TAZEWELL, TN - The fastest car doesn't always win the race and that was the case in the Toyota Knoxville 50 on Friday night at Tazewell Speedway.
Jonathan Davenport inherited the lead when Jimmy Owens left the race on lap 46 with terminal issues. Davenport then held off a hard-charging Tim McCreadie for his fifth series win of the season. McCreadie finished a close second, with Don O'Neal coming home in third. Dennis Erb Jr. and Earl Pearson Jr. rounded out the top five.
Owens bolted to the lead at the start of the event and dominated much of the race in the Ramirez Motorsports entry. He led by almost a straightaway on several occasions as Davenport and McCreadie battled for second.
No one appeared to have anything for Owens, who was looking for the sixth Toyota Knoxville 50 win of his career. Unfortunately, with four laps to go Owens retreated to the pits off turn four in a cloud of smoke. McCreadie pressured Davenport in the final laps, but Davenport held on for first Tazewell Speedway victory since his record-setting 2015 season.
"I hate for anybody to have any bad luck, especially when you are leading. We were running second there at the end, early on I don't know if I could have gotten by Josh Richards or Jimmy Owens." Richards pulled out of the race on lap 18 while running second to Owens.
"I don't know how much Jimmy was saving. This place is so fast. The top went away, and the bottom was coming back in at the end. Man, I love this place. I didn't see anything coming from the 20 car. I thought he had a tire going down or something. Josh was smoking for several laps there early on. Man, it was heartbreak for those two. We will take it, it was a good points night for us."
"Thanks to Lance Landers for putting together this wonderful race team. The sky is the limit. The first time I ever came here I loved it. This place is so unique. There is nothing like it. I wish we could come back here two or three times."
McCreadie's Sweeteners Plus, Longhorn maintained for a solid podium finish. "We had a good race there with JD. He [Davenport] got by me and then I was pinned in the middle. We just didn't get any breaks tonight. We had a good enough car to win. This is my best run here, so I am happy. "
O'Neal in the Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Club 29 reached the podium again with his third-place run. "It was a good solid run for us. Man, I thought I had something for them. We were a little too free. It was a good points night for us. We will head to Florence tomorrow where we have had a lot of success in the past."
The winner's Lance Landers Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by: Crop Production Services, Spartan Mowers, Valvoline, ASC Warranty, Penske Shocks, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Hawkeye Trucks, Midwest Sheet Metal and Sunoco Race Fuels.
Completing the top ten were Hudson O'Neal, Eric Wells, Mason Zeigler, Chad Ogle, and Jason Jameson.
Dennis Erb, Jr.
Earl Pearson, Jr.
Mason Zeigler ®
Chalk Hill, PA
Kyle Bronson ®
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release. Photo Credit: Heath Lawson Photo