ROSSBURG, Ohio (Sept. 5) — Looking for his first Super Late Model victory at Eldora Speedway during the 44th annual World 100 weekend, things didn’t start off too well for Jonathan Davenport on Thursday’s opening night.
The 30-year-old Blairsville, Ga., driver, piloting the Longhorn Chassis owned by Lee Roy and Kevin Rumley, starting in the sixth row of Thursday’s opening 25-lap feature, never making anyway headway in finishing 13th.
He turned things around in Friday’s opening feature. Blitzing the front-row starters by going from third to first on the opening lap, Davenport led all 25 laps for a $5,000 payday.
“We worked really hard trying to get us a win here,” Davenport said. “We’ve won a couple heat races. Me and Kevin, we made a big swing at it here. We did last night and it was the wrong way, but tonight I think was the right direction.”
Davenport built a straightaway lead after seven laps and turned back a mid-race challenge from sixth-starting Scott Bloomquist, then survived a late restart before taking the checkers.
Bloomquist drew within several lengths as the frontrunners entered traffic by lap 13, but over the next few laps, Davenport stepped up his aggressiveness to put a cushion of four lapped cars between his No. 6 and Bloomquist’s No. 0, drawing away before a lap-19 caution for Brian Shirley, who stopped at the end of the frontstretch.
With the field bunched with six laps remaining, Bloomquist started alongside Davenport, who immediately returned to the high side of the track to a high groove that was too much for everyone else as he pulled away to win by more than a half-straightaway.
Bloomquist, of Mooresburg, Tenn., was second followed by fellow multiple World 100 winners and fourth-row starters Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.. Chris Madden was fifth while front-row starters Eddie Carrier Jr. (eighth) and Ryan Gustin (18th) barely knew what hit them.
Davenport, who was hampered by brake problems in last year’s World 100 and accepted the blame for a wreck that knocked him out of June’s $100,000-to-win Dream, gained some confidence heading into Saturday’s $47,000-to-win weekend finale.
“Now I know that you can actually pass at this place, and you don’t have to take everything you can get, when you get it,” Davenport said, “and just kind of pace myself and be there for the 100 laps.”
First heat (top three transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Brian Birkhofer, Jeff Babcock, Rick Eckert, Jeep Van Wormer, Brandon Kinzer, Austin Smith, Walker Arthur, McKay Wenger, Don Gordon.
Second heat (top three transfer): Chris Madden, Billy Moyer, Randy Weaver, Bobby Pierce, Jimmy Owens, Don O'Neal, Jason Welshan, Steve Lance Jr., Bill Lewis, J.T. Conley.
Third heat (top three transfer): Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Simpson, Jimmy Mars, Mike Marlar, Dustin Linville, Rod Conley, Vic Hill, Jason Hughes, Charles LaPlant, Bryant Dickinson.
Fourth heat (top three transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Billy Moyer Jr., Brad Neat, Shannon Babb, Billy Ogle Jr., Cody Mahoney, Bub McCool, Brian Diveley, Jon Hodgkiss, Scott Knepley.
Fifth heat (top three transfer): Ryan Gustin, Dale McDowell, Devin Moran, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jared Landers, Casey Noonan, Chase Junghans, Curtis Deisenroght, Tommy Bailey. Scratched: David Breazeale.
Sixth heat (top three transfer): Eddie Carrier Jr., Mason Zeigler, Brian Shirley, Duane Chamberlain, Jacob Hawkins, Jon Henry, Dan Schlieper, James Rice, Ross Nicastri. Scratched: Butch Kruckeberg.
First consolation (top three transfer): Bobby Pierce, Jeep Van Wormer, Jimmy Owens, Dustin Linville, Rick Eckert, Don O'Neal, Mike Marlar, Rod Conley, Brandon Kinzer, Vic Hill, Jason Hughes, Steve Lance Jr., Austin Smith, McKay Wenger, Walker Arthur, J.T. Conley, Charles LaPlant. Scratched: Bill Lewis, Jason Welshan.
Second consolation (top three transfer): Shannon Babb, Frank Heckenast Jr., Duane Chamberlain, Billy Ogle Jr., Bub McCool, Jacob Hawkins, Jared Landers, Chase Junghans, Jonn Henry, Casey Noonan, James Rice, Dan Schlie;er, Jon Hodgkiss, Brian Diveley, Cody Mahoney, Curtis Deisenroght, Tommy Bailey. Scratched: Ross Nicastri.
Time trials (unofficial)
Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, time
- Jeff Babcock (1), Wayne, Ohio, 15.611
- Randy Weaver (116), Crossville, Tenn., 15.619
- Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 15.653
- Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind., 15.726
- Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 15.767
- Jackie Boggs (4B), Grayson, Ky., 15.793
- Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 15.816
- Wendell Wallace (1), Batesville, Ark., 15.825
- Austin Hubbard (32), Seaford, Del., 15.852
- R.J. Conley (71c), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 15.860
- John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 15.867
- Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 15.888
- Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.922
- Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.945
- Jason Hughes (12), Watts, Okla., 15.988
- Jonathan Davenport (6), Blairsville, Ga., 15.995
- Casey Noonan (1n), Sylvania, Ohio, 16.008
- Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 16.024
- Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.040
- Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.050
- Rod Conley (71r), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 16.065
- Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn., 16.073
- Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.080
- Jon Henry (15), Ada, Ohio, 16.091
- Brandon Kinzer (18), Allen, Ky., 16.108
- Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 16.130
- Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 16.188
- Rusty Schlenk (11), McClure, Ohio, 16.219
- Wayne Chinn (1), Bradford, Ohio, 16.226
- Mark Dotson (85D), Cameron, Mo., 16.239
- Nick Latham (31), Winchester, Ohio, 16.270
- Delmas Conley (71), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 16.289
- Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 16.306
- Cody Mahoney (4), Hanover, Ind., 16.324
- Devin Moran (99m), Dresden, Ohio, 16.331
- Jacob Hawkins (20), Fairmont, W.Va., 16.333
- Walker Arthur (87), Forest, Va., 16.346
- Jason Riggs (81jr), Harrisburg, Ill., 16.349
- Dustin Linville (D8), Bryantsville, Ky., 16.367
- Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., 16.397
- Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 16.420
- James Rice (11r), Verona, Ky., 16.448
- McKay Wenger (42), Fairbury, Ill., 16.488
- Jason Welshan (29), Maryville, Tenn., 16.526
- Charles LaPlant (3c), East Prairie, MO., 16.598
- Brian Diveley (11D), Springfield, Ill., 16.612
- Jerry Bowersock (95j), Wapakoneta, Ohio, 16.722
- Cecil Eunice (22), Blackshear, Ga., 16.786
- Austin Smith (11), Cedartown, Ga., 16.820
- J.T. Conley (71j), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 16.925
- Vic Hill (1), Mosheim, Tenn., 16.977
- Jon Hodgkiss (69), Kennedy, Pa., 17.038
- Tommy Bailey (35), Corbin, Ky., 17.156
- Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pga., 17.209
- Don Gordon (33), Chatham, Ontario, 17.367
- Bill Lewis (26), Warren, Ind., 17.458
- Bryant Dickinson (5*), Ionia, Mich., 18.179
- Scott Knepley (30k), Spiceland, Ind., 18.255
- David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss., 20.757