Tire Choice Pays Dividends For Davenport

Jonathan Davenport (Todd Ridgeway Photo)
Jonathan Davenport (Todd Ridgeway Photo)
Jonathan Davenport (Todd Ridgeway Photo)
Jonathan Davenport (Todd Ridgeway Photo)

CONCORD, N.C. — Jonathan Davenport made the right tire choice and earned his first World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory Saturday afternoon at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

The fast qualifier on Thursday night, Davenport started sixth and quickly drove Barry Wright’s No. 49 to the front for the victory, which concluded the afternoon session for the fourth annual Lowes Foods World Finals.

Starting sixth after the redraw, Davenport picked a hard tire and charged to second during the early laps and was riding second when the first yellow flag of the race waved with nine laps in the books.

Davenport got a strong restart and kept pace with polesitter Tim McCreadie, who had led from the green flag. Davenport stormed around McCreadie on lap 11 and controlled the remainder of the 40-lap event on the rock hard four-tenths-mile dirt track.

The third and final yellow flag of the race came when McCreadie, who was running second, shredded a right-rear tire with only three circuits remaining.

Davenport controlled the restart and easily powered away from Rick Eckert to claim the first WoO triumph of his career and continue a strong fall late-model season aboard Wright’s No. 49.

“We took a gamble on tires,” Davenport said. “We talked about it before the race and we both had the same idea. It looked a little crazy sitting on the grid during that modified race, but we were glad we made the choice we did.

“Ever since we teamed up with Barry Wright, we haven’t done anything but go forward.”

With Eckert second, Steve Francis, Darrell Lanigan and Dan Schlieper rounded out the top five.

Lanigan entered the event 22 points behind point-leader Josh Richards and with Richards finishing 12th, narrowed the point margin to just six markers heading into Saturday night’s season finale.

Richards is the defending series champion and Lanigan won the title in 2008.