“Brewster Baker” picked up a massive win this weekend, claiming the World 100 at Eldora Speedway (OH). In reality, Jonathan Davenport carried a brand-new wrap sporting the colors of Kenny Rogers’ character in the racing film “Six Pack,” to his third World 100 triumph, worth $52,000.
Davenport discussed the win and the retro scheme during his Monday appearance on Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring.”
While the Brewster Baker tribute was a new twist for the World 100 weekend, the movie is already part of his team’s fabric.
“My dad used to be 81,” Davenport explained. “When this movie came out, he changed his number to 49 for Brewster Baker. I thought it was pretty neat.
“I named my souvenir guy. We started calling him Brewster,” he added. “He had been following us for a while when I met him in 2009. He had an old camper that had one that looked just like Brewster Baker drove in the movie. We were at a competitor’s shop one time, and we went to get lunch and got his graphics guy to letter up Earl’s camper to where it looked like the Brewster Baker one.”
From the second Davenport’s car was unloaded, it was a hit with fans and quickly garnered notice on social media, as well as at the race track.
“The crowd loved it,” Davenport said. “The older generation, they were all ecstatic about it. They thanked me for doing it. A quite a few people rubbed on the wrap to see if it was rust. Everyone seemed to love it.”
Soon, the movie’s theme song – Rogers’ “Love Will Turn You Around” – became the theme song of the weekend, all the way to the victory celebrations as Davenport took the checkered flag.
“Whenever we unloaded, we had it playing,” Davenport stated. “When we were lucky enough to win and I came back from the media center, got changed into my regular clothes and they started playing it again. The crowd’s reaction was pretty cool.”
However, some aspects of the 1982 movie were left on the cutting room floor during World 100 weekend. The Davenport team opted to leave out the titular “six pack” of children pilfering through the garage, especially with Jonathan’s son Blane at home and unable to join in the fun.
“I made sure there weren’t any sticky fingers,” Davenport joked. “We had to leave out that part of the movie. We didn’t go around stealing anything. We thought about, in driver introductions, me walking out with six kids. We had some kids wanting to do it. I know if I did that, I would never live it down with my son. He would be mad as all get out. I decided I better not do it and make little man too mad.”
As fun as the Brewster Baker tribute was, the race was all business for $52,000. That business quickly became even more difficult than Davenport anticipated when he lost power steering with 70 laps remaining in the event.
Davenport overcame the mechanical issue for the win, but it didn’t come without some sore muscles on Sunday morning.
“They’re a little sore,” Davenport said on Monday. “Yesterday I was really bad sore. We just had a servo problem, it broke the seal off and blew the power steering fluid out right before that lap 30 caution. I knew something was going wrong. When we slowed down, it was pretty hard to control. The steering wheel would just jerk back and forth. It felt different than not having power steering because there was some fluid still pulsating through the system. It was really tough.
“I couldn’t really turn left, so it was really hard to run the bottom. It was definitely a challenge, no doubt.”
Davenport joins Jeff Purvis and Larry Moore as three-time winners of the World 100, trailing just Billy Moyer (six), Scott Bloomquist (four) and Donnie Moran (four) on the all-time wins list in the prestigious Dirt Late Model event.
“It hasn’t really sunk in,” Davenport said. “When I get older and quit racing, maybe I can look back on it and see how good we really are right now. We’re just taking it one race at a time and establish ourselves in the record books alongside everyone else.”
Fans who missed Davenport’s interview can watch an on-demand replay of “The Morning Bullring” by clicking here. The show airs each Monday from 7-9:30 a.m. from Studio 51 in Concord, North Carolina to discuss the latest in short track racing news.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo