WAYNESVILLE - Former Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year Jonathan Davenport of Mt. Airy, NC dominated the season-opener Friday afternoon at Golden Isles Speedway in Waynesville, GA.
Davenport set a new track record in time trials, won his heat, and led all 25-laps of the first main event for the Georgia Boot Super Bowl of Racing. The win marked his third career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory.
Davenport's other LOLMDS victories were in the state of Virginia at Winchester Speedway and Virginia Motor Speedway both during the 2010 season.
"I can't thank Kevin (Rumley), Leroy (Rumley), and Longhorn Chassis enough. This deal just came together at the end of last year, I have driven for them before but to come together so quick with this car, it says a lot about this team."
Davenport was unchallenged for a majority of the $5000 to win event, which was the first LOLMDS race at Golden Isles Speedway since 2008. Last year's series rookie of the year, Billy Moyer Jr. ran second for the first 11 laps until yielding to Brandon Sheppard. Moyer then lost another spot a few circuits later to Earl Pearson Jr., who took over the third spot.
A caution with five laps to go would set-up a five lap dash to the finish. But Davenport was just too strong as he fought off Sheppard's challenges to take the win.
"I have to thank AES Racing, JRi Shocks, Mega Plumbing, VP Fuels, and CV Products. The track was real racy for a day-time race, my hats off to the track crew in getting it ready after the rain last night. So now we will come back tonight and try to win two today."
Sheppard, who is subbing for Josh Richards in the Mark Richards Racing, Rocket House Car crept to within a car-length in the final five-lap shootout, but Davenport pulled away in the closing laps.
"We stayed with him on that last restart for a little bit, but he was too strong, congrats to them. This is a new car. We will go back make some adjustments for tonight and see what happens", stated the winner of the series final event last year, the Dirt Track World Championship.
Sheppard was the only non-Longhorn Chassis driver to prevent a podium finish for Davenport, Pearson and Moyer Jr. Pearson was happy with his finish, but even more for the younger Moyer.
"He drove a heck of race there running up top and I didn't think I was going to get by him. He is going to have a good year and just a matter of time before he gets a series win.We were really good off the bottom today and it feels good to run well this close to home with all my family and friends here".
Completing the top ten were Chris Madden, Don O'Neal, Steve Francis, Dennis Franklin and Jimmy Owens.
In preliminary action, Jonathan Davenport set the overall Georgia Boot Fast Time (Group A) amongst the ¬33 entrants, with a lap of 14.921 seconds. Billy Moyer Jr. set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 15.011 seconds. Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard, Billy Moyer Jr., and Chris Madden won their respective heat races. Steve Shaver won the B-Main.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Golden Isles Speedway