Davenport Strikes Gold At East Bay

Jonathan Davenport won Tuesday night's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at East Bay Raceway Park. (Al Steinberg photo)

GIBSONTON, Fla. — Jonathan Davenport fought off a furious late-race challenge from Brandon Overton to win night two of the Wrisco Industries 42nd annual Winternationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs Tuesday at East Bay Raceway Park.

A caution flag with 22 laps complete set up and eight-lap shootout between Davenport and the 10th-starting Overton. The two raced the outside line around the third-mile oval using every inch of the cushion that remained. Davenport went to the outside of a lapped car as Overton went low, heading into turn one on the final lap.

Overton slid almost all the way up the track, but left Davenport room as he went on to take his third career win in the Winternationals.

It was the first win of the newly formed team for car owner Lance Landers and his driver Davenport, who recorded his 28th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory. Overton finished second in the Chip Stone, Randy Weaver-owned entry, followed by opening night winner Brandon Sheppard grabbing third in the Mark Richards Racing, Rocket.

Josh Richards and Tyler Erb completed the top five.

Jonathan Davenport (Jim DenHamer photo)

“I thought I had run over something during those last few laps,” Davenport said. “The car wasn’t the same, but it’s great to get that first win for Lance Landers. Thanks to my crew, Jason Durham, Kevin Rumley, and everyone that helps. They have worked their tails off, we have a few more days to go. Jason and Kevin put their heads together after last night and we were spot on today. They always say the first one is the hardest to get. I just hope my crew is as proud of me as I am of them. I just want say hello to everyone watching back home. My son Blaine and wife Rachel I know are tuned in to watching it online.”

Overton was pleased with his performance after a tough start to his Speedweeks at Golden Isles.

“It hadn’t been nearly as good of a start to speedweeks so far, as it was last year that’s for sure,” Overton said. “We just need to race a little bit more. As I said, we have had a terrible start to the year. Hopefully with this run, we can get rolling. The slide job on the last lap got off to a good start, but at the end I was thinking I need to get out of it or I could wreck both cars.”

Sheppard was looking for his second win in a row but finished third.

“On that final restart, I chose the bottom,” Sheppard said. “I thought I could get enough grip off the corner and then shoot across to get to the top of the track. They [Davenport and Overton] had a way better restart than I did. I went out on a limb and chose the bottom. A first and a third to start the week is great. I need to get qualifying better. I haven’t qualified very well since we have been down here. I think if we do that better, then we will start up front in these races.”

The finish:

Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton, Brandon Sheppard, Josh Richards, Tyler Erb, Bobby Pierce, Kyle Bronson, Devin Moran, Earl Pearson Jr., Timothy Culp, Billy Moyer Jr., Austin Hubbard, Scott Bloomquist, Chase Junghans, Tim McCreadie, Mason Zeigler, Hudson O’Neal, Boom Briggs, Brian Shirley, Carder Miller, Morgan Bagley, Gregg Satterlee, Dennis Erb Jr., Jason Jameson, Jesse Stovall, Tim Dohm.