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Daily Dirt 02/22/2024 17:25:18

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October 20
Volunteer Speedway,
Bulls Gap, TN
Sanction: Castrol FloRacing Night in America - $10,000
Information provided by: Staff reports (last updated October 21, 4:50 pm)
J.D. clinches Castrol tour title with Bulls Gap win
  1. Jonathan Davenport
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Ricky Weiss
  4. Hudson O'Neal
  5. Cory Hedgecock
  6. Ross Bailes
  7. Mike Marlar
  8. Shane Clanton
  9. Forrest Trent
  10. Ryan King
  11. Eli Beets
  12. Christian Hanger
  13. Will Roland
  14. Jensen Ford
  15. Sam Seawright
  16. Travis Stickley
  17. Joe Denby
  18. Benjamin Cranford
  19. Kaede Loudy
  20. Mack McCarter
  21. Bobby Pierce
presented by
Michael Moats/mrmracing.net
Jonathan Davenport (49) battles Ross Bailes (79) on his way to victory.
What won the race: Fourth-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., used a bold turn-four slide job to take the lead from polesitter Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., on lap 27 of Wednesday’s 40-lap Castrol FloRacing Night in America feature at Volunteer Speedway and pulled away through traffic during the race’s closing circuits on his way to a $10,000 victory. Davenport took the checkers 1.239 seconds ahead of fifth-starting Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., in clinching the $20,000 championship with one race remaining on the the first-year tour.
Key notes: Wednesday's race was the second in a stretch of three races over three weeks to wrap up the series of all midweek events. ... Jimmy Owens won last week's stop at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn., and Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, N.C., hosts the Oct. 28 season finale.
On the move: Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, Tenn., started 10th and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Davenport’s Double L Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions, ASC Warranty, Spartan Mowers, Mark Martin Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Center Point Graphics, Midwest Sheet Metal and Fatheadz Eyewear.
Points chase: Before Volunteer: 1. Jonathan Davenport (474); 2. Kyle Larson (378); 3. Mike Marlar (345): 4. Bobby Pierce (300); 5. Tanner English (288); 6. Ryan King (249); 7. Tyler Erb (234); 8. Jimmy Owens (222); 9. Brandon Sheppard (219) 10. Devin Moran (210).
Current weather: Scattered Clouds, 52°F
Car count: 28
Fast qualifier: Jonathan Davenport
Time: 12.664 seconds
Polesitter: Ross Bailes
Heat race winners: Ross Bailes, Hudson O'Neal, Ricky Weiss
Consolation race winners: Christian Hanger
Next series race: October 28, Tri-County Racetrack (Brasstown, NC) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Oct. 20) — With a $10,000 victory that clinched a $20,000 championship, Jonathan Davenport had a profitable night at Volunteer Speedway on Wednesday. But claiming the combined $30,000 payday was far from easy for the Dirt Late Model superstar from Blairsville, Ga.

Mastering a tricky track surface and surviving heavy lapped traffic, the fourth-starting Davenport used a bold turn-four slide job to take the lead from polesitter Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., on lap 27 of Wednesday’s 40-lap Castrol FloRacing Night in America feature at Volunteer’s high-banked third-mile oval and pulled away from Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., through the race’s closing circuits on his way to earning his 24th overall victory of the 2021 season. Davenport, who became the first-year tour’s first repeat winner in seven races, mathematically clinched the Castrol FloRacing tour’s championship with one race remaining on the schedule.

“This place is definitely elbows-up all the time,” Davenport said of the east Tennessee track. “Even though it is pretty slick, it’s still fast. There was just enough around one and two that I felt like that was pretty much where you had to be, right on that lip (around the top). I just got to move around a little bit behind Ross and find his weaknesses and where I was a little better than him. Then I just took advantage of it.”

Deftly navigating slower traffic in a race that was slowed by just one caution, Davenport’s Double L Motorsports Longhorn Chassis took the checkers 1.239 seconds ahead of fifth-starting Larson. Third-starting Ricky Weiss of Headingley, Manitoba, finished just behind Larson with outside polesitter Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and 10th starting Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, Tenn., rounding out the top five. Bailes slide back to sixth at the finish.

Although Larson never got close enough to Davenport in the final 10 laps to make a serious challenge for the lead, his pressure was just enough to keep Davenport on his toes as the two superstar drivers both knifed their way through traffic.

“Man that was fun,” said Davenport, who made his first Volunteer appearance since 2017 and earned his first win at the track since 2016. “When I seen the six on the board, I knew Larson was coming. Through those lap cars, they give me plenty of room. You catch them so fast here, I was just trying pick where I could slide them and where I could pass them at.”

Davenport’s only real trouble during the race came on the opening lap, when he used a three-wide move to go from fourth to second on the back straightaway, then slipped up in turns three and four and nearly stopped in front of the field.

“I thought it was more hairy on the first lap,” Davenport said in comparing his opening-lap miscue to his run through traffic. “Hudson pushed down here (in turns one and two) and I made it three-wide (between O’Neal and Weiss down the back straightaway). Then I went down there and I hit the slime (entering turn three) and thought I was gonna push all the way across the track and take about half the field out. Everybody let off and gave me a break there.”

Larson, who entered the night second in tour standings 96 points behind Davenport, enjoyed his first-ever visit to Volunteer despite coming up short at the finish.

“I felt like I was really equal with Jonathan. He just did a really good the last eight laps in traffic and I got kind of stuck,” said Larson, the NASCAR Cup Series title contender who drives Kevin Rumley’s No. 6 Longhorn Chassis on a part-time basis. “It’s good to come here and be fast. This place is really cool. It’s slick and the lanes moved around quite a bit. You had to be aggressive against the wall in one and two. It was a lot of fun.”

Weiss, who dropped back as far as sixth before using the bottom groove to get back up to third, earned just his sixth podium finish off 2021 with his third-place result. The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series regular was looking for his first victory since winning a Crate Late Model race at Volunteer in November of last season.

“We were catching Davenport there,” Weiss said of his late charge. “Lap cars obviously were slowing him down a little bit. He might’ve been a little bit better, but I felt like we were real close with him. It’s good to be back up here on the podium and getting consistent runs. Hats off to my guys here and everybody working so hard back at the shop. I just can’t thank all the guys enough.”

Notes: Davenport’s previous series victory came in the season opener April 15 at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va. … Davenport’s victory was his first since his chief crew Jason Durham returned to the team after missing the first half of October while recovering from Covid-19. … Eighteen cars were running at the finish with 10 on the lead lap. … Making a guest appearance in Vic Hill’s No. 1 machine, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., was set to start from the ninth spot, but elected to start from the tail of the field and pulled off after making one lap.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Ross Bailes, Hudson O’Neal
Row 2: Ricky Weiss, Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Kyle Larson, Mack McCarter
Row 4: Forrest Trent, Mike Marlar
Row 5: Bobby Pierce, Cory Hedgecock
Row 6: Shane Clanton, Ryan King
Row 7: Benjamin Cranford, Jensen Ford
Row 8: Travis Stickley, Jadon Frame
Row 9: Sam Seawright, Eli Beets
Row 10: Christian Hanger, Kaede Loudy
Row 11: Will Roland, Joe Denby

B-main results

(Eight laps; top four transfer)

Finish: Christian Hanger, Kaede Loudy, Will Roland, Joe Denby, Jeff Neubert, Troy Eads, Aaron Guinn.

Prelim notes

The first of the night’s three heat race was a rough one with three cautions slowing the pace. After Jeff Neubert slowed and brought out an early caution, Matt Tharp and Benjamin Cranford tangled for the second yellow and Cory Hedgecock’s slider took out Jadon Frame and caused the third caution. Only five of nine starters finished in an eight-lap prelim won by second-starting Ross Bailes over polesitter Jonathan Davenport. … The second heat ran caution free with Hudson O’Neal leading all eight laps from the outside pole. … Second-starting Ricky Weiss made it three-for-three for outside polesitters, winning the third and final heat over polesitter Mack McCarter. … Adam Yarbrough of Denver, N.C., didn’t record a lap time in qualifying after getting into the wall on his first lap.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top six transfer)

First heat: Ross Bailes, Jonathan Davenport, Forrest Trent, Cory Hedgecock, Benjamin Cranford, Jadon Frame, Aaron Guinn, Matt Tharp, Jeff Neubert.

Second heat: Hudson O’Neal, Kyle Larson, Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton, Jensen Ford, Sam Seawright, Kaede Loudy, Joe Denby.

Third heat: Ricky Weiss, Mack McCarter, Bobby Pierce, Ryan King, Travis Stickley, Eli Beets, Christian Hanger, Will Roland, Troy Eads.

Time trials 

Driver (car no.), hometown, Time 

  1. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 12.664
  2. Kyle Larson (6), Elk Grove, Calif., 12.683
  3. Mack McCarter (51), Gatlinburg, Tenn., 12.771
  4. Ross Bailes (58), Clover, S.C., 12.776
  5. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 12.847
  6. Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 12.954
  7. Forrest Trent (101), Morristown, Tenn., 12.966
  8. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 12.990
  9. Eli Beets (109), Knoxville, Tenn., 13.074
  10. Jadon Frame (J8), Decherd, Tenn., 13.279
  11. Jensen Ford (83), Johnson City, Tenn., 13.298
  12. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.301
  13. Cory Hedgecock (23), Loudon, Tenn., 13.303
  14. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 13.339
  15. Ryan King (1G), Seymour, Tenn., 13.472
  16. Jeff Neubert (86), Knoxville, Tenn., 13.543
  17. Adam Ahl (7A), Morristown, Tenn., 13.570
  18. Travis Stickley (32), Keyser, W.Va., 13.578
  19. Matt Tharp (35), Luttrell, Tenn., 13.589
  20. Sam Seawright (16), Rainsville, Ala., 13.650
  21. Christian Hanger (29), Winchester, Tenn., 13.652
  22. Aaron Guinn (97), Russellville, Tenn., 13.683
  23. Joe Denby (27), Tullahoma, Tenn., 13.735
  24. Will Roland (22), Jasper, Ga., 13.990
  25. Benjamin Cranford (93), Thomson, Ga., 14.009
  26. Kaede Loudy (126) Rogersville, Tenn., 14.160
  27. Troy Eads (52), Tazewell, Tenn., 14.306
  28. Adam Yarbrough (57), Denver, N.C., No time 

Wednesday's schedule

(All time EDT)

6:30 p.m. - Hot laps
- Super Late Models
- Sportsman Late Model hot laps/time trials
- Street stock hot laps/time trials
- Super Late Model time trials
- Front-wheel drive hot laps/time trials
Opening ceremonies
- Super Late Model heats (8 laps)
- Sportsman Late Model feature (20 laps)
- Super Late Model B-main (10 laps)
- Street stock feature (20 laps)
- Super Late Model feature (40 laps)
- Front-wheel drive feature (20 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Bailes, O’Neal
Row 2: Weiss, Davenport
Row 3: Larson, McCarter
Row 4: Trent, Marlar
Row 5: Pierce, Hedgecock
Row 6: Clanton, King
Row 7: Cranford, Ford
Row 8: Stickley, Frame
Row 9: Seawright, Beets
Row 10: Hanger, Loudy
Row 11: Roland, Denby

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