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Daily Dirt 08/16/2022 14:39:24

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June 9
Eldora Speedway,
Rossburg, OH
Sanction: DIRTcar Supers (Eldora Million Group B prelim) - $12,000
Information provided by: Staff reports (last updated June 9, 8:33 pm)
Davenport tops Satterlee in second Million prelim
Eldora Million Group B prelim
  1. Jonathan Davenport
  2. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  3. Bobby Pierce
  4. Brandon Sheppard
  5. Jason Feger
  6. Hudson O'Neal
  7. Tim McCreadie
  8. Darrell Lanigan
  9. Kyle Strickler
  10. Josh Rice
  11. Nick Hoffman
  12. Earl Pearson Jr.
  13. Brandon Overton
  14. Jimmy Owens
  15. Tyler Bruening
  16. Johnny Scott
  17. Chase Junghans
  18. Brian Shirley
  19. Gregg Satterlee
  20. Carson Ferguson
  21. Spencer Hughes
  22. Dustin Linville
  23. Trent Ivey
  24. Ryan Gustin
presented by
Zach Yost
Jonathan Davenport takes the checkers for his $12,000 victory.
What won the race: Third-starting Jonathan Davenport went by Gregg Satterlee on a lap-eight restart Thursday afternoon at Eldora Speedway and raced to a 25-lap victory worth $12,000 in an Eldora Million preliminary. Satterlee, who led the first seven laps from outside the front row, shredded a tire in the final laps with Ricky Thornton Jr. taking the runner-up spot, 3.193 seconds behind Davenport.
Key notes: The sport's richest-ever Dirt Late Model event, with prelims originally set for Wednesday and the main event Thursday, is streamed live on FloRacing. ... Wednesday afternoon rain postponed prelims to Thursday morning, setting up a doubleheader. ... The Eldora Million, with a $1,002,002 winner's prize precedes the Friday-Saturday Dream, which pays $128,000-to-win. ... Entries are split into Groups A and B at the conclusion of the draw with two complete race programs to follow. ... Points accrued during preliminary qualifying, heats and the $12,000-to-win prelim features set heat race lineups for Thursday’s 101-lap main event. … The purse for the entire weekend is $1,461,035, the richest in Dirt Late Model history.
On the move: Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., started 12th and finished fourth.
Winner's sponsors: Davenport’s Double L Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions, ASC Warranty, Spartan Mowers, Lucas Oil, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, VP Racing Fuels, Bilstein, Hoosier Racing Tire, Midwest Sheet Metal and K1 RaceGear.
Current weather: Broken Clouds, 72°F
Car count: 124
Fast qualifier: Spencer Hughes
Time: 16.194 seconds
Polesitter: Josh Rice
Heat race winners: Hudson O'Neal, Jonathan Davenport, Gregg Satterlee, Josh Rice
Consolation race winners: Brandon Overton, Chase Junghans
Next series race: June 9, Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH) $1,002,022
Editor's note: Corrrects finish with Satterlee in 19th.
From staff reports

ROSSBURG, Ohio — Jonathan Davenport wasn't interested in an overly enthusiastic victory lane celebration Thursday afternoon at Eldora Speedway. He was glad to collect a $12,000 victory in a 25-lapper before the evening's Eldora Million, but his focus is on the seven-figure payday that's just hours away.

"The anticipation's starting to build already," Davenport said.

The 38-year-old Blairsville, Ga., driver who was already a favorite heading into the Eldora Million cemented that status in the prelims that were postponed by Wednesday rain as he slipped past Gregg Satterlee on a lap-eight restart and led the rest of the way.

Indiana, Pa.'s Satterlee, who started outside the front row and led the first seven laps, held onto the second spot until slowing with two laps to go, then falling from contention with a shredded tire as Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., overcame problems in time trials to finish second, 3.193 seconds behind Davenport.

Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill. improved five positions to finish third ahead of two fellow Illinois drivers with 12th-starting Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin in fourth and Bloomington's Jason Feger in fifth.

With pole-starting Josh Rice of Verona, Ky., fading quickly, Satterlee took command at the outset and had a comfortable lead until the race's lone caution appeared on the seventh lap for a slowing Ryan Gustin, who pulled to the infield.

On the restart Davenport went around Satterlee and set sail, never challenged the rest of the way in driving the car his Double L Motorsports team saves for Eldora events.

"We've been rolling pretty good here this last couple of months and (I'm) just trying to do my job there," Davenport said. "I didn't want to get too close to the outside wall, but I felt like when I moved up through (turns) one and two, that helped me a little bit, just get a little bit more momentum going.

"I got a good restart there on Satterlee. He picked the right lane — I'd have picked the bottom, too — I just rolled just a little bit, just kept enough speed with him, and as he was picking up the pace, I was too. We just got a good start and didn't spin the tires getting into turn one."

Famously focused on major races at Eldora, where he's a four-time World 100 winner including last year, Davenport says he's "pretty calm" just hours ahead of just the second seven-figure payday in the history of the sport.

"Normally, this time of year, my wife and (crew chief) Jason (Durham) and everybody knows, I get pretty hectic and pretty much an asshole," he said. "But I don't know. I've seemed to have come to a peace with it and it is what it is, you know? If you don't win this race coming up, it really don't matter about the rest of it. So it's just all about winning. I've got the best piece I think I could have, got the best crew, I've got the best owner and best sponsors and I'm gonna try to do the best job I can to bring some big payday back home with us."

Thornton didn't have a chance of tracking down Davenport, but he was glad to end up on the podium after qualifying in the lower half of his qualifying group, a full second off quick time. In time trials he bent his car's right-front suspension, decking and quarterpanel among other things.

"I about killed our weekend there in qualifying. so I gotta give a big shoutout to my crew, and (Shane Clanton's crew) helped us get it back together for the heat race," Thornton said. "Congrats to J.D. He had a really good car, so we got a little bit we need to work (on), but should be good for here later."

Pierce tussled with his fellow Illinois racers and others and was glad he performed well in the prelims that began many hours earlier than he's used to racing.

"I'm not normally a morning person, so pretty glad with how we've run," he said. "I thought I was going to be a little tired this morning with how early we started, but all in all a great day and just see if we can keep it up. We got a lot lot to go so we're excited. We're motivated."

Notes: Davenport's victory was his sixth overall of the season. He earned $50,000 six days earlier in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition at West Virginia Motor Speedway. ... In his previous starts at Eldora this season, Davenport finished second in Castrol FloRacing Night in America action and 14th in the Johnny Appleseed Classic in track conditions that were far rougher than Thursday's surface. ... After Davenport's victory, overall top preliminary points earner Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., spun a zero on the inversion wheel, meaning Thursday night's heat races for the Eldora Million will start straight-up according to drivers' accrued points in the preliminary program. ... Davenport is scheduled to start on the pole of the fifth heat; a victory would give him a front-row starting spot in the 101-lap Eldora Million.

Feature lineup

(25 laps)
Row 1: Josh Rice, Gregg Satterlee
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Hudson O'Neal
Row 3: Ricky Thornton Jr., Jason Feger
Row 4: Darrell Lanigan, Bobby Pierce
Row 5: Tyler Bruening, Kyle Strickler
Row 6: Tim McCreadie, Brandon Sheppard
Row 7: Nick Hoffman, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 8: Johnny Scott, Ryan Gustin
Row 9: Carson Ferguson, Jimmy Owens
Row 10: Dustin Linville, Brian Shirley
Row 11: Brandon Overton, Chase Junghans
Row 12: Spencer Hughes, Trent Ivey

Consolation race results

(12 laps; top two transfer)

First consolation: Brandon Overton, Spencer Hughes, Freddie Carpenter, Chase Briscoe, Tyler Courtney, Tim Lance, Jerry Bowersock, Chad Thrash, Gordy Gundaker, Parker Martin, Tyler Stevens, John Henderson, Cla Knight, Ryan Scott, Chase Frohnapfel, Bryant Dickinson, Fast Eddy, Max Blair, G.R. Smith. Scratched: Jason Riggs, Chris Simpson, Dustin Smith.

Second consolation: Chase Junghans, Trent Ivey, Joseph Joiner, Stormy Scott, Victor Lee, Michael Page, Scott Bloomquist, Tyler Millwood, Garrett Alberson, Dylan Thompson, Trevor Landrum, Zack Dohm, Logan Roberson, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Jason Jameson, Daniel Hilsabeck, Robby Hensley, Rod Conley, Jimmy Mars. Scratched: Zane DeVilbiss.

Consolation lineups

(12 laps; top two transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Tyler Courtney
Row 2: G.R. Smith, Freddie Carpenter
Row 3: John Henderson, Jerry Bowersock
Row 4: Max Blair, Chad Thrash
Row 5: Gordy Gundaker, Chase Briscoe
Row 6: Jason Riggs, Tim Lance
Row 7: Bryant Dickinson, Tyler Stevens
Row 8: Fast Eddy, Parker Martin
Row 9: Chase Frohnapfel, Cla Knight
Row 10: Spencer Hughes, Ryan Scott
Row 11: Chris Simpson, Dustin Smith
Second consolation
Row 1: Chase Junghans, Trent Ivey
Row 2: Joseph Joiner, Stormy Scott
Row 3: Victor Lee, Tyler Millwood
Row 4: Michael Page, Zach Dohm
Row 5: Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Sharpe Jr.
Row 6: Jason Jameson, Dylan Thompson
Row 7: Robby Hensley, Garrett Alberson
Row 8: Daniel Hilsabeck, Trevor Landrum
Row 9: Jimmy Mars, Logan Roberson
Row 10: Rod Conley, Zane DeVilbiss

Heat race notes

The first heat brought a major development when a jam-up off turn four between front-row starters John Henderson and Carson Ferguson created a chain-reaction that resulted in Group B fast-timer Spencer Hughes and Chris Simpson tangling on the homestretch and getting overrun by Brandon Overton. While Hughes and Simpson were eliminated, Overton, who started 11th after qualifying only 41st fastest, raced on to a sixth-place finish after pitting to make hasty repairs to the right-side damage on his Longhorn Chassis that he drove to two Dream victories and one World 100 triumph last year. … Hudson O’Neal, whose father Don led the first 25 laps of the 2001 Eldora Million, went on to capture the first heat. … Pre-race Million favorite Jonathan Davenport was dominant in winning the second heat on an afternoon surface that he was smooth and “super slick.” … Scott Bloomquist was scheduled to start 12th in the third heat but was required to drop three spots further back after he reported late to the racetrack. He managed only a 10th-place finish. … Gregg Satterlee, who won a preliminary feature during last year’s Dream and World 100 weekends, cruised to victory in the third heat by 2.494 seconds over 2001 Million A-main starter Darrell Lanigan. … Josh Rice, who memorably cooked an engine in a giant cloud of smoke during last year’s Dream activities, won the fourth heat. He indicated that he noticed the track surface beginning to take rubber around the bottom while outrunning Ricky Thornton Jr. by 1.801 seconds.

Heat race results

(12 laps; top five transfer)

First heat: Hudson O'Neal, Jason Feger, Tyler Bruening, Nick Hoffman, Carson Ferguson, Brandon Overton, G.R. Smith, John Henderson, Max Blair, Gordy Gundaker, Jason Riggs, Bryant Dickinson, Fast Eddy, Chase Frohnapfel, Spencer Hughes, Chris Simpson.

Second heat: Jonathan Davenport, Bobby Pierce, Kyle Strickler, Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, Tyler Courtney, Freddie Carpenter, Jerry Bowersock, Chad Thrash, Chase Briscoe, Tim Lance, Tyler Stevens, Parker Martin, Cla Knight, Ryan Scott. Scratched: Dustin Smith.

Third heat: Gregg Satterlee, Darrell Lanigan, Tim McCreadie, Johnny Scott, Dustin Linville, Chase Junghans, Joseph Joiner, Victor Lee, Michael Page, Scott Bloomquist, Jason Jameson, Robby Hensely, Daniel Hilsabeck, Jimmy Mars, Rod Conley.

Fourth heat: Josh Rice, Ricky Thornton Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin, Brian Shirley, Trent Ivey, Stormy Scott, Tyler Millwood, Zack Dohm, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Dylan Thompson, Garrett Alberson, Trevor Landrum, Logan Roberson, Zane DeVilbiss.

Heat race lineups

(12 laps; top five transfer)
First heat
Row 1: John Henderson, Carson Ferguson
Row 2: Hudson O'Neal, Spencer Hughes
Row 3: Tyler Bruening, Jason Riggs
Row 4: Jason Feger, Chris Simpson
Row 5: Max Blair, Gordy Gundaker
Row 6: Brandon Overton, Nick Hoffman
Row 7: G.R. Smith, Chase Frohnapfel
Row 8: Bryant Dickinson, Fast Eddy
Second heat
Row 1: Kyle Strickler, Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Earl Pearson Jr., Bobby Pierce
Row 3: Jimmy Owens, Freddie Carpenter
Row 4: Tyler Courtney, Jerry Bowersock
Row 5: Tyler Stevens, Cla Knight
Row 6: Parker Martin, Chase Briscoe
Row 7: Tim Lance, Chad Thrash
Row 8: Ryan Scott, Dustin Smith
Third heat
Row 1: Gregg Satterlee, Darrell Lanigan
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Johnny Scott
Row 3: Jason Jameson, Dustin Linville
Row 4: Joseph Joiner, Chase Junghans
Row 5: Rod Conley, Michael Page
Row 6: Victor Lee, Scott Bloomquist
Row 7: Robby Hensley, Daniel Hilsabeck
Row 8: Jimmy Mars
Fourth heat
Row 1: Josh Rice, Ryan Gustin
Row 2: Zack Dohm, Trent Ivey
Row 3: Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley
Row 4: Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 5: Tyler Millwood, Stormy Scott
Row 6: Logan Roberson, Trevor Landrum
Row 7: Dylan Thompson, Zane DeVilbiss
Row 8: Garrett Alberson

Pre-qualifying notes

After heavy rain postponed Wednesday’s Eldora Million preliminary program to a Thursday morning start, teams are racing under partly skies with temperatures in the 70s. … The 124-car field assembled for the Million is just over half the 235 cars that were signed in for the original event in 2001, but it’s one of the largest turnouts for an Eldora crown jewel in more than 10 years. The last time the World 100 drew more entries was in 2010 (134 cars) while the Dream last exceeded today’s roster in 2007 (146 cars). What’s more, the last 100-plus crown jewel fields at Eldora came in 2018 (World 100 with 104 cars) and 2010 (Dream with 104 cars). … The hefty field has Eldora’s overflow upper pit area teeming with haulers. With the track’s helicopter pad surrounded by rigs, the chopper landing and taking off certainly is noticeable. “Stuff (in pit stalls) flies everywhere,” joked upstate New Yorker Dale "Scratch" Munn, a longtime supporter of Watertown, N.Y.’s Tim McCreadie. … Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., the most prolific crown jewel winner in Eldora history and fast-timer and third-place finisher in 2001’s Million, wasn’t yet at the track when Wednesday’s postponement was announced. He arrived shortly thereafter in order to register, draw his qualifying pill and have his car inspected as mandated by officials. … Bloomquist is fielding a second car for open-wheel modified ace Zane DeVilbliss of Farmington, N.M., who has had Bloomquist drive one of his modifieds in special events. … Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., who was the second fastest qualifier in 2001’s Million and finished 24th in the feature, is making his first Eldora crown jewel start in several years. He’s filling in as his cousin Boom Briggs’s teammate with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., sidelined by the shattered nose he suffered May 29 when a mud clod smashed into his helmet during Eldora’s Johnny Appleseed Classic, but Frank has opted to run his own No. 1* rather than one of Richards’s cars. … The Barry Wright Race Cars house car — fielded by All-Star Concrete’s Benji Cranford — is back in action with modified star Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., behind the wheel. … Hall of Famer Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., is continuing his recent return from semi-retirement by entering the weekend’s action as a teammate to Illinois veteran Tim Lance. Moyer, who has made four starts for Lance over the past two weeks, has his familiar No. 21 on his machine this week. … World of Outlaws Sprint Car star Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., is making his first attempt at a Dirt Late Model crown jewel at Eldora. … Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., has his car sporting a wrap design resembling a machine the fictitious Ricky Bobby drove in the movie Talladega Nights. His crew also is wearing T-shirts resembling those won by Bobby’s team in the comedy flick.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time

  1. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 16.194
  2. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 16.198
  3. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.248
  4. Trent Ivey (88), Union, S.C., 16.288
  5. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 16.320
  6. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.358
  7. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.367
  8. Zack Dohm (17), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 16.391
  9. Carson Ferguson (93), Lincolnton, N.C., 16.403
  10. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.416
  11. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 16.448
  12. Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.495
  13. John Henderson (2x), North Augusta, S.C., 16.514
  14. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 16.527
  15. Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 16.559
  16. Josh Rice (11), Verona, Ky., 16.579
  17. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.587
  18. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 16.621
  19. Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 16.635
  20. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 16.648
  21. Jason Riggs (81r), College Grove, Tenn., 16.922
  22. Freddie Carpenter (K), Parkersburg, W.Va., 16.933
  23. Dustin Linville (D8), Bryantsville, Ky., 16.946
  24. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 16.959
  25. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 16.960
  26. Tyler Courtney (7bc), Indianapolis, Ind., 16.989
  27. Joseph Joiner (10), Milton, Fla., 16.999
  28. Jimmy Sharpe Jr. (26jr), Vidalia, Ga., 17.037
  29. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 17.099
  30. Jerry Bowersock (95j), Wapakoneta, Ohio, 17.127
  31. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 17.139
  32. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 17.175
  33. Max Blair (111v), Centerville, Pa., 17.211
  34. Tyler Stevens (2), Searcy, Ark., 17.221
  35. Rod Conley (71R), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 17.244
  36. Tyler Millwood (31), Kingston, Ga., 17.269
  37. Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 17.269
  38. Cla Knight (42), North Augusta, S.C., 17.276
  39. Michael Page (18x), Douglasville, Ga., 17.305
  40. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 17.315
  41. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 17.345
  42. Parker Martin (6jr), Milledgeville, Ga., 17.347
  43. Victor Lee (6), Danville, Ky., 17.408
  44. Logan Roberson (19), Waynesboro, Va., 17.422
  45. Nick Hoffman (2), Mooresville, N.C., 17.465
  46. Chase Briscoe (14), Mitchell, Ind., 17.474
  47. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 17.623
  48. Trevor Landrum (18), Erlanger, Ky., 17.726
  49. G.R. Smith (22), Cornelius, N.C., 17.841
  50. Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 17.865
  51. Robby Hensley (21H), Walton, Ky., 17.967
  52. Dylan Thompson (99), Paducah, Ky., 18.037
  53. Chase Frohnapfel (145), Canal Winchester, Ohio, 18.102
  54. Chad Thrash (1), Meridian, Miss., 18.284
  55. Daniel Hilsabeck (22), Earlham, Iowa, 18.556
  56. Zane DeVilbiss (0z), Farmington, N.M., 18.911
  57. Bryant Dickinson (5*), Ionia, Mich., 19.323
  58. Ryan Scott (0), Pittsfield, Pa., 19.763
  59. Dustin Smith (88), Frazeysburg, Ohio, no time
  60. Fast Eddy (18), Lebanon, Ohio, no time
  61. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., no time (wreck)
  62. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., no time (wreck)

Thursday's schedule

Preliminaries
7-9:30 a.m. - Breakfast in turn four
9:30 a.m. - Grandstands cleared
10 a.m. - Spectator gates open
10 a.m. - Drivers' meeting
11 a.m. - Hot laps with racing to follow
Main event

4:30 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Hot laps
8 p.m.: Racing begins

Feature lineup

Row 1: Rice, Satterlee
Row 2: Davenport, O'Neal
Row 3: Thornton, Feger
Row 4: Lanigan, Pierce
Row 5: Bruening, Strickler
Row 6: McCreadie, Sheppard
Row 7: Hoffman, Pearson
Row 8: J. Scott, Gustin
Row 9: Ca. Ferguson, Owens
Row 10: Linville, Shirley
Row 11: Overton, Junghans
Row 12: Hughes, Ivey

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