Davenport cruises, leads all laps en route to win
PORT ROYAL – Jonathan Davenport led every lap of the River Valley 40 for the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series Sunday night at Port Royal Speedway earning $10,000 for his 51st career series win.
Shane Clanton raced inside of Davenport a few times late in the race, but couldn’t make the pass as Davenport carried too much momentum off the top groove.
“I was getting a little nervous at the end,” he said. “He must have been easing in on me. I felt the top dying, but I never felt the bottom was where I needed to be and he was too close for me to take that chance. I decided to move up a little bit and beat the (heck) out of the wall and make sure I could get a good run down the straightaways. I got really tight at the end getting into the corners and I had to slow up. He did a great job and we did a little bit better to hang on for the win.”
Davenport, of Blairsville, GA, and Brandon Sheppard shared the front row to start the 40-lap, $10,000 to win main event.
It was Davenport grabbing the lead over Sheppard and Clanton.
Davenport pulled away as Clanton challenged Sheppard for the runner-up spot in the opening laps.
Clanton was next to Sheppard on the bottom of turns one and two, but Sheppard blasted off the top maintaining second.
They continued to battle for second as Davenport advanced to a comfortable lead closing on slower traffic with 12 laps completed.
The leaders were working traffic by the half-way point and the leader had a close call with a slower car, but maintained the lead over Sheppard and Clanton.
They got out of the slower traffic thanks to a yellow flag with 20 laps completed.
Clanton tried to pass both cars on the restart. He made the pass ofSheppard, but couldn’t clear Davenport. Stormy Scott and Gregg Satterlee were right behind the top three.
With 15 to go, Davenport opened up the lead to over 1 second.
The best race on the track was between Satterlee and Chris Ferguson for fifth spot.
Davenport closed on slower traffic in the final seven laps. Clantonstayed within striking distance and showed his nose under the leader with two laps to go. Davenport stayed on the fence while Clanton raced the bottom groove. Davenport was too fast off the cushion and held on for the win over Clanton.
“We worked our tails off the last week and a half trying to get ourcar better and we got it better, so hopefully we can keep the momentum going,” Clanton said. “It got a little slick through the middle and I was a little too tight. Overall, a good night.”
Sheppard, Ferguson and Scott completed the top five. Satterlee, Josh Richards, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie and Mike Marlar rounded out the top 10.
Marlar set quick time over the 44-car field with a lap of 18.141. Heat races were won by Davenport, Devin Moran, Sheppard and Clanton. Owens and Jeff Rine won the B-mains.
Shawn Shoemaker took the lead from Jared Fulkroad with 17 laps to go in the 25-lap main event for the limited late models. Shoemaker, of Mt. Union, went on to the $1,500 win. Derick Garman, Devin Hart, Fulkroad and Andrew Yoder completed the top five. Casey Steinhoff, Kenny Yoder, Trent Brenneman, Bob Dunn and JR Toner rounded out the top 10.
Heat races for the 31 limited late models were won by A. Yoder, Garman, Hart and Frank Gordon. Daulton Bigler won the B-main.