World of Outlaws standout David Gravel plans to compete in a limited schedule in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2020, according to GMS Racing president Mike Beam.
Gravel, who picked up WoO career wins Nos. 50 and 51 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Dirt Track last weekend, will continue to race sprint cars with Jason Johnson Racing, according to a report by Jeremy Elliott of SprintCarUnlimited.com.
Beam confirmed that the organization began discussions with Gravel last year. Talks picked up last May when the World of Outlaws came to town. Beam says Jeff Gordon was a huge proponent of the driver’s potential.
By mid-summer, Beam was testing Gravel at Hickory Speedway in a Super Late Model.
“After a few laps, David was as fast as our other driver,” Beam said. “He did great. He’s the real deal. He’s a Christopher Bell kind of guy.”
With 110 employees, GMS has the infrastructure to field four to four and a half truck teams next year. Beam would also like to test Gravel in an ARCA car at Daytona International Speedway. As is the case with any incoming driver, Gravel would have to be approved by NASCAR prior to competing in the series.
Gravel, 27, finished third in the WoO NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars standings in 2019. Only series champion Brad Sweet’s 16 wins topped Gravel’s 12 victories.
Gravel told SprintCarUnlimited.com his ultimate goal is to rise through the NASCAR ranks to what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“Truck racing part-time isn't a great way to make a living, but I’m looking at the end goal and trying to be that next guy to move up to the Cup level,” Gravel said. “I’m motivated. I believe in myself. I believe at 27, I’m the best driver I’ve ever seen in my life, and I think I’m ready for the challenge.”
Gordon was instrumental in bringing the Axalta sponsorship to the No. 41 JJR sprinter for the Knoxville Nationals. Gravel held off Logan Schuchart for the win carrying the iconic Axalta colors.
“I like David a lot; I would like to see him do some more,” Gordon told RacinBoys.com at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. “I would like to see if he had interests outside of sprint cars. I would love to see that happen for him. But there’s only so much that I could do.
“He is 27-years-old. That would be a late start. But if there’s a truck team out there or K&N team, I’d definitely put in a good word for him.”
Gravel’s age didn’t seem to concern Beam, who is convinced the open-wheeler can make the transition to stock cars through GMS’s driver development program.
“He’s got it,” Beam said. “We’re working hard to make this happen.”