The recipe for success on Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte was simple: take dirt, add Gravel, and enjoy.

David Gravel dominated his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars competition, claiming a well-earned victory in the first of three World of Outlaws World Finals features. Gravel entered World Finals trailing Brad Sweet by 50 points in the chase for the championship, but Gravel’s 12th win of the season tightened the points gap to Sweet. 

“We’ve just got to worry about winning races and having fun,” said Gravel, who scored his sixth Charlotte win. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m glad they did that prep to the track. It worked out for us – Brad found the bottom first, and then he kind of gave up on it. I don't know why anybody didn’t run low on exits. I had the exits to myself and I used that drive to get down the straightaway.”

Rico Abreu finished second with Carson Macedo third, Sweet fourth and Tyler Courtney fifth.

Sheldon Haudenschild, Abreu, Sweet and Gravel won heats.

Matt Sheppard reigned triumphant in Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified competition on Thursday, with a scintillating drive to victory over Demetrios Drellos and Mat Williamson.

“It feels good to be back in Victory Lane here,” said Sheppard, who padded his championship points lead to 83 over Williamson. “We got those cautions at the end that kept giving us a clean race track. Man, this feels really good.”

Jimmy Phelps, Sheppard, Williamson and Alex Payne won heats.

Night No. 1 of World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model racing saw Mike Marlar score his fourth win of the season over Chris Madden, Brandon Overton, Hudson O’Neal and Dale McDowell.

Marlar won his heat race in addition to the feature – capping off a perfect debut with Skyline Motorsports.

“When I got behind the lapped cars, I got in their dirty air and I was really loose,” Marlar said. “I was backing up on purpose to get away from them. It worked out, but I was sweating it there at the end. To win the first night out here is unbelievable.”

Madden, Cade Dillard, Overton, Daulton Wilson and McDowell won the remaining heats.

Race fans from 49 states and six foreign countries have descended on The Dirt Track at Charlotte for this weekend’s festivities, with clear skies expected for the remaining two days of action. Fans can lock in single-day and two-day ticket packages, plus pit passes and camping, by shopping online at