Gravel passed Shane Stewart of Oklahoma for the lead with two laps left and went on to the 35-lap victory on Thunderbowl’s third-mile, high-banked clay oval.
Donny Schatz of North Dakota, the seven-time and defending series champion who had won five of this season’s first six races, started on the front row but faded to seventh place.
Easton-based Roth Motorsports had the best finishes by central San Joaquin Valley cars and drivers, eighth for driver Kyle Hirst of Paradise and 10th for Tim Kaeding of San Jose.
Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi moved up from 22nd starting to finish 12th. Mitchell Faccinto of Hanford was 15th, DJ Netto of Hanford was 20th and Bud Kaeding of Campbell driving for Oakhurst’s Morrie Williams was 22nd. Carson Macedo of Lemoore, driving for Easton-based Tarlton Motorsports, flipped on a lap-9 restart and was 25th in the 26-car field.
Jake Swanson of Anaheim won the companion 30-lap U.S. Auto Club Western States 360 sprints feature. Visalia brothers Richard and Jace Vander Weerd were fifth and seventh, respectively; Koen Shaw of Fresno was eighth. Early leader Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton was 14th.
The Outlaws and USAC return to the track Saturday night. Racing starts at 7 p.m.