GREENWOOD, NE — The defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Jonathan Davenport returned to Victory Lane on Saturday night, pocketing $40,000 for his efforts. Davenport took the lead from Chris Simpson on lap 13 and lead the rest of the way to win the sixth edition of the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway.
In a race that saw three different leaders in the first 13 laps, Davenport charged from the seventh starting spot to take the point from Simpson. He averted several charges from other competitors throughout the remainder of the race to take home his first LOLMDS win since the Cowboy Classic at Lucas Oil Speedway on May 26th.
“The car was just super tonight, we have worked so hard to get back here to victory lane, we have had brake issues, and all kinds of things that didn’t happen last year. So it feels good to get a win here tongiht. It’s a great race track and the fans get to see a great race every time we come here,” said Davenport in Lucas Oil Victory Lane.
Davenport’s winning K&L Rumley Enterprises/Longhorn Chassis is sponsored by: Baird Transport, Elite Concrete, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, JRi Shocks, National Transportation, FK Rod End, Midwest Sheet Metal and Bryson Motorsports.
Hall-of-Famer, Billy Moyer in likely his final start at I-80 Speedway finished in second. Davenport and Moyer had a two-lap shootout to the finish, after third-place running Jesse Stovall blew a tire bringing out the final caution of the event.
Brandon Sheppard charged from the 25th starting spot to finish third in his Best Performance Motorsports/Rocket Chassis. Tim McCreadie finished fourth, while Earl Pearson Jr. drove by Shannon Babb on the final lap to take fifth.
Jared Landers, the polesitter for the 80-lap main event, jumped to the lead at the onset. Chris Simpson, who started alongside Landers on the front row, used the low-line on the track to overtake Landers for the lead on lap ten.
Simpson, who had to switch to a backup car for the main event, held the point until Davenport took over on lap 13. A torrid battle amongst Davenport, Simpson, Moyer and Dennis Erb Jr. then ensued. Moyer climbed to second on lap 34 and stayed there until Erb got around him on lap 43.
Erb then had Sheppard join him as they tracked down Davenport for the top spot. Sheppard, using the high side, passed Erb for second on lap 57. However, Erb would battle back to regain the runner-up position from Sheppard shortly after. Erb suffered a flat tire on lap 66, ending his hopes for a victory.
Moyer, in his All-Makes Collision/McCarthy’s One Hour Heating and Cooling, self-designed chassis wasn’t able to muster enough momentum in the final two circuits to overtake Davenport. “I knew I would have a tough time getting by him. I was just hanging on there at the end. I figured I would get passed there by some cars, but fortunately we stayed in second. Thanks to Joe Kosiski and everybody here. We really hadn’t run that much here in the past, but they have done a great job with this facility.”
Completing the top ten were Shannon Babb, Scott Bloomquist, Dave Eckrich, Jared Landers and Don O’Neal.
In preliminary action, RC Whitwell, Jesse Stovall, Chris Simpson, Jared Landers, Terry Phillips, Jimmy Owens won their respective first round heat races. Shannon Babb, Shane Clanton, Tim McCreadie, Billy Moyer, Brandon Sheppard won their respective second round heat races. Darrell Lanigan and Tyler Erb won their respective B-Mains. Brantlee Gotschall won the Non-Qualifiers Race.
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Heath Lawson