Marcel Gravel has a new sponsor for 2021. The Wolcott, VT driver announced Friday evening that he has partnered with Pete’s Equipment and Rentals in Morrisville, VT, for a two year primary sponsorship deal.
“A partnership like this helps us do things we normally can’t do. We never buy practice tires, we buy just what we need to get by for the season, and this partnership helps sort of take us out of that box” Said Gravel, who won a feature and led the late model point standings at Thunder Road for much of the season in 2020 with a small family-run operation.
The competition in the late models is as tight as ever, with a number of teams chasing two-time defending champion Jason Corliss for the next “King of the Road” crown. Gravel hopes this partnership will not only keep him one step ahead of the competition, but that it will help his team make it through the pressure of the final month of the season. In 2020, a string of bad finishes relegated him from the points lead with four races remaining to a fifth place points finish, 88 markers behind the eventual champion Corliss.
“Jason (Couture, President of Pete’s Equipment) stepped up in a big way to help give our program that little extra it needs to be there in September going after a championship” Gravel explained. “His energy about this partnership is everything you hope for in a primary sponsor. He is fully invested in this deal and really believes in what me and my team are doing.”
“He was very focused, driven and professional,” Couture told us. “We’re big race fans but we never thought we’d sponsor a car, it’s not really the way we would market. But Marcel had a different approach, and it really lined up with what we’re trying to do here.”
Pete’s Equipment will also be contributing to Gravel’s Podium With Purpose program as part of their sponsorship. Gravel started the initiative in 2020, as a way for himself and other drivers to donate a portion of their race winnings to local charities. He’ll once again be donating to the Lamoille Area Cancer Network. Couture and Pete’s Equipment have pledged to donate double Gravel’s contributions throughout the season to the LACN.
“He won me over when I found out about Podium With Purpose” Couture said. “His charity is near and dear to my heart. It’s really awesome that he loves what he’s doing, but also takes a moment to sit back and help those who aren’t as fortunate”
Gravel is entering his sixth season as a late model driver at Thunder Road. He has two career feature victories, and is the track record holder courtesy of his pole-winning lap at the 2017 Milk Bowl.
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