MINOT, ND - August 20, 2017 - After a pair of pedestrian finishes Friday and Saturday, David Gravel and the CJB Motorsports No.5 team switched cars and scored their 13th victory of the season Sunday night at Nodak Speedway. Gravel's win stopped Donny Schatz, who finished second, five-race win streak at the Minot oval. Brad Sweet challenged Gravel for the lead early, but ended up settling for third. Gravel led all 35 laps, although it was not easy. The Nodak Speedway track crew watered the track prior to the Feature, leaving the surface faster and heavier than many teams anticipated.
The inside row got a good intial start, allowing third place starting Brad Sweet to be second by the backstretch. Schatz got in line in third as the track continued to widen out as the Feature progressed. Sweet pulled even with Gravel for the lead multiple times coming off of turn four, but could never pull ahead. The first caution of the event came for Jason Sides, who was backwards in turn four, on lap 24. Sheldon Haudenschild made contact with the wall and spun on the ensuing restart. Sheldon was running sixth at the time. Gravel extended his lead once again, made the right decisions in lapped traffic and picked up the victory without seeing another serious challenge. When asked about stopping Schatz five race win streak at Nodak, Gravel said with a smile, "He wins too much. I want some wins too." "We brought this car down and I'm glad we got it done tonight because we were not very good the last two nights. This is three straight wins for this car," the Watertown, CT native said upon exiting his No. 5 machine. Like many, Schatz anticipated the track would slow down earlier in the race. "We got going at the end. I think I used way too much of my tires to get there, though. We did the best we could and sometimes you are going to have that," a content Schatz said. Schatz scored at least a top-five finish in every start this season in his home state of North Dakota. He spoke highly about the North Dakota faithful, who packed the grandstands for the third consecutive night, "North Dakota has a huge presence with the World of Outlaws and I don't think anyone realizes how big it is. Thank you to the fans, without you guys we would not have nearly as much fun as we do." Brad Sweet picked up his 44th top-five of the finish of the season, completing the podium. "We were right there a lot of the race. David never made any mistakes and then I made one and Donny got by me," Sweet said. "All in all it was a good night." Shane Stewart and Daryn Pittman completed the top five. Saturday's Feature winner at Red River Valley, Jason Johnson, picked up the KSE Hard Charger award in sixth. The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series takes a few days off before returning to the Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, SD Friday August 25th.
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