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Daily Dirt 02/25/2021 19:23:15

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March 18
Atomic Speedway,
Alma, OH
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Buckeye Spring 50) - $10,000
Information provided by: Alli Collis (last updated March 20, 2:00 pm)
Davenport edges Shirley, earns $10,000 at Atomic
Buckeye Spring 50
  1. Jonathan Davenport
  2. Brian Shirley
  3. Jimmy Owens
  4. Mike Marlar
  5. Darrell Lanigan
  6. Dustin Linville
  7. Jeep Van Wormer
  8. Duane Chamberlain
  9. Scott Bloomquist
  10. Devin Moran
  11. Don O'Neal
  12. Earl Pearson Jr.
  13. Mason Zeigler
  14. Brandon Sheppard
  15. Eddie Carrier Jr.
  16. Steve Francis
  17. R.J. Conley
  18. Nick Latham
  19. Dennis Erb Jr.
  20. Rod Conley
  21. Jared Landers
  22. Tim McCreadie
  23. Jackie Boggs
  24. Colton Flinner
  25. Chris Simpson
  26. James Rice
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Jonathan Davenport (6) stalks Brian Shirley (3s) at Atomic Speedway.
What won the race: Fourth-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., edged ahead of polesitter Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., on lap 18 of 50, leading the remaining distance to capture his second straight Buckeye Spring 50 victory at Atomic Speedway. He earned a $10,000 payday.
Key notes: Friday's event was originally set as the first night of a weekend doubleheader, but Saturday's program at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway was postponed to April 9. ... Jackie Boggs of Grayson, Ky., captured the $1,500-to-win modified feature.
On the move: Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., rallied from the 25th starting spot to finish 11th.
Winner's sponsors: Davenport's Longhorn Chassis is sponsored by CV Racing Products, Dirtwrap, FK Rod Ends, JRi Shocks, K&L Rumley Enterprises, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Sundance Services, Bryson Motorsports, Baird Transport and TS Crane Service.
Points chase: Exiting Atomic, Davenport tops the standings with 1,370 points over Brandon Sheppard (1,190) and Scott Bloomquist (1,180).
Car count: 50
Fast qualifier: Jared Landers
Time: 13.786 seconds
Polesitter: Brian Shirley
Heat race winners: Brian Shirley, Jimmy Owens, Darrell Lanigan, Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Devin Moran
Consolation race winners: Nick Latham, Jackie Boggs
Provisional starters: Jared Landers, Dennis Erb Jr., Don O'Neal, Colton Flinner
Next series race: April 1, Boyd's Speedway (Ringgold, GA) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Alli Collis
DirtonDirt.com staff writer

ALMA, Ohio (March 18) —Picking up where he left off just one year ago, fourth-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., edged ahead of polesitter Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., on lap 18 of 50, leading the remaining distance to capture his second straight Buckeye Spring 50 victory at Atomic Speedway.

Starting outside the second row, Davenport shot to the second-place spot on the opening lap, challenging Shirley for the lead in the early running. After a side-by-side battle with the former UMP Summernationals champion, Davenport pulled ahead just shy of the halfway mark to score a $10,000 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series triumph.

“Those first five or 10 laps there, that was awesome,” Davenport said in victory lane. “If that doesn’t get your heart pumping, you need to check it, because me and (Shirley) had an awesome race sliding one another, and then we was racing side-by-side.

“I knew (Shirley was on a little bit different tire combination than we was, so I knew he was going to get out there and be fast early. I thought we’d be better later on, but you just can never tell. I found a couple of rubber strips here and there, and I think that’s what helped us get by him."

Successfully navigating heavy lapped traffic, Davenport notched his 21st Lucas Oil Series victory, the fifth of his 2016 campaign. The race marked the defending series champion’s first competitive start since February's Georgia-Florida Speedweeks.

“It was getting dicey up there,” Davenport said of lapped traffic. “Me and (Shirley) was running side-by-side for a long time behind them running side-by-side. I would try to clear one car and pin him behind another car where he couldn’t get a run back on me. It was just a big chess game out there and we come out the winner."

Shirley held on to finish second, with Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., holding on to his third-place starting spot. Outside polesitter Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., ran fourth, with Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., rounding out the top five.

“J.D.’s good,” Shirley said of the early-race sliders. “He went in there and cleared me, but he’s good about accepting it back. It went back-and-forth there for a little while. It was no problem at all with me.

“We did a little different on tires. (Davenport) and (Owens) were a little harder than us. I don’t know if that was the outcome or not. These are two of the best and we’re just learning.”

After struggling throughout Georgia-Florida Speedweeks, Owens and his new R&W Motorsports team continued success found last weekend at Smoky Mountain Speedway's Tennessee Tipoff, outdueling fellow modified veteran Mike Marlar to notch a podium finish.

“It’s good to be back up front,” Owens said after the race. “We’ve got a good team, we’ve just got to learn how we all like whatever we like. R&W Motorsports, they came through real fast for us. Pretty much, two weeks before (Golden Isles), we didn’t have nothing and everybody just come together. We’re still behind. It’s so hard to get caught up through the season when you get behind the 8-ball that far. But we’re coming around.”

Notes: Davenport will end March with five Lucas Oil victories, the most by any driver at that point in the season over the tour's history. ... The 50-lap main event ran caution-free. ... Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who finisheed runner-up in last year's Buckeye Spring 50, started on the front row of the first heat race, but retired on the first lap with mechanical issues, scratching from the remainder of the program. ... Arriving to the track late, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., missed time trials and started from the tail of his heat race, but was still able to earn one of the three transfer spots. ... Shannon Thornsberry of Martin, Ky., hit the turn three wall during the second consolation, heavily damaging his No. 17 machine; he climbed from the car apparently uninjured.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Shirley, Marlar
Row 2: Owens, Davenport
Row 3: Lanigan, Moran
Row 4: Van Wormer, Sheppard
Row 5: Pearson, Chamberlain
Row 6: McCreadie, Linville
Row 7: Ja. Rice, Rod Conley
Row 8: Zeigler, Carrier
Row 9: Francis, Bloomquist
Row 10: Latham, Boggs
Row 11: Simpson, R.J. Conley
Row 12: Landers, Erb
Row 13: O'Neal, Flinner

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