The 31st Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals attracts drivers from different disciplines of racing all over the world. Most of them have some experience in the open-wheeled Midgets, while some do not. Jonathan Davenport is a highly decorated Dirt Late Model racer, but he has never turned a lap in a Midget. However, “Superman” is now entered for the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals.
Davenport told Speed51.com powered by JEGS that the deal came together Monday night to run a team car of Zach Daum. Daum finished third in the 2016 Chili Bowl Nationals 55-lap A-Main.
The 2015 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion said he’s looking forward to the Chili Bowl, even with his lack of experience.
“It just looks like something fun and cool to do,” Davenport said. “I’ll race a tricycle as long as there’s a little competition going. But it just looks different, it’s fun, I’ve watched it on TV a couple of times and I hear everyone talk about it so why not?”
Davenport said he has no expectations for his first Chili Bowl foray. This for him is all about fun.
“I’ve never even really looked at (a midget) to be honest with you,” Davenport said. “First of all, I want to make sure I fit in one. The second thing is to make sure I push the gas pedal down and not out. But it’s a totally different element for me. I’ve never sat in one of these or a Sprint Car or anything like that.”
Not only are the cars completely new to Davenport, but so is the type of event itself. Davenport skipped the Gateway Dirt Nationals this past weekend in St. Louis, so he’s never raced indoors.
“It’s a different atmosphere racing indoors. I’ll be racing with people that I have no clue who they are and they have no clue who I am. It’ll be something different and something I’m looking forward to.”
With no experience and no expectations, the Chili Bowl is an entirely new beast for Davenport to try to conquer. Whether or not he can conquer a Golden Driller trophy and beat the other 300-plus drivers entered remains to be seen, but the Georgia native known as “Superman” remains as confident as ever.
“As long as it’s got a steering wheel I think I’ll be fine.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Heath Lawson photo