Davenport Breaks Through In Lake City

Jonathan Davenport (49) races under Gregg Satterlee at All-Tech Raceway. (Jim DenHamer photo)
Jonathan Davenport (49) races under Gregg Satterlee at All-Tech Raceway. (Jim DenHamer photo)

LAKE CITY, Fla. — Jonathan Davenport, the three-time and defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National champion, closed out the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks with his first win of the season on Sunday night at All-Tech Raceway.

Davenport collected his 48th career series win in the first series race held at the track.

Devin Moran jumped to the early lead ahead of Gregg Satterlee, who was making his first start with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series this year. Fourth starter Davenport took the lead from early pacesetter Moran on lap 20.

He sprinted away to win by over three seconds over runner-up finisher Mike Marlar in the Rocket Fuels/Rocket. Marlar started in eighth and recorded his best finish of the week.

Brandon Sheppard, a three-time winner at the East Bay Raceway Park Winternationals this week, moved from his 10th starting spot to clear Clanton with two laps to go to finish in third, after a hard-fought battle in the closing laps.

Sheppard maintains the Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Challenge, heading to the series’ next events at Atomic Speedway in Ohio on March 20 and Brownstown Speedway in Indiana on March 21.

Jimmy Owens went to a backup car and took a series provisional to start 24th. Owens moved through the field to finish in fifth, earning Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the race honors.

Davenport, the reigning series champion, was relieved to get his first win.

“You have no idea. My team has worked so hard and we have so much bad racing luck, it’s been unbelievable,” he said. “Thanks to Lance and Darla Landers, I know they are watching back home. Thanks to Steve Martin, from Nutrien Ag Solutions, for supporting us again this year. This was a brand-new car that we never got to test, and then we had to run it at East Bay. We needed this win.”

Marlar was pleased with his runner-up finish.

“This track is so racy,” Marlar said. “We had a pretty rough week at East Bay, but this track fits me much better. I felt like we had a good run and there was plenty of good racing out there.”

Sheppard, whose worst finish during the eight nights of racing was a tenth, replaced that finish with his third-place finish tonight.

“We had a really good car, especially there early in the race. We passed some guys there on the top, but I could run the bottom well too. I should have picked the top on that last restart.  I chose the bottom on Devin because I thought the bottom would be better, but I had my momentum broke there. We had a good race between myself and Clanton, we were fortunate to get by him on the white flag lap. Thanks to all of my crew, we’ve had a great start to this month.”

The finish:

Jonathan Davenport, Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Shane Clanton, Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran, Tim McCreadie, Josh Richards, Billy Moyer Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Jesse Stovall, Mark Whitener, Dennis Erb Jr., Tyler Erb, G.R. Smith, Kyle Bronson, Logan Roberson, Tanner English, Michael Page, Shanon Buckingham, Brian Shirley, Colton Flinner, Stormy Scott, Charles Powell, Earl Pearson Jr., Jeff Mathews.