Race Weekend Central

This Day in Dirt: David Gravel Wins Lernerville After Sweet, Larson Jump Cushion Late

Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: The World of Outlaws took the High Limit Series by storm Tuesday night (Sept. 26), with David Gravel powering under Brad Sweet with six laps to go to score the win at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania. 

Gravel prevailed late after both Sweet and Kyle Larson made late mistakes on the high side of turn 2, jumping a treacherous cushion on corner exit. Sweet finished second, one position short of a perfect night that saw him fastest in qualifying as well as a heat race and dash winner.

On the back of a second-place finish, Rico Abreu cut a sizable chunk out of Larson’s series’ points lead, now sitting only seven points out of the lead with two races remaining in the 2023 campaign.

2023 COMMONWEALTH CLASH RACE RESULTS

Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: Larson losing the lead after a mistake in lapped traffic inside of 10 laps to go was dramatic enough, but the fact that Larson somehow managed to keep from flipping and rebounded to finish eighth was an accomplishment.

What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning

That was a damn good little race, even with three red flags interrupting proceedings. I’ll let this tweet speak for itself.

There were no fights Tuesday night, but apparently the drivers took to heart the old promoter’s adage of making sure to do something dramatic on the frontstretch, as all three major incidents on the night took place directly in front of the grandstands.

Did you notice that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was present at Lernerville Tuesday night? For me, it was a bigger highlight to see Norm Benning at the track. Credit to Flo Racing for being able to pick Benning out of the crowd.

It was nice to see as many Outlaw regulars in the field as there were Tuesday night. But to see such a big-dollar race in Pennsylvania not have the Shark Racing team in the field was a disappointment. Really hope that the Outlaws find a backbone and let their full-timers race in other series without restrictions in 2024.

Speaking of the crowd, give the Lernerville fans credit, they showed up in force for their biggest sprint car race since the World of Outlaws sanction left the track two seasons ago. Credit to the High Limit tour for hitting a home run with this scheduling move … the Outlaws really missed a golden opportunity not having a midweek show in Pennsylvania leading up to this weekend’s National Open.

Dirt Racing’s Hero(es) of the Weekend

Cory Eliason deservedly earned hard charger honors with a 16th to fifth run in the A-main. Maybe he was motivated after seeing his former ride at Rudeen Racing secure the All-Star Circuit of Champions owner and driver crowns this weekend.

Justin Sanders certainly a knack for the dramatic in front of the home-state crowd Tuesday night, pulling a spin and win in the second heat race.

It’s hard to say which was more impressive, that Sanders pulled the spin and win, or just how much of a lead he had built to be able to recover from his spin to win.

Dirt Racing’s Victim(s) of the Night

Of course, Sanders went to the other side of the dramatic spectrum in the A-main, becoming one of a parade of drivers that jumped the cushion in turn 4 and fund trouble, pounding the frontstretch wall and retiring from the event near the halfway point.

Ryan Timms endured a nearly identical wreck to Sanders on lap 9, though he managed to get upside down and tumble. Timms walked away from his incident.

Tim Shaffer brought out the third and final red flag of the night at the midway point after making contact with Brian Brown exiting turn 4 and tumbling down the frontstretch.

Numbers Game

58

Cars entered in Tuesday’s Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville

$2,000

Pay to start the Commonwealth Clash A-main

$50,000

Pay to win the Commonwealth Clash A-main

Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Monday morning (Oct. 2) with coverage of the World of Outlaws’ National Open from Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania. Streaming coverage can be found on DirtVision.

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