Bristol dominators David Gravel and Chris Madden were quickest during four practice sessions Thursday night in their respective classes during the World of Outlaws Bristol Bash at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Gravel, who swept the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series weekend at Bristol last year taking home two of the prized BMS Gladiator Swords, posted a quick time of 13.624 seconds in the first of four practice sessions.

Gravel’s quick time for the day’s four practice sessions was well back of Sam Hafertepe Jr.’s track record time of 13.326 seconds set here last season.

“The emphasis on qualifying is huge for us,” Gravel said. “You need to do well in the heat races and that will put us in position to win. Last year we just rode the momentum of having a lot of speed in qualifying and we are definitely out to earn everything. There’s a small field here but there’s about 19 really good cars out there. You are going to be fighting for even a top 10 here.”

Gravel said as a driver it is easy to get pumped up to race on Bristol’s dirt-covered high banks.

“It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere and you come around the hill and there’s this big massive colosseum sitting there,” Gravel said. “It’s just extremely unique. I can only imagine what it’s like here on a NASCAR weekend for the Night Race. It must be like playing an NFL game here when its packed elbow to elbow. It’s really fast and we are looking forward to the weekend.”  

Red-hot Carson Macedo, who has won four races this season, posted a quick lap of 13.899 seconds, which was 11th best in the first session. Macedo finished sixth and third in the Bristol Bash last season and is one of the top contenders for victory this weekend.

“We didn’t quite have the speed that I expected us to have,” Macedo said. “I think qualifying is going to be imperative. Getting on the front row is super important and will make a big different in your night.  Racing at such a nice facility, the Colosseum, to be able to look up at the big screen, on the racetrack, it’s just different. There’s so much banking in this place… the banking sucks you in and in our cars it’s greater than we feel at any other track across the country... The bottom is really quick and it’s easy to get too low. I feel like it’s going to be tricky but I think the track is going to put on some good racing this weekend.”

Brad Sweet had the second-quickest time of the night at 13.739 and was followed by Aaron Reutzel at 13.777 and Donny Schatz with a 13.782.

In the CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series Madden had the quickest car in the four practice sessions, posting a leading time of 15.218 seconds. In March, Madden pocketed more than $200,000 during the Bristol Dirt Nationals, winning two of the four features over a two-week period. Madden holds the dirt Late Model track record at BMS at 14.950 seconds set earlier this year.

“We came back with our baseline that we’ve been coming here with,” Madden said. “We had to start off steering on harder tires than what we’ve been on, so we had to do some adjustments there, but really, it’s just finding the balance and happy medium for these tires to steer on.”

Defending Bristol Bash winner Josh Richards of West Virginia posted his quickest lap of the night in the third session, a 16.240-second effort.

“The track isn’t bad, but it’s definitely slower than last year,” Richards said. “They’ve done a great job with the dirt, it seems racier than it was last year. There’s nothing like racing here at Bristol for sure. It’s an honor to come here and race.”

Former Bristol winner Jonathan Davenport had the second-quickest run in the Late Model class with a 15.482 and was followed by Kyle Bronson at 15.492 and Ricky Weiss with a 15.513.

NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson, who is pulling double duty this weekend competing in both the Sprint Cars and Late Models, only took practice laps in his Sprint Car tonight, posting a best lap time of 13.824 seconds.

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and the CASE Late Models will have full racing programs on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, consisting of hot laps, qualifying, and heat races. There will be 25-lap main feature races with a $25,000 prize to the winner will be held both Friday and Saturday for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models will race in 30-lap main features on both Friday and Saturday nights, also with $25,000 payouts to the winners.

Fans can purchase their tickets today for the Bristol Bash at Reserved grandstand ticket prices are $30 Thursday; start at $45 each for Friday and Saturday; $90 three-day weekend. Kids (12 and under) tickets are $5 for each day and $20 for the 3-day combo ticket. VIP Parking is available in for $10 per day.

Below are the top-10 times from each practice session:

Session 1 Sprint Cars
David Gravel 13.624
Brad Sweet 13.739
Aaron Reutzel 13.777
Kerry Madesn 13.787
Jacob Allen 13.788
Donny Schatz 13.812
Brock Zearfoss 13.817
Spencer Bayston 13.822
Logan Schuchart 13.835
Kyle Larson 13.843

Session 2 Sprint Cars
Donny Schatz 13.782
Kraig Kinser 13.818
James McFadden 13.822
Kyle Larson 13.824
Spencer Bayston 13.841
Brad Sweet 13.886
Jacob Allen 13.908
Logan Schuchart 14.004
Carson Macedo 14.007
Sheldon Haudenschild 14.019

Session 3 Sprint Cars
Kraig Kinser 14.041
Donny Schatz 14.045
Rico Abreu 14.114
Logan Schuchart 14.142
James McFadden 14.153
Jacob Allen 14.168
Aaron Reutzel 14.178
Spencer Bayston 14.229
David Gravel 14.268
Brad Sweet 14.304

Session 4 Sprint Cars
Brad Sweet 14.157
Aaron Reutzel 14.257
Sheldon Haudenschild 14.380
Jacob Allen 14.421
Rico Abreu 14.422
Donny Schatz 14.429
Kyle Larson 14.445
Logan Schuchart 14.450
Carson Macedo 14.514
David Gravel 14.542

Session 1 Late Model
Chris Madden 15.370
Jonathan Davenport 15.482
Kyle Bronson 15.492
Ricky Weiss 15.513
Kyle Strickler 15.732
Tanner English 15.747
Ryan Gustin 15.761
Jimmy Owens 15.771
Tyler Bruening 15.782

Session 2 Late Model
Chris Madden 15.218
Jonathan Davenport 15.512
Ricky Weiss 15.547
Max Blair 15.656
Kyle Bronson 15.704
Tyler Bruening 15.813
Dennis Erb Jr 15.895
Jimmy Owens 15.904
Tanner English 15.999
Boom Briggs 16.005

Session 3 Late Model
Jonathan Davenport 15.567
Scott Bloomquist 15.776
Ricky Weiss 15.805
Chris Madden 15.860
Tyler Bruening 15.861
Max Blair 15.908
Tanner English 15.963
Jimmy Owens 15.990
Boom Briggs 16.052
Kyle Bronson 16.142

Session 4 Late Model
Jonathan Davenport 15.668
Ricky Weiss 15.806
Chris Madden 15.812
Tyler Bruening 15.937
Kyle Bronson 16.098
Max Blair 16.202
Scott Bloomquist 16.231
Brent Larson 16.276
Jimmy Owens 16.276
Dennis Erb Jr 16.372