“You know when you’re struggling to get by lapped cars that they’re coming behind you,” Sweet said. “I just tried to keep my calm as best I could and make the best last lap I could. I think it was just good enough. I could hear him off my left rear (tire).”

Schuchart’s runner up was his seventh of the 2023 World of Outlaws campaign and his second in the last three starts. While the Hanover, PA native came away encouraged by the strong outing, he couldn’t help but wish he had a few more laps to try and get the job done.

“I kind of had the Jaws theme song in the back of my head, but it was like when they just get out of the water just in time is what it felt like,” Schuchart said with a laugh. “We were good. We were right there. This is where we got our first win, so this place is very meaningful and special.”

Rounding out the podium was David Gravel, who charged forward from sixth. The result marked his seventh podium in the last eight races aboard the Big Game Motorsports #2. The Watertown, CT native surged into second at one point but couldn’t quite hold on to the runner up spot. It was an up and down race for Gravel, but he kept his spirits high after yet another strong outing.

“This place is tricky,” Gravel said. “It gets spinny. They water the track, and it has a little bit of artificial grip to start the race. We just weren’t good early. I had a couple good things. Rico got a flat and let us get to third there and race a little bit. I found the bottom before everybody else, but it just wasn’t able to pay off.”

Finishing fourth was Sheldon Haudenschild – who made an early visit to the Federated Car Care Work Zone before charging back to the front. Completing the top five was the night’s KSE Hard Charger – Spencer Bayston – who wheeled the CJB Motorsports #5 all the way from 22nd to fifth.

Sweet’s win allowed him to add six points over Gravel in the championship battle. The margin sits at 16 markers.

Bill Balog claimed his first ever Simpson Performance Products QuickTime in Low-E Insulation Qualifying.

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One also went to Balog (sixth Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were topped by Brad Sweet (224th of career), Gio Scelzi (30th of career), and David Gravel (228th of career).

The Smith Titanium Brake Systems “Break of the Race” went to Bill Rose. After earning his best Feature starting spot of the year (16th), Rose was caught up in an incident that ended his night early. 

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are right back at Cedar Lake Speedway for the Independence Day Spectacular finale on Saturday, July 1. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 Laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet[2]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart[1]; 3. 2-David Gravel[6]; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[9]; 5. 5-Spencer Bayston[22]; 6. 83-James McFadden[13]; 7. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[7]; 8. 17B-Bill Balog[5]; 9. 41-Carson Macedo[10]; 10. 1A-Jacob Allen[21]; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[11]; 12. 24-Rico Abreu[4]; 13. 88-Austin McCarl[18]; 14. 15-Donny Schatz[14]; 15. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[3]; 16. 7-Brooke Tatnell[19]; 17. 22-Riley Goodno[20]; 18. 20G-Noah Gass[15]; 19. 34DD-Kraig Kinser[24]; 20. (DNF) 49J-Josh Schneiderman[23]; 21. (DNF) 7S-Robbie Price[8]; 22. (DNF) 83JR-Michael Kofoid[17]; 23. (DNF) 5T-Ryan Timms[12]; 24. (DNF) 6-Bill Rose[16]