Union, KY — Jonathan Davenport posted a flag-to-flag victory in Saturday night’s 33rd annual Ralph Latham Memorial at Florence Speedway.
Davenport held off a furious late-race challenge from Jimmy Owens for a $12,000 payday. Davenport’s triumph marked his eighth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season.
Davenport and Owens ran first and second the entire 50 laps, battling nose-to-tail in the early stages of the race. Hudson O’Neal; the defending race winner; and Josh Richards exchanged the third spot on several occasions in the final laps before O’Neal edged out Richards. Mike Marlar rounded of the top five finishers in a race that went the entire distance without a caution flag.
Davenport earned his second-career Ralph Latham Memorial win and was very pleased in Lucas Oil Victory Lane. “I had a good spot to watch the race last night at Tazewell. I think we had a car that could’ve won last night. We started in the back and I went too hard too early. I thought the rain was right on us. I wasn’t going to give this one away. After they watered the track tonight, I had no idea where to go. I knew Jimmy [Owens] was under me and I wanted to give him some room.”
“I didn’t want to ruin our night right off the bat,” said the two-time and defending National Champion. “I have to thank Josh [King] for giving us a good track to race on. I tore this thing up last night and thanks to my crew guys for putting it back together. We are happy to be back in Victory Lane. I wasn’t making up any time on the lapped cars. I was just spinning my tires there for a while. I was trying to save them until the end. I was trying to keep Jimmy at bay.”
Owens was coming off of a fifth-place finish at Tazewell and hounded Davenport for the entire race. “I didn’t expect it to go caution free. We have a lot of professional drivers out here and everybody did a great job. I was needing some oxygen there about half-way through. I was pounding on that cushion and that just wasn’t for me. It was a rough night at Tazewell last night. The crew busted their tails to get this thing ready for tonight.”
O’Neal charged from eleventh to pick up the third spot. “I wasn’t hoping for a caution I was praying for one. We needed one there. We got behind early tonight. We were pretty good in the heat race. We drove up through there in the feature and I can’t complain a bit, we have had a really good weekend. I know we have wins but we have been missing that consistency. This is a race track we have been waiting all year to come to. I can’t wait to come back here in August.”
The winner’s Lance Landers Motorsports-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by: Nutrien Ag Solutions, ASC Warranty, Penske Racing Shocks, Valvoline, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Spartan Mowers, and Hawkeye Trucks.
Completing the top ten were Tyler Erb, Kent Robinson, Kody Evans, Earl Pearson Jr., and Tim McCreadie.
FINISH START CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN EARNINGS 1 2 49 Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA $13,100 2 1 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN $6,300 3 11 71 Hudson O’Neal Martinsville, IN $4,200 4 3 14 Josh Richards Shinnston, WV $3,550 5 6 157 Mike Marlar Winfield, TN $2,250 6 5 1T Tyler Erb ® New Waverly, TX $2,600 7 4 7R Kent Robinson Bloomington, IN $1,500 8 7 4G Kody Evans Camden, OH $1,300 9 14 1 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL $2,000 10 23 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY $1,800 11 13 2H Nick Hoffman Mooresville, NC $1,075 12 16 17m Dale McDowell Chickamauga, GA $1,050 13 10 5 Michael Norris Sarver, PA $1,025 14 9 1M Devin Moran ® Dresden, OH $1,700 15 8 29 Darrell Lanigan Union, KY $1,000 16 21 8 Kyle Strickler Troutman, NC $1,000 17 19 40B Kyle Bronson Brandon, FL $1,700 18 18 2s Stormy Scott Las Cruses, NM $1,700 19 20 50 Shanon Buckingham Morristown, TN $1,700 20 24 21 Billy Moyer, Jr. Batesville, AR $1,700 21 15 22 Gregg Satterlee Indiana, PA $1,000 22 17 18L Trevor Landrum Erlanger, KY $1,000 23 12 99B Boom Briggs Bear Lake, PA $1,000 24 25 45 David Douglas Hamilton, OH $1,000 25 22 83 Scott James Lawrenceburg, IN $1,000
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Heath Lawson