Story By: LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – UNION, KY – Jonathan Davenport rolled to his second career victory in the Sunoco Race Fuels North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil on Saturday night at Florence Speedway.
Davenport earned an event record $75,000 for the win to go along with his victory in 2015 in the annual Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.
Defending race winner Brandon Overton tried to close the gap in the final five laps, coming to within two car lengths of Davenport. However, Davenport would prevail by 1.017 seconds ahead of Overton, who was attempting to become the first back-to-back winner of the crown jewel event since Don O’Neal in 2012 and 2013.
Dale McDowell ran in second for several laps before finishing in third behind his fellow Georgians. Ricky Thornton Jr. was fourth and Mike Marlar completed the top five drivers.
Davenport and Chris Madden who entered the weekend as the first and second-ranked dirt late model drivers in the country (per the DirtonDirt.com Top-25 Poll) started on the front row of the event held before a packed grandstand. Unfortunately, Madden’s night would end before a lap was scored as a broken J-Bar entering turn four eliminated him from the race.
Back underway, Davenport would cruise out to a commanding lead. Lapped traffic came into play as McDowell was closing the gap before a caution on lap 56 cleared traffic for the race leader. On the restart Overton was able to get by McDowell for second, as Davenport was already starting to pull away from the field.
Overton and McDowell slowly started to reel in Davenport as the leader was encountering heavy traffic in the closing laps. Overton began to diamond off turn number two and close the gap down the backstretch. In the last final circuits, Overton appeared to have a shot at stealing the win from Davenport as the crowd rose in anticipation of a close finish. However, Davenport was able to hold his line to cross the finish line for his second straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series crown-jewel event.
Davenport in Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 63rd time in his career said: “We just made one adjustment from last night. Our car was pretty good, but we just needed one thing to work on. We talked about it all day and that one little adjustment made the difference. These Longhorn Chassis react to the smallest of adjustments that you make on them. At the end it got so slow and slick. I was trying to smash the gas less and less. I saw 76 [Overton] on the board and I knew he was probably getting closer to me. So, I moved up a lane. We were able to get through lapped traffic good again tonight.”
Overton thought he had a realistic shot if Davenport had not changed his line in the closing laps. “For him not to move, that is what I was hoping for. We were catching lapped cars and I started to move around a little bit. I don’t know if I could gain on him. I could get a better run off two, but he moved up in front of me and then the lapped cars were dirtying the bottom back up. Congrats to him, everything’s going their way. We will just take our second and go home.”
McDowell rounded out the podium in third. “Early on I thought we had shot. I think all of us hit our tough spots during the race, we would go and then fade, go and then fade. We were a little bit tight. Jonathan [Davenport] has had an awesome year and Brandon [Overton] is always good it seems like. It’s fun racing against these young guys and to keep up with them is good.”
The winner’s Lance and Darla Landers owned, Double L Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions, Spartan Mowers, ASC Warranty, Bilstein Shocks, VP Race Fuels, Midwest Sheet Metal, Mark Martin Automotive, and Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas.
Completing the top ten were Zack Dohm, Tim McCreadie, Chris Ferguson, Ricky Weiss, and Bobby Pierce.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
40th Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil
Saturday, August 13th, 2022
Florence Speedway – Union, KY
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top-3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 17D-Zack Dohm; 3. 157-Mike Marlar; 4. 83-Scott James; 5. 16-Justin Rattliff; 6. 31AUS-Kye Blight; 7. 18L-Trevor Landrum; 8. 5N-Dustin Nobbe; 9. (DNS) 93-Carson Ferguson
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top-3 Transfer): 1. 44M-Chris Madden; 2. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens; 4. 7W-Ricky Weiss; 5. 15-James Rice; 6. 29-Darrell Lanigan; 7. 58-Garrett Alberson; 8. 33AJ-Austin Lay; 9. 17-Jeremy Creech
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top-3 Transfer): 1. 11-Spencer Hughes; 2. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 3. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 4. 7R-Kent Robinson; 5. 6-Victor Lee; 6. 14G-Joe Godsey; 7. 29G-Larry Grube; 8. 29K-Clint Keenan; 9. (DNS) 12D-Doug Drown
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top-3 Transfer): 1. 17M-Dale McDowell; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb; 3. 9-Devin Moran; 4. 99-Camaron Marlar; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 6. 2-Kyle Fogt; 7. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr; 8. 11R-Josh Rice; 9. 94-Jason Miller
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top-3 Transfer): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 3. 12-Jason Jameson; 4. 39-Tim McCreadie; 5. 21H-Robby Hensley; 6. D8-Dustin Linville; 7. 17T-Tim Vance; 8. H22-Brandon Hardgrove; 9. (DNS) 23K-Keegan Cox
Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top-3 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 3. 7-Ross Robinson; 4. 23-Cory Hedgecock; 5. 33-Jesse Lay; 6. 18-Shannon Babb; 7. 38-Derek Fisher; 8. 13-Brayton Laster; 9. (DNS) 90-Vern Lefevers
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 7W-Ricky Weiss; 2. 7R-Kent Robinson; 3. 83-Scott James; 4. 58-Garrett Alberson; 5. 18L-Trevor Landrum; 6. 15-James Rice; 7. 31AUS-Kye Blight; 8. 14G-Joe Godsey; 9. 5N-Dustin Nobbe; 10. 6-Victor Lee; 11. 33AJ-Austin Lay; 12. 29K-Clint Keenan; 13. 29G-Larry Grube; 14. 17-Jeremy Creech; 15. 16-Justin Rattliff; 16. 29-Darrell Lanigan; 17. (DNS) 12D-Doug Drown; 18. (DNS) 93-Carson Ferguson
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie; 2. 23-Cory Hedgecock; 3. 21H-Robby Hensley; 4. 18-Shannon Babb; 5. 11R-Josh Rice; 6. 99-Camaron Marlar; 7. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 8. D8-Dustin Linville; 9. 38-Derek Fisher; 10. 94-Jason Miller; 11. 17T-Tim Vance; 12. 2-Kyle Fogt; 13. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr; 14. 13-Brayton Laster; 15. 33-Jesse Lay; 16. (DNS) H22-Brandon Hardgrove; 17. (DNS) 23K-Keegan Cox; 18. (DNS) 90-Vern Lefevers
40th Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil Feature Finish (100 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Jonathan Davenport (1-100)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Jonathan Davenport
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: Jonathan Davenport
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Jonathan Davenport
Margin of Victory: 1.017 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Chris Madden (Start); Tyler Erb (Lap 56); Hudson O’Neal (Lap 63)
Series Provisionals: Garrett Alberson, Daulton Wilson
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Florence Speedway Provisional: Josh Rice
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Tim McCreadie
Big River Steel Podium Top-3: Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton, Dale McDowell
Penske Shocks Top-5: Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton, Dale McDowell, Ricky Thornton Jr., Mike Marlar
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Tim McCreadie (Advanced 13 Positions)
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Jonathan Davenport (100 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton Jr.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Spencer Hughes
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Jonathan Davenport (Lap 1 – 17.130 seconds)
DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Chris Madden
DirtDraft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (16.042 seconds)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Jason Durham
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Time of Race: 45 minutes 15 seconds
Non-Qualifiers Race Finish (30 Laps): 1. 21H-Robby Hensley; 2. 18L-Trevor Landrum; 3. 83-Scott James; 4. 14G-Joe Godsey; 5. 31AUS-Kye Blight; 6. 5N-Dustin Nobbe; 7. D8-Dustin Linville; 8. 2-Kyle Fogt; 9. 29K-Clint Keenan; 10. 17-Jeremy Creech; 11. 33AJ-Austin Lay; 12. 38-Derek Fisher; 13. 94-Jason Miller; 14. 29G-Larry Grube; 15. (DNS) 18-Shannon Babb; 16. (DNS) 15-James Rice; 17. (DNS) 99-Camaron Marlar; 18. (DNS) 6-Victor Lee; 19. (DNS) 17T-Tim Vance; 20. (DNS) 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr