Davenport rules the Gap, closes in on series title
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (July 23) — Rebounding from a wreck the previous night, series points leader Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., closed in on the Southern Nationals Series championship Friday with a flag-to-flag victory at Volunteer Speedway.
The polesitting Davenport, who earned $5,300 and stretched his points lead, took the checkered flag a half-straightaway ahead of Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., for his second 2010 series victory and third of his career. | Schedule | Slideshow | Video
"It really was an awesome night for us," said Davenport, driver of the Cowpens, S.C.-based Barry Wright house car. "We got here and had a fast car from the start. We didn't have to change nothing, just made a minor adjustment and bolted some tires on it. We've had a great car all week."
Davenport, who collided with Madden on Thursday at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway on the 12th lap in a battle for second, edged away at Volunteer after the fourth and final caution flag on the 45th of 53 laps.
The eighth-starting Madden vaulted toward the front early in the race, taking third from Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., just before Jeff Maupin of Greeneville, Tenn., produced the first yellow of the night when he stopped in turn two on the 17th circuit.
Running third with eight laps remaining for the final restart, Madden rolled second-running Vic Hill of Mosheim, Tenn., between turns one and two, but he couldn’t catch Davenport in the final laps.
Hill finished third behind Madden with Ogle and Shanon Buckingham of Morristown, Tenn., rounding out the topf ive.
Notes: Davenport’s Barry Wright Race Car is sponsored by Mega Plumbing, Cabinets By Design, EnCompass Solutions, AES Racing, Nichols Plumbing and Baird Transport. ... Davenport’s previous victory came Tuesday at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City. ... Chris Brown of Spring, Texas, earned PPM Racing Products Hard Charger honors with his 18th-to-10th run. ... The 34 entries came from 10 states. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Bryan Hendrix, Johnny Pursley, Steve Smith, Kerry Jones, Daniel Baggerly, John Henderson and Rodney Kiker. ... Vic Chandler won the night's Crate Late Model feature. ... The tour wraps up Saturday at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway with a $5,300-to-win event.
Southern Nationals @ Volunteer: (1) Jonathan Davenport, (2) Chris Madden, (3) Vic Hill, (4) Billy Ogle Jr., (5) Shanon Buckingham, (6) Eric Wells, (7) Rick Rogers, (8) Tommy Kerr, (9) Mark Douglas, (10) Chris Brown, (11) Shane Clanton, (12) Mike Smith, (13) Jeff Smith, (14) Tony Knowles, (15) Terry Wolfenbarger, (16) Clint Smith, (17) Chad Ogle, (18) Jeff Wolfenbarger, (19) Chris Wall, (20) Jeff Maupin, (21) Mike Collins, (22) Donald Bradsher, (23) Mark Vineyard, (24) Brian Booze. Fast qualifier (among 34 cars): Davenport, 12.460 seconds. Consolation race winners: Kerr, Rogers, Wolfenbarger. Provisional starters: Booze, Collins.