Davenport's first Lucas victory sweet as honey
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
WINCHESTER, Va. (Sept. 17) — Polesitter Jonathan Davenport won a dramatic battle Friday at Winchester Speedway to capture his first career victory on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The Blairsville, Ga., driver of the Barry Wright house car earned $10,000 in leading the final 14 laps of the Gunter's Honey 50 at the 3/8-mile oval. | Bloomquist's flip video | Video
Davenport took the point from race-long leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., on the 37th lap and outdueled runner-up Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., and Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for the victory.
"I'm at a loss for words to describe this win — it's my first Lucas Oil Series win, Barry Wright's first Lucas Oil victory. I hope it doesn't take as long to get the second one," said Davenport, who became the 12th series winner of 2010. "The track was excellent tonight, it was my first time here and obviously I really took a liking to the track. You could run anywhere out there, Jimmy and I, Richards and Earl, we put on quite a show, I hope the fans enjoyed that one."
Pearson was second followed by Richards while Owens slipped to a fourth-place finish. Series points leader Scott Bloomquist's night started off rough when he flipped his primary car in a heat race, but the Mooresburg, Tenn., driver rallied from the tail of the feature in a backup car to finish a solid fifth.
The third-starting Owens grabbed the lead at the outset, slipping past the front-row starters Davenport and Pearson to take command. Owens stayed in control while Davenport and Pearson swapped the second spot.
Four cautions slowed the action in the laps before the midpoint, but Owens maintained his advantage while Davenport, Pearson and Richards jockeyed for position behind him. Davenport shook off the challengers and caught Owens, taking the lead on lap 37 and pulling away after the eighth and final caution on lap 39.
Notes: Davenport's Barry Wright Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Mega Plumbing, Baird Transport and Elite Concrete. ... Davenport also thanked crew chief Lance Wright in victory lane. ... Among drivers involved in single-car cautions: Bo Feathers (lap 19); Tommy Armel (lap 20); Dale McDowell (lap 22); Jamie Lathroum (lap 22); Ronnie DeHaven Jr. (lap 28); J.T. Spence (lap 28); Brad Neat (lap 31) and Tyler Reddick (lap 39) ... Scott Bloomquist's 23rd-to-fifth charge gave him PBM-Erson Cams Hard Charger honors. He salvaged his points night and has a 190-point edge on Owens in the title chase. ... Hometown driver Ronnie DeHaven Jr.'s quick lap of 14.322 seconds lowered the track record of D.J. Myers (14.910) set earlier this season. ... The series announced earlier in the week that drivers Dan Schlieper and Jeff Watson were placed on a five-race probation for their parts in a fight in the pits at last month's event in Bardstown, Ky. .... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Schlieper, Steve Casebolt, Doug Dodd, Andy Anderson, Devin Friese, Darryl Hills, Ray Kable and Jeremy Miller. ... The Lucas Oil Series completes its Virginia weekend on Saturday with the $15,000-to-win USA 100 at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Va.
Gunter's Honey 50: (1) Jonathan Davenport, (2) Earl Pearson Jr., (3) Josh Richards, (4) Jimmy Owens, (5) Scott Bloomquist, (6) Don O'Neal, (7) Austin Hubbard, (8) John Blankenship, (9) Booper Bare, (10) Ray Cook, (11) Jason Covert, (12) Eric Wells, (13) Chris Wall, (14) Dale McDowell, (15) Tim Isenberg, (16) J.T. Spence, (17) Tyler Reddick, (18) Brad Neat, (19) D.J. Myers, (20) Ronnie DeHaven Jr., (21) Dan Stone, (22) Jamie Lathroum, (23) Tommy Armel, (24) Gary Stuhler, (25) Bo Feathers. Fast qualifier (among 44 cars): R. DeHaven. Heat race winners: Davenport, Owens, Pearson, Spence. Consolation winners: Stone, Covert. Provisional starters: Bloomquist, Cook, McDowell.