OCALA, FL — Jonathan Davenport’s return to the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2018 is off to a superb start, capturing his third series win of the year on Sunday night at Bubba Raceway Park. Davenport became the third different leader of the 50-lap main event when he took the top spot for good on lap five from Tyler Erb.
Tim McCreadie and Erb started on the front row, with McCreadie leading the first two laps until Erb forged in front on lap three. When Davenport went by Erb two laps later, he never looked back, but was challenged late in the race by Earl Pearson Jr.
Earl Pearson Jr.’s Lucas Oil, Black Diamond Chassis finished in second with last year’s Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year, Hudson O’Neal coming home in third. Jimmy Owens was fourth with Kyle Bronson taking fifth.
“I thought I was going to turn over at the start. I didn’t know that hole was quite as big as it was,” said the 34-year-old winner in Lucas Oil Victory Lane. “Tyler [Erb] had a harder tire on at the start and I knew it wouldn’t fire after a few restarts. Our car was really good through the middle of the race. The slime came back up just a little bit. Then the rubber came back really really hard. I was just trying to protect my right rear tire. I was grinding on the right front and then I started to feel it vibrate.”
“You are always concerned about tire wear at this track. This place is so oddly-shaped. You could bounce in turn one and then in three you had to be easy. If you went in too hard, you would just slide out. There is a lot going on in the cockpit that a lot of people can’t see.”
The Lance Landers Motorsports team’s winning car is sponsored by: Crop Production Services, Spartan Mowers, Valvoline, ACS Warranty, Penske Racing Shocks, Midwest Sheet Metal and Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas. His Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine.
Pearson had his best finish of the season with a runner-up position to Davenport. Pearson closed on Davenport in the final laps to make the final outcome close. “I knew that both of us were on soft tires,” said Pearson, who was referring to Davenport’s choice of tire as well. “I didn’t have much of a tire left. I just started riding to the end.”
Hudson O’Neal made his second podium finish of the week. “I think I had a little bit more of a tire left than those guys ahead of me. I didn’t know if anybody was closing in on me. I am very happy with this third-place finish after the week we had at East Bay. We struggled all of last week. It feels good to get back on the podium,” said the driver of the Todd Burns-owned, Dyno One, Club 29 entry.
Completing the top five were Don O’Neal, Matt Cosner, Jason Fitzgerald, Scott Bloomquist and Chub Frank.
Feature Finish: 50 laps
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||EARNINGS|
|1||3||49||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||$10,500|
|2||7||1||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||$6,800|
|3||9||71||Hudson O’Neal||Martinsville, IN||$4,200|
|4||11||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||$3,550|
|5||14||40B||Kyle Bronson||Brandon, FL||$2,750|
|6||18||5||Don O’Neal||Martinsville, IN||$2,600|
|7||21||66c||Matt Cosner||Ridgeley, WV||$1,500|
|8||17||7F||Jason Fitzgerald||Middleburg, FL||$1,300|
|9||23||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||$2,500|
|10||22||1*||Chub Frank||Bear Lake, PA||$1,100|
|11||2||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY||$1,775|
|12||20||1s||Brandon Sheppard||New Berlin, IL||$1,550|
|13||24||22||Gregg Satterlee||Indiana, PA||$1,725|
|14||15||C02||Doug Drown||Wooster, OH||$1,000|
|15||10||28||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL||$1,650|
|16||6||1R||Josh Richards||Shinnston, WV||$2,525|
|17||8||32||Bobby Pierce||Oakwood, IL||$2,100|
|18||12||14||Darrell Lanigan||Union, KY||$1,575|
|19||16||14m||Morgan Bagley||Gladewater, TX||$850|
|20||19||33||Jeff Mathews||Brandon, FL||$825|
|21||5||99B||Boom Briggs||Bear Lake, PA||$1,500|
|22||1||91||Tyler Erb||New Waverly, TX||$1,400|
|23||13||116||Brandon Overton||Evans, GA||$800|
|24||4||14T||Tyler Clem||Tampa, FL||$800|
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Heath Lawson