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Thursday February 22nd, 2018 9:58PM

Davenport scores first career Gator at DIRTcar Nationals

By Colby Gorniewicz
  Contact Editor

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Jonathan Davenport dominated the first night of Late Model competition at the 47th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida by leading flag-to-flag for all 30 laps of the feature event.

The win gave the Blairsville, Georgia driver his first ever Gator trophy in Victory Lane at the historic half-mile.

“You don’t know how much this gator (trophy) means to me,” said Davenport. “I’ve been wanting one of these things for so long. We’ve been close a few times but we’ve never got it done. This one here is definitely for my crew. We stayed up all night last night. We put a new body on this thing. We changed motors. We went all through the car. It was raining on us and we were soaking wet… Winning here is unbelievable. It sure is.”

Davenport started on the pole for the event and never looked back. Despite two cautions, Davenport was never seriously challenged for the lead spot. Chris Madden was the only driver to reach the leader’s bumper throughout the race.

In the end, Madden had to settle for second. Zebulon, Georgia’s Shane Clanton finished in third, with Scott Bloomquist in fourth and Mike Marlar in fifth.

Dale McDowell, Tyler Bruening, Kyle Bronson, David Breazeale and Rick Eckert rounded out the top ten.

In other action, the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds wrapped up their portion of the DIRTcar Nationals with the $5,000-to-win Big Gator Championships.

Two-time defending champion Nick Hoffman came into the night needing to finish fourth or better to claim his third straight DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Gator Championship. Hoffman would go on to finish second to Big Gator Championship feature winner, Kyle Strickler, who earned a $5,000 payday while Hoffman won his third straight DIRTcar Nationals title.

“We had a good racecar all week long,” Strickler said. “We battled some adversity earlier in the week with the car falling off the trailer. But we never finished out of the top three the whole time. We didn’t win the Championship, but we got the Big Gator for winning five grand.”

For the week, Strickler won, finished second and third twice each.

For Hoffman, the 25-year-old driver became the first driver in DIRTcar Nationals history to win three championships in the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.

“Man, this is so awesome,” he said. “To win a Big Gator is pretty special no matter how many times you do it. These are so hard to come by and to do this three years in a row says a lot about this car and this team. There’s so many people that make this happen and I truly can’t thank everyone enough.”

Through the week, Hoffman recorded three wins as well as two seconds and a third to win the DIRTcar Nationals title by 13 points (458-443) over Strickler.

Will Krup finished in third, followed by Tyler Nicely in fourth, and NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Justin Alligaier in fifth.

Ryan Ayers, Mark Whitener, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton, former NASCAR driver David Stremme and Jason Beaulieu rounded out the top ten.

The DIRTcar Late Models return to the track on Tuesday night, along with the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds.

For more information, visit DIRTcarnationals.com.

DIRTcar Nationals
Volusia Speedway Park – Barberville, FL
Race Results – Feb. 12, 2018

DIRTcar Late Models
1. 49-Jonathan Davenport
2. 44-Chris Madden
3. 25-Shane Clanton
4. 0-Scott Bloomquist
5. 157-Mike Marlar
6. 17M-Dale McDowell
7. 16-Tyler Bruening
8. 40B-Kyle Bronson
9. 54-David Breazeale
10. 7-Rick Eckert
11. 116-Brandon Overton
12. 15-Donny Schatz
13. 1-Brandon Sheppard
14. 9-Devin Moran
15. 72-Mike Norris
16. B1-Brent Larson
17. 2-Nick Hoffman
18. OF1-Coleby Frye
19. 28-Dennis Erb, Jr.
20. C8-Timothy Culp
21. 22s-Brian Shirley
22. 1star-Chub Frank
23. 31-Tyler Millwood
24. 18c-Chase Junghans

DIRTcar UMP Modifieds
1. 8-Kyle Strickler
2. 2–Nick Hoffman
3. K9–Will Krup
4. 25-Tyler Nicely
5. 7-Justin Alligaier
6. 6a–Ryan Ayers
7. 5–Mark Whitener
8. 88-Matt Crafton
9. 35-David Stremme
10. 90-Jason Beaulieu
11. 96m–Mike McKinney
12. 67–Garrett Stewart
13. 36–Kenny Wallace
14. 24z-Zeke McKenzie
15. 17T–Tyler Evans
16. 99H–Justin Haley
17. 9-Ken Schrader
18. 49-Brian Ruhlman
19. 1-Blake Spalding
20. 2×4–Chase Collins
21. 23-Ryan Cripe
22. 18L-Michael Long
23. 15c–Jamie Carter
24. 14c–Rick Conoyer
25. 4–Rick Arms
26. 77-Ray Bollinger
27. 61–Allen Weisser
28. 22T–Tony Anderson

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Auto Racing, Dirt Track, Stock Car, Short Track, Modifieds, Dirt Late Model
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