MIDDLEBOURNE, W.Va. (Sept. 3) — Overtaking race-long leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., on lap 83 of 100, fourth-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., led the rest of the way for a $25,000 victory in Tyler County Speedway’s 49th annual Hillbilly 100.
Charging late-race, Davenport attempted to cross ahead of Owens down the backstretch on lap 82, making the move stick one circuit later. Fighting back challenges from Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., in the final laps, the 2015 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion held on to score his first tour victory of 2017.
“It’s just awesome, especially the way we done it with this bunch of guys here” Davenport said. “I’ve got to thank (car owner) G.R. (Smith). How cool is that, stepping out of his own seat, as good a driver as he is. To allow me to come in with the deal I went through and get in his seat … it’s the only car we got … just to have enough faith in me to let me drive. It says a lot.
“Coming here, I love this place. It reminds me of a couple of other places that I really like. I just kind of changed my driving style around a little bit with this car. We’ve been tweaking on it a little bit. I had an old buddy help me out this week and get it a little bit more liking to my driving style."
It was Owens jumping to the lead at the drop of the green flag, as Davenport battled Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., for the runner-up spot in the early running. As the frontrunners worked through lapped traffic, the trio began closing in on Owens, only to have the pace slowed by a string of mid-race cautions.
As the race neared the halfway mark, Owens continued to show the way out front, with Davenport maintaining his position in the top five. Rallying from the rear of the field was McCreadie, who had advanced from his 17th starting position to run in fifth when a yellow flag waved on lap 51.
After attempting a couple of slide jobs, Davenport moved into the second-place spot on lap 70, gaining position when Richards slipped on the backstretch. Using lapped traffic to his advantage, Davenport edged ahead of Owens with less than 20 laps remaining in the feature event, holding off McCreadie’s charge for his first career Hillbilly 100 victory.
“The line moved around a whole lot out there,” Davenport said. “At the first of the race, I was patient. I let (Chris Ferguson) by me on the outside. Earl (Pearson) got by me on the outside. At one time, I passed Earl in one and two and I passed Ferguson and Josh (Richards) in three and four and got all the way to second and then the caution come out, so I had to go all the way back to fifth.
“Me and Earl was racing back and forth and every time I’d get ahead of him, the caution came out. It seemed like every time I would pass somebody, would finally get rolling, the caution would come out. One of those last cautions there, when I was in third, I was about to roll Josh on the outside and a caution come out then.
"We had to move around a lot. I had to use the cushion a little bit, I had to run the bottom a little bit. I finally passed Josh on the bottom there and just had to keep moving around and searching."
McCreadie finished runner-up, with Owens settling for a third-place finish at the checkered flag. Fifth-starting Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., ran fourth, with Richards rounding out the top five.
“I didn’t mean to get in to Josh, but that was the only way,” McCreadie said. "I fought with Don O’Neal for a lot of the race and then finally cleared him. I know Josh didn’t know I was down there. I tried not to get over him. I just tried to not stand on him too hard. I was trying to go as hard as I could at that point. But I got to running that top and getting a huge run. It just seemed to carry my momentum better.
“When I went through the middle or the bottom, it just was so slimy down there that you couldn’t get a good squirt off the bottom. We started running J.D. down and I thought, ‘Well, if we can get him in traffic here and get him off his line.’ We kind of had the same line going there. I saw the white flag and I knew that if I wasn’t all the way up beside him there was no way we’d be able to get him at the line. We did our best."
Notes: Davenport has 27 Lucas Oil victories; his previous came exactly one year ago to the date on Sept. 3, 2016, at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park. ... Davenport is the third Georgia driver to win the Hillbilly 100, joining Buck Simmons of Baldwin (1990) and Clint Smith of Senoia (2005). ... In a caution-plagued feature that took well over an hour to complete, 17 drivers completed all 100 laps and 19 were running at the finish. ... The first yellow flag waved on lap 19 when Boom Briggs slowed in the bottom of turn three. … Mason Zeigler got in to the turn two wall to draw a caution on lap 21. … A yellow flag flew on lap 35 when Darrell Lanigan slowed with a flat tire. … A red flag fell on the lap 35 restart for a pileup in turns three and four involving Lanigan, Zeigler, Tyler Carpenter, Zack Dohm, Hudson O’Neal, R.J.Conley and Steve Francis. … Tim Dohm spun in turn two to draw a caution on lap 37. … A yellow flag waved on lap 38 when Conley spun in turns three and four. … Derek Doll spun on the backstretch to draw a caution on lap 43. … Gregg Satterlee and Robbie Scott slowed in turn two to draw a caution on lap 51. … A yellow flag flew on lap 62 when Freddie Carpenter spun in front of the race leaders exiting turn four. … Scott Bloomquist spun in turn four to draw a caution on lap 65. … Satterlee slowed in turn two to draw a caution on lap 86. … With 46 entries, the car count was up two from last year. … Among drivers making the Hillbilly 100 starting lineup for the first time were Hudson O’Neal, Austin Hubbard, Chris Ferguson and Robbie Scott. … Prior to the feature, race promoter Carl Short announced that the 50th annual Hillbilly 100 will offer a record $50,000 winner's purse. ... Tyler County was scheduled to host a pair of Late Model main events on Saturday leading into Sunday’s 49th annual classic, but action was rained out ... The Hillbilly 50 for steel-block engine Late Models was rescheduled for Monday paying $4,000-to-win while Crate Late Models won't run a Fastrak touring race but instead will run Sunday for a $2,000-to-win purse.
Correction: Removes Josh Richards among list of first-time Hillbilly 100 starters; he finished 12th in 2004.
Second consolation (top three transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Michael Lake, Freddie Carpenter, Steve Francis, Dennis Erb Jr., Boom Briggs, Sonny Conley, Paul Wilmoth Jr., Travis Brookover, Kenney Newhouse, James Williamson, Kirk Phillips
First consolation (top three transfer): Tim McCreadie, Tyler Carpenter, R.J. Conley, Eddie Carrier Jr., Brian Baumberger, Corey Conley, Colton Flinner, Cody Rogers, Steve Weigle, Mike Benedum, Ronnie Whitt, Byron Meeks, Jared Hawkins, Kyle Thomas, Anthony Kinkade
(15 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Tyler Carpenter, Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Jared Hawkins, Brian Baumberger
Row 3: R.J. Conley, Corey Conley
Row 4: Cody Rogers, Mike Benedum
Row 5: Eddie Carrier Jr., Colton Flinner
Row 6: Kyle Thomas, Anthony Kinkade
Row 7: Steve Weigle, Ronnie Whitt
Row 8: Byron Meeks
Row 1: Michael Lake, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Steve Francis, Freddie Carpenter
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Boom Briggs
Row 4: Jackie Boggs, Travis Brookover
Row 5: Sonny Conley, Paul Wilmoth Jr.
Row 6: Kenney Newhouse, James Williamson
Row 7: Travis Brown, Kirk Phillips
Row 8: Brandon Fouts
Heat race results
Fourth heat finish (top four transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Tim Dohm, Robbie Scott, Darrell Lanigan, Scott Bloomquist, Freddie Carpenter, Boom Briggs, Travis Brookover, Paul Wilmoth Jr., James Williamson, Kirk Phillips
Third heat finish (top four transfer): Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Shane Hitt, Derek Doll, Michael Lake, Steve Francis, Dennis Erb Jr., Jackie Boggs, Sonny Conley, Kenney Newhouse, Travis Brown
Second heat finish (top four transfer): Chris Ferguson, Austin Hubbard, Gregg Satterlee, Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Brian Bauberger, Corey Conley, Mike Benedum, Colton Flinner, Anthony Kinkade
First heat finish (top four transfer): Josh Richards, Don O’Neal, Mason Zeigler, Zack Dohm, Tyler Carpenter, Jared Hawkins, R.J. Conley, Cody Rogers, Eddie Carrier Jr., Kyle Thomas, Steve Weigle
Heat race lineups
(15 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Josh Richards, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 2: Don O’Neal, Mason Zeigler
Row 3: Zack Dohm, R.J. Conley
Row 4: Tyler Carpenter, Jared Hawkins
Row 5: Kyle Thomas, Cody Rogers
Row 6: Steve Weigle, Byron Meeks
Row 1: Austin Hubbard, Chris Ferguson
Row 2: Hudson O’Neal, Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Tim McCreadie, Brian Baumberger
Row 4: Mike Benedum, Colton Flinner
Row 5: Corey Conley, Anthony Kinkade
Row 6: Ronnie Whitt
Row 1: Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Derek Doll, Shane Hitt
Row 3: Jackie Boggs, Michael Lake
Row 4: Dennis Erb Jr., Steve Francis
Row 5: Kenney Newhouse, Sonny Conley
Row 6: Travis Brown, Brandon Fouts
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport, Tim Dohm
Row 2: Robbie Scott, Darrell Lanigan
Row 3: Freddie Carpenter, Boom Briggs
Row 4: Scott Bloomquist, Travis Brookover
Row 5: James Williamson, Paul Wilmoth Jr.
Row 6: Kirk Phillips
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 12.377
Austin Hubbard (11), Seaford, Del., 12.406
Eddie Carrier Jr. (10), Salt Rock, W.Va., 12.474
Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., 12.484
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 12.538
Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 12.561
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 12.562
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 12.592
Zack Dohm (17), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 12.622
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 12.633
R.J. Conley (71C), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 12.723
Brian Baumberger (32), Crooksville, Ohio, 12.727
Tyler Carpenter (28), Parkersburg, W.Va., 12.739
Mike Benedum (25), Salem, W.Va., 12.752
Jared Hawkins (1H), Fairmont, W.Va., 12.779
Colton Flinner (75), Allison Park, Pa., 12.791
Kyle Thomas (57), Pennsboro, W.Va., 12.819
Corey Conley (14), Wellsburg, W.Va., 12.912
Cody Rogers (22R), Spelter, W.Va., 12.959
Anthony Kinkade (144), Zanesville, Ohio, 13.026
Steve Weigle (75W), Middlebourne, W.Va., 13.31
Ronnie Whitt (11R), Portsmouth, Ohio, 13.739
Byron Meeks (28X), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.968
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 12.425
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 12.457
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 12.562
Tim Dohm (6), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 12.661
Derek Doll (87), Greenwood, W.Va., 12.668
Robbie Scott (18S), Shinnston, W.Va., 12.675
Shane Hitt (5*), Buckhannon, W.Va., 12.684
Darrell Lanigan (14), Union, Ky., 12.685
Jackie Boggs (4B), Grayson, Ky., 12.734
Freddie Carpenter (0k), Parkersburg, W.Va., 12.744
Michael Lake (27), Uniontown, Pa., 12.756
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 12.78
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 12.804
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 12.931
Steve Francis (15), Bowling Green, Ky., 12.953
Travis Brookover (12B), Kenna, W.Va., 12.983
Kenney Newhouse (17N), Elk View, W.Va., 13.04
James Williamson (19), Ivel, Ky., 13.186
Sonny Conley (1x1), New Martinsville, W.Va., 13.198
Paul Wilmouth Jr. (B1), Clarksburg, W.Va., 13.234
Travis Brown (31), Jacksonburg, W.Va., 13.236
Kirk Phillips (21K), Ashland, Ky., 13.771
Brandon Francis (28H), Parkersburg, W.Va., disqualified