CJB and David Gravel to Part Ways After 2018 Campaign
Shane Stewart to join Pennsylvania based team in 2019; organization to field 2nd car to close out 2018
Story By: CJB Motorsports
Photos By: Dan DeMarco & Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
CARLISLE, PA. – October 24, 2018 – In racing, as in life, change is a constant part of the story. After three highly successful years, CJB Motorsports and driver David Gravel will dissolve their partnership at the conclusion of the 2018 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series season.
“Before we get into anything else, our family, Barry Jackson, his family, our crew and all of our partners want to thank David Gravel and his family for an incredible three-year run,” said team owners Chad and Jenn Clemens. “From the moment David and Barry were paired together, they were a force to be reckoned with. The stats show that clearly. We’ve had some of the best years we’ve ever had with David behind the wheel. We’ve won coast-to-coast and won some of the biggest races in the sport. In this business, as with most forms of motorsports, relationships tend to run their course. With that being said, we all agreed that this relationship, though highly successful, had run its course and it was time for a change for all parties.”
Gravel, the Watertown, Conn. driver hopped in the seat of the #5 , Big Game Tree Stands, J.R.C. Transportation Inc., Nyce, Crete and Landis Block and Concrete, C&S Lawn & Landscape machine, in February of 2016. From there, through the end of 2018, the car registered 33 wins, over 125 top-5’s, over 196 top-10’s and 22 quick time awards. The pinnacle of the pairings time together was a 20-win season in 2017 that saw the #5 machine capture victories in the prestigious Williams Grove National Open, the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, the Jokers Wild and more. It also saw the team put on a dominating performance at the annual Knoxville Nationals before a mechanical issue derailed their evening. Also of note; the #5 team placed 3rd in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series points standings in each season.
For his part, Gravel is grateful for the opportunity to race with the team and looks forward to the future.
“It was a good ride,” Gravel said. “We put up some really good number. This year just wasn’t the same. I really want to thank Chad and Barry for giving me this opportunity and propelling me forward in my career. Our perfect night at the (Knoxville) Nationals will always stand out as a good memory for me. Another one is winning the National Open. Getting that one for Chad and Barry was very special since they are from that area.”
As Gravel departs, veteran sprint car star Shane Stewart has been tabbed to take over the #5 machine for 2019.
“Shane Stewart is a well-known driver throughout the world,” explained Clemens. “From what he’s done with ASCS and in Australia to helping Kyle Larson Racing get off the ground, he’s proven time and time again that he is a first class talent and team member. I know I speak on behalf of our team and partners when I say we are excited to have Shane join us in pursuit of a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series title, a Knoxville Nationals title and much more.”
Stewart, a native of Bixby, Okla., boasts quite the resume. Five Knoxville 360 Nationals titles (including four in a row), two Lucas Oil ASCS National titles, over 30 World of Outlaws wins and a win in the prestigious Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic at Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. The driver will return to the ‘Greatest Show on Dirt,’ in 2019 with a new team, sponsor and car.
“I’m really excited to join CJB Motorsports for 2019,” Stewart said. “In this day in age in sprint car racing, especially World of Outlaws Sprint Car racing, it is very difficult to find a good crew chief and this car comes with one of the best in the business in Barry Jackson. I hope to continue the success this car has had over the past few years and add to the record book a bit. Obviously, we want to win a Knoxville Nationals title and a World of Outlaws title. Those are big ones. I’d also like to win a Williams Grove National Open title. This team has proven they are capable of it and, with Barry being from that area, his expertise will help make that happen, hopefully. As a driver, I want to run better in the Central Pennsylvania area. I feel like I have gotten a better handle on it as late and gotten more comfortable at them but I think pairing with this team will make me better at all the tracks in that area. Overall, I cannot wait to get started and I want to thank Chad, Jenn and the entire Clemens family, along with their partners, for this opportunity.”
While excitement is brewing for 2019, the final few race weekends of 2018 will add a level of intrigue for CJB as well. Fellow GoMuddy.com driver Kerry Madsen will join CJB Motorsports as a second driver in car #5M for the Tuscarora 50 weekend as well as World of Outlaws World Finals.
“We have a great relationship with CJB Motorsports,” said Luke Lundt, President and CFO of Mainstream Holdings, Inc. “Guy Forbrook (Madsen’s crew chief) is scheduled to have surgery on November 5th. We wanted to give him some time to prepare for that and focus on that. The opportunity presented itself for Barry and the CJB team to prepare a second car for Kerry to race so that we could finish out our season. We think that this arrangement will do well for these two events. We really appreciate CJB Motorsports and Chad and Jenn doing this for us and we look forward to the future with them.”