ROSSBURG, Ohio — Jonathan Davenport was determined to return to victory lane Friday night at Eldora Speedway, as he won the second 25-lap feature during night two of the World 100 weekend at the half-mile race track.
Dennis Erb Jr. won the first of the two main events.
Coming from fifth starting spot, “Superman,” used patience en route to the triumph. Four-time World 100 winner Scott Bloomquist lay ahead of him as the field approached half way, and soon, it was time to make the move for the runner-up spot.
“I got to third on the start and was just kind of rolling around on the bottom, seeing how the race was going to play out,” Davenport said. “I was pretty good through the middle, and then I was catching Scott and got in his air wake and got really loose, so I had to move around some.”
Donning a sharp Brewster Baker-themed throwback graphics scheme as a tribute to the 1982 film “Six Pack” for the weekend, Davenport threw a big slide job on Bloomquist in turns three and four and began his charge for the rear bumper of then-leader Josh Rice.
It only took two more circuits around the half-mile for Davenport to catch and pass Rice, diving deep into turn one on the bottom as Rice followed the path of a lapped car up high.
“Those lapped cars were slowing him up and I was maneuverable enough to where I could roll right around him on the bottom,” Davenport said. “We ran a couple of laps in lapped traffic, and I was lucky the caution came out with me in the lead.”
From that point on, it was all “JD.” Not even a late-race challenge from “Killer” Kyle Bronson on a restart with six laps remaining could slow the Blairsville, Georgia-native’s efforts to get to the stripe first.
As another veteran of Eldora’s crown jewel events, Davenport has the know-how to pace himself in the longer distance races and intensify it for the shorter ones. He said he doesn’t treat them any differently, but starting up front always helps.
“It all depends on where you start,” Davenport said. “We all know how critical clean air is here, so you try and put yourself in the best situation possible there. If you’re starting in the back, you just go where they’re not.”
The Nutrien Ag Solutions No. 49 has shown his prowess at Eldora several times already this season, more specifically in the 25th Dirt Late Model Dream back in June. Davenport said he felt that was his race to lose, and he ended up doing just that. Contact with Kyle Strickler early on in the race bent up his front-end, dashing his chances for $125,000 and his second event title. But now, it’s time for redemption.
“I think I was the best car here at the Dream. I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to win that race, and I just messed up… so I’ve had a little chip on my shoulder all year since then,” Davenport said.
Feature – (25 Laps) 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 29-Darrell Lanigan; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. O-Scott Bloomquist; 5. 32-Bobby Pierce; 6. 1S-Brandon Sheppard; 7. 17M-Dale McDowell; 8. 1B-Josh Rice; 9. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 10. 3S-Brian Shirley; 11. 8H-Jacob Hawkins; 12. 18J-Chase Junghans; 13. 25-Jason Feger; 14. 23B-John Blankenship; 15. 17D-Zack Dohm; 16. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr.; 17. 1-Chad Simpson; 18. 21M-Billy Moyer; 19. 55-Jeep Van Wormer; 20. 31K-Kye Blight; 21. 2S-Stormy Scott; 22. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 23. 8-Kyle Strickler; 24. 83-Scott James