ROSSBURG, Ohio — Surely Eldora Speedway's running of the 50th annual World 100 provided plenty of motivation for Jonathan Davenport.
But with fellow Georgian Brandon Overton entering the event aiming for his fourth crown jewel victory of the season at the historic oval, Davenport felt his motivation grow, perhaps fiftyfold.
"Hell yeah it did," Davenport said Saturday on the victory stage after the historic oval's milestone event. "I mean, everybody was talking that we might as well just wreck him. 'No, I'm going to drive by him.' And that's what we did."
The 37-year-old from Blairsville, Ga., indeed drove past Overton on a lap-55 restart, leading the rest of the historic event and changing the conversation from Overton's incredible run of two Dreams and a World 100 in the same season to Davenport's incredible stretch of four World 100 victories in the last six runnings of the event.
Staving off Mike Marlar's 26th-to-second charge on the final restart with eight laps remaining, Davenport took the checkers 1.766 seconds ahead of the Winfield, Tenn., driver while Evans, Ga.'s Overton settled for third after leading laps 42-54.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., Thursday's runner-up to Overton in the 51st World 100 (the races were run out of order because the 50th was a makeup from last year's pandemic-restricted postponement), came from 18th to finish fourth while Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., improved nine positions in rounding out the top five.
The sixth-starting Davenport, whose previous World 100 victories came in 2015, '17 and '19, set a patient pace in dropping back to 10th early in the race before heading forward and reaching the top five on the 32nd lap.
"What an awesome race car. I knew in the back of my mind when they redone the track (surface) I just had to pace myself. Because I knew with these soft tires and the way we got our right-rears cut up nowadays, if I could just stay patient, I knew I'd have a better tire at the end," Davenport said. "Man, it was tough seeing all those guys drive by me. I fell back a pretty good ways there, but I just tried to keep my same pace, and then finally after 10 or 15 laps, they started coming right back to me. It's awesome when a plan works out."
Another four-time winner, Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was the fitting polesitter for the 50th event, but after leading 18 laps, upstart Johnny Scott of Las Cruces, N.M. — whose Wednesday preliminary feature victory was just his third in a Late Model — took command and kept the vaunted Overton in check by leading through lap 42. When Overton blew past and quickly built his lead on the fading Scott, Eldora fans who'd watched the 30-year-old captures 100-lappers all season might've thought the race was over.
But Davenport, who was fifth when Overton took the lead, picked up positions on a couple of restarts and then drove under Overton entering turn one with 45 laps remaining and wasn't seriously challenged the rest of the way.
"We talked every little change over right before this feature," Davenport said, thanking his crew for their hard work. "We had three days leading up to it when we was good and we was bad. And so we just, like, luckily we (transferred through the) heat and didn't have to burn our stuff up and we could really just take our time and make the right changes to the car.
"Man, this thing was awesome, I'll tell you what. The only way I was going to (lose) was to screw it up myself, like I did (Thursday). I thought we might've had the 51st, and I let that slip away. And then I thought, 'Oh no!' when Bobby (Pierce) caused a caution with eight (laps) to go again. 'Son of a gun, not now.' "
But it wasn't a problem as Davenport kept Marlar in check and edged away to his $53,000 payday.
Marlar, whose heat-race run was hampered when he was caught up in a turn-two wreck with Tyler Erb, rallied from 17th in his consolation race to the third and final transfer spot, a race that gave him extra track time when he "really got my car working really good," Marlar said.
On the final restart of the 100-lapper, "I had a good shot," Marlar said. "I felt like on that restart, I said, 'Here's my shot.' I actually had the lead there a little bit, I felt like, off that straightaway, but Jonathan was just a wee bit faster. He was just the better car tonight.
"This place has been a trying deal for me up here. I ran third a couple of years ago, and sixth, and 28th about 20 times it feels like," the runner-up added. "So to get to run second and have a shot at winning, and I had my shot with (eight laps) to go or whatever that was, we had a shootout and I was just barely a little slower. Jonathan was a wee faster. But I'm happy with second. Just a great night really, considering how it started."
Overton wasn't a factor in the race's late stages in finishing third, but the Wells & Sons Motorsports driver maintained the humble philosophical approach he's kept even during his unprecedented Eldora success and a season with 24 victories overall so far.
"First off, congrats to J.D. and Mikey. They did a good job. We was all right until the brown (patches on the surface) left, then I just got way too tight. I couldn't turn. It is what it is. Hell, I can't win 'em all, you know?" Overton said. "It's an unreal feeling to be here all week knowing you've gotta chance to win both these things, and I said I'll come back and get 'em again."
Davenport had nothing but praise for Overton's accomplishments.
"He's done a helluva job, hat's off to him," Davenport said. "Once you get this place figured out, you get to start fine-tuning, and that's what he did. So we was afraid to go far out of our box because we knew we had a good piece, we just wasn't quite as good as he was. We just had to keep fine-tuning. Even when I was behind him, I couldn't get down the straightaway like he could. But then when I got in clean air I could finally start using more and more motor the more laps we put on. I was being as patient as I could in the race car and got us another globe."
And how many more globes are in Davenport's future after he tied Bloomquist and Donnie Moran with four World 100 victories and is two behind Hall of Famer Billy Moyer, whose Eldora career is complete? Davenport's not sure, but as long as car owner Lance Landers of Double L Motorsports and crew chief Jason Durham stick with him, he'll be making twice-a-year trips to Eldora, he said.
"This is so hard to do. Each and every one. And each time we come out here now, the format, the way it is, everybody gets more laps on the track as far as figuring this place out more and more and more," Davenport said. "So it just keeps getting tougher and tougher. Like I said, Brandon hit on something, and everybody was too afraid really to go and try huge leaps and bounds to try and catch him. We finally caught back up to him just a little bit, and who knows? He may have our number at the next race. We got him this time."
While Davenport and Overton were running up front at the finish, the race's other leaders had inglorious endings with Bloomquist pitting multiple times before retiring after 71 laps in 16th place. Scott, impressive in leading laps 19-41, most of them with Overton hot on his heels, faded out of the top five by halfway and saw his race end against the turn-two wall on the 61st lap.
The race was slowed by eight cautions, none for serious incidents. The first caution appeared on the 27th lap when Scott made contact with Michael Norris exiting turn two while Scott was side-by-side with Overton in a battle for the race lead. Norris slowed his damaged car and pulled pitside.
The second appeared on the 45th lap for Chad Simpson's flat right-rear tire and another yellow appeared one lap before halfway for debris. On the lap-49 restart, Devin Moran spun in turn one with Bloomquist out of shape in trying to avoid him and Bloomquist slowed for a lap-54 yellow.
Another yellow appeared on the 61st lap when Johnny Scott got into the wall between turns one and two and the another on lap 72 when Bloomquist slowed and retired. The last caution appeared for the slowing Pierce, who who ran among the top three the first half of the race, on the 92nd lap.
50th annual World 100
Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, chassis, earnings
1. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., Longhorn, $53,000
2. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., Longhorn, $20,000
3. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., Longhorn, $12,500
4. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., Longhorn, $10,000
5. Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., Team Zero, $8,750
6. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., Rocket, $7,500
7. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., Team Zero, $6,500
8. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., Rocket, $6,000
9. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., Rocket, $5,500
10. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., Rocket, $5,000
11. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, Black Diamond, $4,000
12. Rick Eckert (0), York, Pa., Rocket, $3,750
13. Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., Rocket, $3,500
14. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., Pierce, $3,350
15. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., Longhorn, $3,325
16. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Team Zero, $3,300
17. John Blankenship (23), Knoxville, Tenn., Rocket, $3,275
18. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., Longhorn, $3,250
19. Austin Kirkpatrick (11), Ocala, Fla., AK, $3,225
20. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., Longhorn, $3,200
21. Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, Longhorn, $3,175
22. Ricky Weiss (7), Headingley, Manitoba, Sniper, $3,150
23. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., Club 29, $3,125
24. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., Longhorn, $3,100
25. Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., Rocket, $3,075
26. Michael Norris (72), Sarver, Pa., Rocket, $3,050
27. Ashton Winger (6), Hampton, Ga., Team Zero, $3,025
28. Nick Hoffman (11), Mooresville, N.C., Black Diamond, $3,000
Lap leaders: Bloomquist 1-18; Scott 19-41; Overton 42-54; Davenport 55-100
Fast qualifier (among 79 cars): Marlar, 15.324 seconds
Heat race winners: Davenport, Sheppard, Overton, Scott, Pierce, Bloomquist
Consolation winners: Kirkpatrick, Winger
Scramble winners: Moran, Simpson
Provisional starters: McDowell, Hoffman
Preliminary feature winners: Overton, Satterlee
Correction: Fixes Blankenship's chassis to Rocket sted Longhorn.
Lap 100: Jonathan Davenport wins his fourth World 100 in six runnings of the event, taking the checkers 1.766 seconds ahead of Mike Marlar.
Lap 92: A caution appears for a slowing Bobby Pierce, setting up an eight-lap dash to the finish with Davenport leading Mike Marlar and Brnadon Overton.
Lap 80: Davenport leads Marlar, Overton, McCreadie and Sheppard.
Lap 72: Bloomquist slows to draw a caution.
Lap 68: McDowell has cracked the top five. Sheppard back up to seventh after pitting.
Lap 65: 26th-starting Marlar still climbing, now up to third.
Lap 61: Scott, Wiess, Thornton, Moran, Hughes, Winger, Norris, Satterlee and Hoffman among drivers out of the race.
Lap 61: Johnny Scott gets into the wall to bring out the sixth caution. Davenport led Overton by 1.914 seconds when the yellow came out. T-Mac is up to third, with Marlar now fourth and Piece back to fifth. McDowell is quietly up to sixth.
Lap 55: Davenport takes the lead from Overton on the restart.
Lap 54: Bloomquist slows as the fifth caution waves. Overton still leads with Davenport a second back, followed by Pierce, 18th-starting McCreadie and 26th-starting Marlar. Dale McDowell is up to eighth.
Lap 50: Overton leads Davenport, Pierce, McCreadie and Scott at the halfway mark.
Lap 49: With a left rear flat, Sheppard pits for fresh tires, giving up sixth under caution.
Lap 49: The fourth caution waves as Devin Moran loops his ride in turn two. Bloomquist who pitted on lap 45, spins to avoid him.
Lap 49: Debris brings out cautioon No. 3. Overton leads Pierce by a second, as McCreadie is up to fourth and a charging Mike Marlar is up to eighth from 26th. On the restart, Moran spins in turn two as Bloomquist spins to avoid him.
Lap 46: Scott slips to fourth as Pierce and Davenport go by on the restart.
Lap 45: Chad Simpson draws a caution, the race's second. Overton leads Scott by 2.277 seconds. Eighth-running Bloomquist pits for a fresh right rear, as does Ricky Weiss, who was in 21st.
Lap 42: Overton takes the lead from Scott.
Lap 40: Scott still leads Overton, Pierce, Sheppard and Davenport.
Lap 30: T-Mac up to 10th from 18th.
Lap 28: Scott leads.
Lap 27: First caution flies as Michael Norris slaps the wall. Overton slipped by Johnny Scott tried to lap Norris, but Scott will go back to the lead due to the caution with Overton second followed by Pierce, Brandon Sheppard and Bloomquist. Dale McDowell up to 12th. Tim McCreadie in 14th.
Lap 23: Brandon Overton up to second.
Lap 19: Johnny Scott takes the lead from Bloomquist.
Lap 15: Pierce and Scott battle for second as Bloomquist leads by 1.043 seconds.
Lap 9: Bloomquist in lapped traffic already. He leads unheralded Johnny Scott by 2.2 seconds.
Lap 1: Scott Bloomquist, Bobby Pierce even on first lap; Bloomquist grabs lead on second lap.
10:23 p.m. | Feature field stats
Stats for the 50th annual World 100 starting field:
• Longhorn Chassis and Rocket Chassis had nine starters apiece with four Team Zero cars entered. Two Black Diamonds started the race (Nick Hoffman drove a Team Zero in prelims but started Gordy Gundaker's Black Diamond). There was one car apiece for Pierce Race Cars, AK Race Cars, Club 29 Race Cars and Sniper Chassis.
• Among states, Georgia leads the way with four entrants while four states have three drivers apiece: Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Florida has two drivers while one driver apiece came from New Mexico, Kentucky, Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Ohio, Iowa and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
• Two drivers are making their first World 100 starts: Austin Kirkpatrick and Spencer Hughes.
Correction: Updates Longhorn-Rocket stats and adds second Black Diamond (Hoffman's replacement car).
10:05 p.m. | Five-minute call
Feature starters given five-minute call to make their way to the stage for introductions.
9:53 p.m. | Feature lineup
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Bobby Pierce
Row 2: Johnny Scott, Brandon Overton
Row 3: Brandon Sheppard, Jonathan Davenport
Row 4: Kyle Bronson, Darrell Lanigan
Row 5: Kyle Strickler, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 6: Ricky Weiss, Rick Eckert
Row 7: Spencer Hughes, Chris Ferguson
Row 8: John Blankenship, Chris Madden
Row 9: Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie
Row 10: Dale McDowell, Nick Hoffman
Row 11: Austin Kirkpatrick, Ashton Winger
Row 12: Michael Norris, Gregg Satterlee
Row 13: Frank Heckenast Jr., Mike Marlar
Row 14: Devin Moran, Chad Simpson
9:45 p.m. | Chad Simpson joins the party
Winning the second five-lap scramble, Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, is in the 50th annual World 100. Simpson finished 1.432 seconds in front of Tyler Erb, while Jerry Bowersock, Jason Feger and Kyler Hammer completed the top five.
9:39 p.m. | Winger wins second B-main
Sixth-starting Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., steered Danny Hatcher’s Bloomquist Race Car to victory in the second B-Main, finishing 1.093 seconds ahead of Gregg Sattlerlee, with Mike Marlar rallying from 17th to finish in the third and final transfer spot.
Second B-main finish (top three transfer): Ashton Winger, Gregg Satterlee, Mike Marlar, Tyler Erb, Chad Simpson, Jason Feger, Jerry Bowersock, Kyle Hammer, Max Blair, Ryan King, Freddie Carpenter, Tim Lance Dustin Nobbe, Cory Hedgecock, Chris Nash, Jimmu Owens, Steve Stultz, Jason Riggs, Mason Zeigler, Scott James. Scratched: Michael Page, Alex Ferree, Mark Whitener.
9:20 p.m. | Parts failures cause veterans’ demises
Polesitter Shane Clanton’s abrupt deceleration that led to a pileup on the start of the fifth heat race was caused by a broken driveshaft. Clanton, the 2008 World 100 winner, was done for the night after the early prelim departure.
Dennis Erb Jr. saw his chances of making the 50th World 100 disappear when his car slammed the wall in turns three and four while running second in the night’s first consolation race. Erb, who finished sixth in June’s first Dirt Late Model Dream but has since missed both the second Dream and now both World 100s, said he believed a broken right-front shock was to blame for his night-ending crash.
9:17 p.m. | Moran in the show
After rallying from 20th to fourth in his B-main, Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, took advantage of his pole starting position to win the first five-lap scramble. Moran finished 1.695 seconds ahead of Michael Chilton to join the starting field for the 50th World 100. Jensen Ford, Travis Stemler and Jimmy Sharpe Jr. completed the top five.
9:12 p.m. | Kirkpatrick wins first B-main
Taking advantage of a handful of drivers falling out, Floridian Austin Kirkpatrick won the first B-main to gain entry into his first career World 100. Michael Norris and Frank Heckenast Jr. completed the top three, while 20th starting Devin Moran rallied to grand the fourth spot, putting him on the front row of the first scramble.
First B-main finish (top three transfer): Austin Kirkpatrick, Michael Norris, Frank Heckenast Jr., Devin Moran, Jensen Ford, Michael Chilton, Travis Stemler, Steven Roberts, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Josh Morton, Gordy Gundaker, Jon Hodgkiss, Jeff Curl, Dale Markham, Kody Evans, Ryan Gustin, Chris Simpson, Dennis Erb Jr., Kyle Lear, Jason Papich, Mike Provenzano. Scratched: Joseph Joiner, Shannon Babb, Brian Shirley.
9:10 p.m. | Bloomquist hopeful
The 50th World 100 will have a Dirt Late Model icon lead the field to the green flag after four-time event champion Scott Bloomquist captured the sixth heat to earn the pole position.
Bloomquist said it’s “pretty exciting stuff” to be the polesitter for the milestone event, but will he be able to go the distance physically after losing feeling in his right leg and foot in Thursday’s 100-lapper? The 57-year-old Hall of Famer has high hopes that he can; he said his sponsor, chiropractor Steve Sorbera, has “been working with me a lot and has gotten rid of a lot of the numbness I was experiencing Thursday night.”
The legendary driver also capped his post-heat interview with a typical Bloomquist flourish. When asked by pit reporter Ben Shelton if “the aliens have landed” — a nod to a comment Bloomquist made in a Road to Eldora video — Bloomquist responded, “They have and you will meet them all soon.”
9:02 p.m. | B-mains set
(20 laps, top three transfer)
Row 1: Austin Kirkpatrick, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 2: Michael Norris, Chris Simpson
Row 3: Ryan Gustin, Jensen Ford
Row 4: Frank Heckenast Jr., Jason Papich
Row 5: Kody Evans, Jimmy Sharpe Jr.
Row 6: Josh Morton, Travis Stemler
Row 7: Kyle Lear, Mike Provenzano
Row 8: Steven Roberts, Dale Markham
Row 9: Michael Chilton, Gordy Gundaker
Row 10: Jon Hodgkiss, Devin Moran
Row 11: Jeff Curl, Joseph Joiner
Row 12: Shannon Babb, Brian Shirley
Row 1: Gregg Satterlee, Jason Feger
Row 2: Jimmy Owens, Scott James
Row 3: Mason Zeigler, Ashton Winger
Row 4: Ryan King, Jason Riggs
Row 5: Cory Hedgecock, Max Blair
Row 6: Billy Franklin, Chad Simpson
Row 7: Kyle Hammer, Dustin Nobbe
Row 8: Alex Ferree, Steve Stultz
Row 9: Mike Marlar, Michael Page
Row 10: Jerry Bowersock, Tyler Erb
Row 11: Tim Lance, Chris Nash
Row 12: Mark Whitener, Freddie Carpenter
9 p.m. | Hoffman blows up
Nick Hoffman was settled into second place and headed toward a berth in the 50th World 100 when his Scott Bloomquist Racing machine’s engine went awry on lap nine of the third heat.
“It just blew up going into three,” Hoffman said. “It felt like it started to lay down off of two.”
Hoffman was “feeling good” after he overtook Jensen Ford for second place, but he couldn’t make it to the finish. He was in line for a provisional as the third-highest driver in points, but changing an engine is out of the question so he’ll sit out the century grind unless he can find another car to drive.
8:55 p.m. | Bloomquist takes sixth heat
Pulling ahead from the outside front row on the opening lap, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., led all 15 laps of the sixth heat to earn the pole for the 50th annual World 100. Winning a battle of No. 0 machines, Bloomquist finished 0.629 of a second in front of Rick Eckert. Tim McCreadie, the 2018 World 100 winner, rounded out the top three in the caution-free heat.
Sixth heat finish (top three transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Rick Eckert, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Ashton Winger, Cory Hedgecock, Alex Ferree, Michael Page, Tim Lance, Freddie Carpenter, Garrett Smith, Caleb Burgess.
8:51 p.m. | Rough finish for Shirley
Brian Shirley appeared to be in position to move on to the 50th World 100 after hustling from fifth to third at the start of the third heat.
But on lap three Shirley nearly spun after turn-one contact with Nick Hoffman, dropping him to eighth. His race — and night — ended shortly thereafter with rear end trouble on lap 10.
Shirley certainly had harsh words for Hoffman, whom he said is “trying to make a name for himself in this world” while warning that “if he keeps racing like that he’s gonna get his ass whupped.” His Bob Cullen-owned car, though, wasn’t able to reach the finish line anyway.
“When we were trying to get back to the front I think the gears blew out on us,” Shirley said. “I borrowed a set of gears because we hurt the ones last night, and I think those gears weren’t strong enough to hold up for how bad Eldora is.”
8:45 p.m. | No mystery as Pierce wins fifth heat
Bobby Pierce won a chaotic fifth heat race, fending back multiple slide jobs from Ricky Weiss, who finished 1.069 seconds back following a caution with two laps remaining. Josh Richards rebounded from a first-lap melee to grab third.
The field was bunched up immediately when polesitter Shane Clanton didn’t get up to speed as they came to the initial green. Clanton pitted and climbed from his Capital Race Car, while Bobby Pierce moved from his original third-starting spot to the pole. Richards was involved and pulled into the pit area, surrendering what would have been the third starting spot.
Pierce grabbed the lead on the start, but Weiss used a slider in turn two to grab the lead. Pierce and Weiss continued to fire sliders at each other during the middle stages of the race until Pierce took the lead for good on lap 10. Mike Marlar’s rough week continued as he got into Erb after Erb jumped the cushion and got into the turn two wall on lap 13 to bring out the caution.
Fifth heat finish (top three transfer): Bobby Pierce, Ricky Weiss, Josh Ricards, Jason Feger, Mason Zeigler, Jason Riggs, Billy Franklin, Dustin Nobbe, Mike Marlar, Tyler Erb, Mark Whitener, Boom Briggs, Shane Clanton.
8:41 p.m. | Dohm’s week ends
One lap is all Zack Dohm could complete before his 50th World 100 hopes were done.
First Dohm absorbed contact to his left-front door from Chris Ferguson as they roared through turns three and four on the opening lap of the second heat. Then the next time Dohm slid through turn four he spun, bringing out a caution flag.
The scrape with Ferguson “bent the lower control arm, the spindle, the rack, maybe the frame,” Dohm said. “When I gathered it up and went down the front straightaway, my (steering) wheel, instead of being straight, was about 90 degrees to the left, so I knew something was wrong. I tried to just finish, and I guess if you counter-steer too far with all that s--- bent up you can’t do anything with it and I just spun out.”
Dohm was upset with his fate. During the caution period he drove up alongside and bumped the side of Ferguson’s left-side door to vent his feelings, leading officials to disqualify him from the remainder of Saturday’s action.
"Chris Ferguson is just a … I don’t know,” Dohm said, still angry after changing into street clothes. “I went and voiced my displeasure after he crossed the scales (Ferguson finished third) and he gave me some sort of signal like he bounced. Well, we’ve been bouncing all weekend. There’s an 8-foot-deep crater getting into turn three. What in his right mind made him think he was somehow going to go through there that lap and not take a bad bounce? He just didn’t care.
“I thought me and him were halfway buddies since gokarts, but … it’s the World 100 I guess. You ain’t here to make friends, so we definitely ain’t friends no more.”
Dohm shook his head over his disappointing week, which saw him miss Thursday’s 51st World 100 in controversial fashion when he pulled into the pit area after finishing fourth in a B-main thinking he had transferred.
“It’s been frustrating, yeah,” he said. “God, I can’t stand it.”
8:32 p.m. | Fourth heat goes to Johnny Scott
New Mexico’s Johnny Scott picked up a 2.170-second victory over Ricky Thornton Jr. in the fourth heat, which was slowed by two cautions. Stormy Scott and Hudson O’Neal, both running in the top five, drew the second caution as they got together. Both cars got into the wall hard, ending their night. Kyle Hammer spun on lap three for the first yellow.
Chris Madden held off a charging Gregg Satterlee by a half car length to grab the raid and final transfer spot.
Fourth heat finish (top three transfer): Johnny Scott, Ricky Thornton Jr., Chris Madden, Gregg Satterlee, Scott James, Ryan King, Max Blair, Kyle Hammer, Steve Stultz, Jerry Bowersock, Chris Nash, Stormy Scott, Hudson O’Neal.
8:20 p.m. | Chaos reigns in second heat
Two cars took hard hits in a chaotic second heat race that finished with just five of 12 starters under full power.
The carnage began on lap one when Chris Ferguson’s slider between polesitter Zack Dohm and third-starting Brandon Sheppard came up well short of clearing the high-running Dohm. The resulting contact between Ferguson and Dohm caused enough front-end damage to Dohm’s car to sending him spinning on the next lap.
Dohm, who made door-to-door contact with Ferguson’s car under caution before heading to the pits, said after the race that Ferguson hit him hard enough to possibly bend the chassis of his car. He also vehemently voiced his displeasure with Ferguson’s move.
Joining his fellow front-row starter in making an early exit from the 15-lap prelim, early leader Devin Moran took a hard hit when his car jerked right suddenly entering turn three on lap seven. As his crew went to work making repairs to the heavily damaged right side of his car, Moran said he thought something broke in the front-end of his car to cause the wreck.
8:12 p.m. | Overton wins third heat
Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., took the lead on the opening lap and was not challenged in winning the third heat race. While Overton cruised out front, winning by 0.854 of a second ahead of Kyle Strickler, action was furious behind him. Former World 100 winner John Blankenship rallied from sixth to take the final transfer spot. Front row starter Jensen Ford slipped to fifth. The second caution flew when Michael Norris got into the back of Brian Shirley, turning Shirley around on the frontstretch. Modified ace Nick Hoffman drew a caution on lap nine when the motor expired in this Scott Bloomquist Racing entry.
Third heat finish (top three transfer): Brandon Overton, Kyle Strickler, John Blankenship, Michael Norris, Jensen Ford, Kody Evans, Travis Stemler, Steven Roberts, Gordy Gundaker, Jeff Curl, Brian Shirley, Nick Hoffman, Steve Casebolt.
8:05 p.m. | Sheppard takes wild second heat
Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., won a caution-filled second heat race. Sheppard took the lead after a series of cautions and pulled away to win by 1.896 seconds ahead of Darrell Lanigan. Chris Ferguson, who was docked two spots during the race for jumping a restart, rebounded to finish third to take the final transfer spot ahead of Dennis Erb Jr. The third and final yellow came out on a lap-six restart when Shannon Babb slowed to avoid Ryan Gustin, collecting Mike Provenzano as well. The second caution waved when leader Devin Moran tagged the turn three wall. Moran left with heavy right side damage. Third-running Zack Dohm spun in turn four to draw the first caution. Dohm then made contact with Ferguson showing his displeasure for contact the two made on the opening lap. Dohm was subsequently disqualified from the rest of the night’s action.
Second heat finish (top three transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Darrell Lanigan, Chris Ferguson, Dennis Erb Jr., Ryan Gustin, Jason Papich, Josh Morton, Mike Provenzano, Michael Chilton, Devin Moran, Shannon Babb, Zack Dohm. Scratched: Kent Robinson
7:50 p.m. | J.D. dominates first heat
Leading flag-to-flag in the night’s opening heat, three-time World 100 winner Jonathan Davenport picked up the win to earn the sixth starting spot in the main event. Davenport finished comfortably ahead of Kyle Bronson, who was well ahead of third-finishing Spencer Hughes to took the final transfer spot. Dale McDowell, the top points driver after Friday’s prelims finished fifth and will have to run a B-main.
First heat finish (top three transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Bronson, Spencer Hughes, Austin Kirkpatrick, Dale McDowell, Chris Simpson, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Kyle Lear, Dale Markham, Jon Hodgkiss. Scratched: Joseph Joiner, G.R. Smith, Duane Chamberlain.
7:25 p.m. | It’s a bird
As pre-race ceremonies continue, fans are treated to a flyover by the Lima Lima Fight Team, the world’s original six ship civilian formation aerobatic team. The team made a number of passes and formations, including a missing man formation.
7:02 p.m. | Pre-race festivities beginning
With hot laps completed, drivers and other special guests are assembling near the homestretch stage as officials prepare to begin the evening's opening ceremonies.
6:42 p.m. | Saturday’s tire situation
The 50th World 100 will be contested under the same tire rule as Thursday’s 51st edition: all teams can use any of their used/marked tires from earlier in the week plus four new tires.
According to Hoosier Tire Midwest representative Brian Zulaf, he started the double World 100s week on Wednesday with “roughly 400 new tires” to supply the 80 teams that entered. Since the vast majority of teams weren’t able to obtain as many new tires as they normally would from distributors close to their homes due to Hoosier’s tire-supply issues, it didn’t take long for the stockpile in Zulaf’s trailer to be depleted, leading to Thursday’s rule change that shrank the number of new tires teams were permitted each night.
Zulaf said by 11 a.m. on Friday his trailer was empty. Teams still seeking new tires had to wait until a trailer from Hoosier’s headquarters arrived at 5:15 p.m. — during Friday’s drivers’ meeting — with 150 tires. With needy teams anxious to get their hands on the tires as quickly as possible so they could be groove and siped before the start of Friday’s racing program, several crew members formed a human chain to move the tires from the just-arrived trailer to Zulaf’s larger Hoosier Tire Midwest trailer.
As Zulaf noted, the new tires were mere “hours old” after being loaded into the delivery trailer virtually right out of their molds.
There wasn’t another delivery of new tires on Saturday as teams appear to have sufficient supplies to make it through this evening’s finale.
6:32 p.m. | Lanigan’s crew makes repairs
Darrell Lanigan’s bid for his first World 100 victory took a hit when he dropped out of Friday’s second prelim feature after tangling with Tyler Erb on the race’s initial start. The early wreck also made for a long night for his crew with the team even having to use a welder to repair the heavy damaged to the right-front of his No. 29 machine.
Lanigan’s crew members reported that his car is “as good as new” as the 2003 Dirt Late Model Dream winner prepares to start fifth in tonight’s second heat race. Lanigan, who finished 14th in Thursday’s 51st World 100 is looking for another strong end to four nights of racing at Eldora; he led 52 laps and finished fifth in the second of June’s Dream features.
6:20 p.m. | Good job, Gregg
Max Blair didn’t have a great night on Friday — he finished 21st in the first 25-lap preliminary feature — but he still flashed an upbeat attitude at the end of the racing program.
The reason? The Centerville, Pa., driver was very happy that his fellow Keystone Stater, Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., captured the second A-main.
“I love to see it,” Blair said after stopping by Satterlee’s pit stall to congratulate the $10,000 victor. “I think this shows how tough the racing is around home. People might not realize it, but there’s some real good guys we against (at tracks in central and western Pennsylvania).”
Blair, who just one week ago finished third behind Satterlee and Pennsylvania veteran Rick Eckert in the ULMS South-sanctioned Butch Renninger Memorial at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway, is hopeful of closing the second week of crown jewel racing at Eldora in his career in positive fashion. He starts eighth in the fourth heat.
6:05 p.m. | Early end for Joiner
Joseph Joiner’s debut weekend at Eldora has come to an early end. The 27-year-old Milton, Fla., driver will sit out Saturday’s action after discovering an issue with his team’s only Super Late Model engine. Joiner, who on Thursday won a consolation race and finished 21st in the 51st World 100, was scheduled to start seventh in tonight’s first heat race after finishing 14th in his prelim feature on Friday.
Despite the disappointing end to the week, Joiner, a longtime Crate Late Model standout who’s emerged as a regional contender in the Southeast in recent seasons, was happy with his performance over his three nights at Eldora.
“We came up here with what we got and made all three shows we attempted and ran respectfully I’d say in all of them,” Joiner said. “We were competitive with most all of our laps. If you would’ve told me before we got here that we’d come up here and run as well as we did, I would’ve sure been happy with it.
“I sure would’ve loved to have finished the weekend out and hopefully made it four for four and made all the races, but it just didn’t work out that way. Hopefully we can get to a point where we got spare stuff and if something breaks, even if it’s a motor that breaks, we got one we can put in or another car that’s ready to go. That’s what it’s going to take to run with these guys and keep running these events like this. You’ve gotta have plenty of equipment at your disposal. We’re just getting going with all this stuff, and hopefully before too long we have all of that so a hiccup like this doesn’t slow us down much.”
Other drivers scratching from Saturday’s action include Duane Chamberlain of Richmond, Ind., who had lost an engine during Friday’s program and G.R. Smith of Cornelius, N.C., who had multiple scrapes with the wall on Friday.
4:55 p.m. | Welcome back, Bret
Among the blasts from Eldora Speedway’s past on hand for tonight’s 50th World 100 is Bret Emrick, a former announcer at the half-mile oval who was well known for his “ARE YOU READY?” call from the stage to whip up the crowd before the start of the evening’s first heat.
A life-long Ohioan, Emrick was invited to participate in the pre-race ceremonies by Eldora general manager Roger Slack. While visiting with familiar faces in the pit and spectator areas, he said this is the first race he’s attended since he departed his post as World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series race director four years ago.
Despite staying away from the tracks, Emrick said he keeps up with Dirt Late Model and sprint car action from his home. He’s a FloRacing subscriber and noted that he definitely gets his money worth.
“I love Flo,” Emrick, who called races at Eldora for a good 20 years through 2005, said in his deep announcer’s voice. “I get to watch all the racing I can, and I can watch high school and college wrestling (he’s a big wrestling aficionado). I’m addicted.”
4:40 p.m. | Hammer happy
Kyle Hammer of Clinton, Ill., took a big step forward in his fledgling Dirt Late Model career on Friday night, starting his first-ever feature at Eldora. He finished a quiet 16th in the evening’s second 25-lapper, but just being on the track for the headliner was a milestone for the 21-year-old who has made eight starts since parking his open-wheel modified program to return to the full-fender ranks in July.
The son of veteran racer and former Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway promoter Don Hammer, the younger Hammer didn’t have much success in his two previous Eldora visits. His first, for the 2016 DIRTcar Fall Nationals, gave him an especially rough initiation to the half-mile oval.
“We were passing for, like, eighth in (a qualifying race), and then going into turn one the right-front ball joint broke and put it in the wall,” recalled Hammer, who entered the event just two days after turning 16 (the minimum age for a driver to compete at Eldora). “Junked the whole race car. It’s still sitting in the weeds behind our house.”
After failing to crack a feature field when he attempted the World 100 in 2018, Hammer’s focus turned more to the modified division. But his family purchased a Longhorn by Wells car from Ohio’s Kody Evans earlier this summer and he’s been working his way back into the Dirt Late Model ranks.
“I don’t know if I got better or we got a better car this year, but definitely something is a lot better,” Hammer said of his Eldora effort this week. “We’re definitely happy coming here and making a show. I just learned (in the A-main) I need to keep a 40 (hard-compound tire) heated up a lot longer. During the cautions I didn’t keep it heated up so the restarts would kill me.”
Hammer, who starts seventh in tonight’s fourth heat, is planning a run for the 2022 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Rookie of the Year award. He expects to have three cars and three motors in his stable by the end of this year and his father just purchased veteran Rick Eckert’s well-known orange truck and trailer to use next year.
Heat race lineups
(After four-car inversion from points accrued Friday; 15 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport, Spencer Hughes
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Dale McDowell
Row 3: Austin Kirkpatrick, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 4: Joseph Joiner, Chris Simpson
Row 5: Jimmy Sharpe Jr., G.R. Smith
Row 6: Kyle Lear, Dale Markham
Row 7: Jon Hodgkiss, Duane Chamberlain
Row 1: Zack Dohm, Devin Moran
Row 2: Brandon Sheppard, Chris Ferguson
Row 3: Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 4: Ryan Gustin, Shannon Babb
Row 5: Jason Papich, Michael Chilton
Row 6: Kent Robinson, Josh Morton
Row 7: Mike Provenzano
Row 1: Jensen Ford, Brandon Overton
Row 2: Kyle Strickler, Nick Hoffman
Row 3: Brian Shirley, John Blankenship
Row 4: Kody Evans, Michael Norris
Row 5: Steven Roberts, Travis Stemler
Row 6: Steve Casebolt, Gordy Gundaker
Row 7: Jeff Curl
Row 1: Johnny Scott, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 2: Gregg Satterlee, Chris Madden
Row 3: Hudson O'Neal, Stormy Scott
Row 4: Kyle Hammer, Max Blair
Row 5: Scott James, Ryan King
Row 6: Steve Stultz, Jerry Bowersock
Row 7: Chris Nash
Row 1: Shane Clanton, Ricky Weiss
Row 2: Bobby Pierce, Mike Marlar
Row 3: Josh Richards, Mark Whitener
Row 4: Boom Briggs, Tyler Erb
Row 5: Mason Zeigler, Jason Feger
Row 6: Billy Franklin, Dustin Nobbe
Row 7: Jason Riggs
Row 1: Rick Eckert, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Ashton Winger, Chad Simpson
Row 4: Michael Page, Alex Ferree
Row 5: Cory Hedgecock, Freddie Carpenter
Row 6: Garrett Smith, Tim Lance
Row 7: Caleb Burgess
6 a.m.-6 p.m.: Showers open (front of Lot 2)
7-11 a.m.: Breakfast at turn four concessions
9 a.m.: Turn one camping load-in
10 a.m.: Turn-three race registration opens (pit passes and media credential sign-in)
10 a.m.: Main gate ticket office opens (tickets, pit passes and will call)
10 a.m.: Turn-four ticket office opens (tickets and pit passes)
11 a.m.: All ADA parking opens (permit required)
11 a.m.: Grandstand cleared and secured for grand opening
Noon: Turn-three pit gate opens
Noon: All admission gates/suites/concessions open
Noon-4:30 p.m.: Technical inspection for Late Models
5 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6 p.m.: Hot laps
7 p.m.: Opening ceremonies followed by on-track competition
- Heat races
- Consolation races
- 50th annual World 100