Story By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – BRISTOL, TN – Jonathan Davenport proved not even Kyle Larson would be his kryptonite at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Superman” rose to the occasion in Friday’s World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models Feature at the Bristol Bash as he thundered past Ricky Weiss with four laps to go. But the Blairsville, GA driver was far from being in the clear.
Larson, who was forced to start from the rear of the field after being late to the starting grid, blasted around the top side of Bristol’s iconic high banks from 24th to second in 27 laps, raising the crowd to its collective feet as he set his sights on Davenport.
The defending NASCAR Cup Series champion from Elk Grove, CA, Larson continued to hammer the top with only one more car to pass and a lap to go. He swung his Longhorn Chassis to the outside of Turn 1, but slipped up the banking as his right rear let go and he contacted the wall, ending his chances for victory.
Davenport then cruised from Turn 2 to the checkered flag scoring a $25,000 prize and his third straight triumph when racing with the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models.
“Superman” didn’t realize Larson was there, but he made sure he kept the car wide in the last few laps.
“The last couple of laps, I just tried to stay really wide going into the corner,” Davenport said. “I had been on the top, but obviously not as far up top as [Larson] had been. I just tried to stay a little wide in case someone was up there; I guess just to mess up their air.”
The Georgia driver scored this third win in the past seven days and the 11th World of Outlaws win of his career.
“We finally got that gorilla off our back down last week in Florida, and now we’re on a roll,” Davenport said.
Multi-time World of Outlaws Feature winner Ricky Weiss finished second after leading the most laps.
The Headingley, MB driver was disappointed after a win at Bristol slipped through his fingers for the second consecutive year.
“I thought I gave it away on the start,” Weiss said. “We fought back, and Davenport got a little aggressive early. It didn’t work. We got by him, and I think he had a better seat to the show and just made the right choices the last few laps, and it gave him the win.”
Kyle Bronson, of Brandon, FL, crossed the line third. He stated he was happy with his performance after struggling at Bristol earlier this year.
“I usually like these big places, but I sucked the last few times I’ve been here,” Bronson said. “We got a brand-new [Rocket] XR-1 out and it’s been really good, got a brand-new set of Integra Shocks and a brand-new Clements engine.
“Everything ran flawless tonight. We just got to work on it and get steering a little bit better. Larson showed the way around the top tonight and we kind of figured out some things. We just have to turn a little bit better if we’re going to be good up there.”
Scott Bloomquist, the 2004 Series champion, finished fourth in his first World of Outlaws start of 2022. The Mooresburg, TN driver struggled with his handling throughout the night.
“We’re still missing a little,” Bloomquist said. “The tire change had us off a little bit. If I overdrive, I’m a little free, and if I underdrive a little bit, I push a little. I have a little work to do for [Saturday], but I think we’re gaining on it.”
Chris Madden from Gray Court, SC, rounded out the top five.
Series points leader Dennis Erb Jr. extended his lead after a 13th-place—52 points ahead of Max Blair.
The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are back to Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday for night two of the Bristol Bash.
Case Construction Feature (30 Laps): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 7-Ricky Weiss; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 5. 44-Chris Madden; 6. 20-Jimmy Owens; 7. 45-Kyle Hammer; 8. 6-Kyle Larson; 9. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 10. 16-Tyler Bruening; 11. 79-Ross Bailes; 12. 81E-Tanner English; 13. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 14. 1-Josh Richards; 15. 99B-Boom Briggs; 16. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 17. 111V-Max Blair; 18. 48-Tim Lance; 19. 17V-Tim Vance; 20. B1-Brent Larson; 21. 8-Kyle Strickler; 22. 45H-Don Hammer FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Jimmy Owens [+11].