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Jonathan Davenport takes World 100 victory!

Jonathan Davenport – Jim Denhamer photo

ROSSBURG, Ohio — With the band back together, Jonathan Davenport and his crew played one of their greatests hits.

The Blairsville, Ga., driver, with former crew chief Kevin Rumley and Co. rejoining the 33-year-old Davenport in his new G.R. Smith-owned ride, dominated Saturday’s 47th annual World 100 for a $50,000 payday at Eldora Speedway, winning the sport’s most prestigious race for the second time in three years.

The third-starting Davenport blew into the lead from the outset and ran virtually unchallenged in becoming the first World 100 winner in 14 seasons to go flag-to-flag at the Tony Stewart-owned half-mile oval.

Outside front-row starter Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., notched his first-ever Eldora finish with a runner-up performance while Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., was third in his best finish. Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who started 25th, and two-time preliminary race winner Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., rounded out the top five in front of a record-setting Eldora crowd.

Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., who held the second spot from lap 60-89, had two slipups after a restart with 11 laps remaining and dropped from contention, finishing 11th.

Davenport’s victory would’ve seem unfathomable just a few months ago as the driver who swept Eldora’s Dream and World 100 in 2015 during a career season with the K&L Rumley Enterprises team was winless in Super Late Model competition through the first half of 2017.

Leaving the Barry Wright Race Cars house car team the first week in August, Davenport ended up connecting with North Carolina transplant G.R. Smith, kicking off their partnership with back-to-back victories. Davenport added a $25,000 Hillbilly 100 triumph just seven days ago at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., and the team headed to Eldora with help from his former car owners — Kevin Rumley and his Hall of Fame engine-building father Lee Roy — joining in to help along with crew member Bryan Liverman.

The obvious hashtag — #TheBandisBackTogether — became the team’s theme of the weekend, and they struck a winning tune Saturday with Davenport’s dominating performance while buoying G.R. Smith’s operation.

“I’ve just gotta thank G.R. Smith. If you only know our past, man, it’s so cool,” Davenport said with a laugh in victory lane. “Probably the first time we met one another, we was racing and, you know, I guess, I don’t know, I ran over him, and he ran over me, and we had a little altercation there. But anyway, it’s so cool for him to step out (of the car) …”

Davenport, the weekend’s overall fast qualifier who finished second to Lanigan in Thursday’s opening preliminary feature, had a hard time believing he was standing on Eldora stage after his 2017’s struggles.

“Just the year that I had … you know, I love Barry and Lance (Wright) to death. Things just didn’t work out over there,” Davenport said “I have all the respect for them in the world, but man, just to be almost in the gutter for a half a year, then come here and win the biggest race there is, it’s an amazing turnaround.”

Davenport’s ride appeared flawless all race long. His only real scare came on lap 66 when the ailing car of last year’s winner Bobby Pierce slowed abruptly in front of him in turn two. Davenport steered away from that danger as a yellow flag appeared.

He faced his most serious racing challenged when a caution appeared for debris with 11 laps remaining after Davenport — as he did most of the race — was enjoying a comfortable lead. Overton took his best shot on the restart, briefly pulling alongside, but he ended up pushing the issue so hard that he twice slipped up, slapping the wall and fading from contention while Davenport edged away from Satterlee the rest of the way.

“That’s a damn good race car is what you saw right there,” Davenport said in victory lane. “This place has changed … I finally figured out what I needed before we (teams were allowed to) cut tires and everything. I could get a good line up by the wall and I was really comfortable. And I kept watching videos, kept watching videos, and it always seemed to go to the bottom, so I just really set my mind (for) the first 25 or first 30 (laps), I just wanted to run around the bottom and see where it went.”

Top, middle or bottom, Davenport seemed to have the field covered wherever he wanted to race — starting just a moment after the green flag dropped.
“He didn’t even give me and (polesitter Hudson (O’Neal) a chance — he went by us that first corner and just never looked back,” Satterlee said.

Despite vainly chasing Davenport the rest of the way, Satterlee was “extremely happy” with his “awesome car” in improving from his previous best World 100 finish — eighth place in 2014.

“Hopefully I want to get up there someday and see what it feels like,” Satterlee said, glancing up at Davenport’s photo session on the victory stage. “It’s good to get a top-three here. This is by far the best finish I’ve ever had hear, so we’ll take it, and I guess this is one step closer to hopefully getting up on that stage.”
Marlar likewise had his best World 100 run in his seventh start in the race, improving on the ninth-place run 12 years earlier.

“It was a good run for us. It’s the best run I’ve had up here. I’ve been in the top 10, not in the top five. I’m glad to see the front up here for a change, so it was a fun night for us,” Marlar said. “It’s just a testament to my crew, my car owner Ronnie Delk. You don’t come to a stage this big without the best equipment that you can have.”
Six cautions slowed the race, the most significant when eighth-running Scott Bloomquist and seventh-running Tim McCreadie got briefly hooked together in turn three as McCreadie was slowing with a left-rear flat tire on lap 29.

Pierce, who faded quickly after starting in the fourth row, slowed to draw cautions on laps 59 and 66 with damage to the right-rear corner of his car.
Earlier yellows appeared when Jeep Van Wormer had a lap-four flat tire and another yellow flew on lap 16. A lap-25 yellow appeared for a slowing Kyle Bronson.

Notes: Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, Wis., was the last World 100 winner to lead 100 laps. … Davenport is the first driver to win the World 100 twice in three seasons since six-time race winner Billy Moyer won in 1998 and 2000. … Moyer, 59, finished eighth in potentially his final World 100 start. … Four-time World 100 winner Scott Bloomquist retired with transmission problems on the 60th lap while running sixth. … Friday preliminary feature winner Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., was the first retiree with a broken lift bar; he was running fourth when he retired on the 10th lap. … Davenport became the first driver to win the Hillbilly 100 and World 100 in the same season since Earl Pearson Jr. in 2006.

DIRTcar UMP Late Models 

Heat 1 – (15 Laps)
1. 14-Darrell Lanigan[1] ; 2. 32P-Bobby Pierce[2] ; 3. 0-Scott Bloomquist[9] ; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens[3] ; 5. 17M-Dale McDowell[7] ; 6. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[6] ; 7. 18K-Brandon Kinzer[5] ; 8. 72-Mike Norris[4] ; 9. 15-Steve Francis[12] ; 10. 33-Jesse James Lay[13] ; 11. 32-Chad Stapleton[14] ; 12. 240-Doug Drown[11] ; 13. 4BG-Bob Gardner[15] ; 14. 97-Michael Chilton[17] ; 15. 9R-Curtis Roberts[10] ; 16. 97M-Brett Miller[16] ; 17. 45DH-Doug Hammer[18] ; 18. 56-Tony Jackson Jr[8]

Heat 2 – (15 Laps)
1. 5-Don O’Neal[1] ; 2. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.[3] ; 3. 17D-Zack Dohm[5] ; 4. 15H-Jon Henry[4] ; 5. 1R-Josh Richards[2] ; 6. 32S-Chris Simpson[6] ; 7. 101-Casey Roberts[7] ; 8. 33M-Tim Manville[9] ; 9. 1GK-Ryan King[8] ; 10. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[11] ; 11. 93-Jay Johnson[17] ; 12. 77B-Adam Bowman[10] ; 13. 2c-Joey Coulter[14] ; 14. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[13] ; 15. 144-Chris Barton[15]

Heat 3 – (15 Laps)
1. 157-Mike Marlar[1] ; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard[3] ; 3. 21-Billy Moyer[2] ; 4. 25-Jason Feger[4] ; 5. C8-Timothy Culp[6] ; 6. 2-Nick Hoffman[11] ; 7. B1-Brent Larson[10] ; 8. C9-Steve Casebolt[7] ; 9. 00-Connor Meade[8] ; 10. 6-Blake Spencer[15] ; 11. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr. [9] ; 12. 58-Jeremiah Hurst[13] ; 13. 111-Steven Roberts[12] ; 14. 22F-Nicholas Fenner[16] ; 15. H1-Jared Miley[5] ; 16. 51-Joey Moriarty[14]

Heat 4 – (15 Laps)
1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1] ; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie[2] ; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr. [11] ; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[8] ; 5. 7R-Kent Robinson[5] ; 6. 10-Eddie Carrier Jr. [3] ; 7. R1-Riley Hickman[6] ; 8. 50-Shanon Buckingham[10] ; 9. 7B-Jeff Babcock[7] ; 10. 1N-Casey Noonan[13] ; 11. 20C-Duane Chamberlain[12] ; 12. 45H-Don Hammer[17] ; 13. 79-Bryant Dickinson[15] ; 14. 22-Chris Ferguson[4] ; 15. 11R-James Rice[9] ; 16. 89-Dustin Mitchell[14]

Heat 5 – (15 Laps)
1. 22S-Gregg Satterlee[3] ; 2. 44-Chris Madden[1] ; 3. 116-Brandon Overton[7] ; 4. 9-Devin Moran[6] ; 5. 55-Jeep VanWormer[5] ; 6. 18x-Michael Page[9] ; 7. 25C-Shane Clanton[2] ; 8. 7M-Donald McIntosh[16] ; 9. 18B-Shannon Babb[4] ; 10. 31-Nick Latham[13] ; 11. 48-Tim Lance[10] ; 12. 31AUS-Paul Stubber[14] ; 13. 69-Jonny Huck[15] ; 14. 79W-Troy Worrick[17] ; 15. 12M-Raymond Merrill[11] ; 16. C02-Mark Whitener[12]

Heat 6 – (15 Laps)
1. 71-Hudson O’Neal[1] ; 2. 28M-Jimmy Mars[2] ; 3. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr. [4] ; 4. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[7] ; 5. 83-Scott James[6] ; 6. 1M-Mike Mataragas[10] ; 7. 2TS-Travis Stemler[11] ; 8. 3s-Brian Shirley[5] ; 9. 1V-Vic Hill[13] ; 10. 20H-Jacob Hawkins[3] ; 11. 128-Jeff Alsip[15] ; 12. 48L-Steve Lance[12] ; 13. 39T-Rob Toland[14] ; 14. 4B-Jackie Boggs[9] ; 15. 12-Jason Jameson[8]

B Feature 1 – (20 Laps)
1. 20-Jimmy Owens[1] ; 2. 15H-Jon Henry[2] ; 3. 17M-Dale McDowell[4] ; 4. 32S-Chris Simpson[5] ; 5. 25-Jason Feger[3] ; 6. C8-Timothy Culp[6] ; 7. 101-Casey Roberts[8] ; 8. 2-Nick Hoffman[9] ; 9. 72-Mike Norris[13] ; 10. B1-Brent Larson[12] ; 11. 15-Steve Francis[16] ; 12. 33M-Tim Manville[11] ; 13. 32-Chad Stapleton[22] ; 14. 18K-Brandon Kinzer[10] ; 15. 00-Connor Meade[18] ; 16. 6-Blake Spencer[21] ; 17. 33-Jesse James Lay[19] ; 18. 1GK-Ryan King[14] ; 19. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[17] ; 20. 77B-Adam Bowman[23] ; 21. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[7] ; 22. C9-Steve Casebolt[15] ; 23. 93-Jay Johnson[20]

B Feature 1 Scramble – (5 Laps)
1. 2-Nick Hoffman[3] ; 2. 101-Casey Roberts[2] ; 3. 15-Steve Francis[6] ; 4. B1-Brent Larson[5] ; 5. 72-Mike Norris[4] ; 6. 32-Chad Stapleton[8] ; 7. 18K-Brandon Kinzer[9] ; 8. 00-Connor Meade[10] ; 9. 77B-Adam Bowman[15] ; 10. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[14] ; 11. 1GK-Ryan King[13] ; 12. 6-Blake Spencer[11] ; 13. 33-Jesse James Lay[12] ; 14. C8-Timothy Culp[1] ; 15. 33M-Tim Manville[7]

B Feature 2 – (20 Laps)
1. 7R-Kent Robinson[4] ; 2. 9-Devin Moran[2] ; 3. 55-Jeep VanWormer[5] ; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[1] ; 5. 83-Scott James[6] ; 6. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[3] ; 7. 1V-Vic Hill[18] ; 8. 10-Eddie Carrier Jr. [7] ; 9. 7M-Donald McIntosh[11] ; 10. 1M-Mike Mataragas[9] ; 11. 2TS-Travis Stemler[12] ; 12. 20H-Jacob Hawkins[21] ; 13. 31-Nick Latham[17] ; 14. 7B-Jeff Babcock[16] ; 15. 20C-Duane Chamberlain[22] ; 16. 1N-Casey Noonan[19] ; 17. 48-Tim Lance[20] ; 18. 31AUS-Paul Stubber[23] ; 19. 128-Jeff Alsip[24] ; 20. 18x-Michael Page[8] ; 21. 50-Shanon Buckingham[13] ; 22. R1-Riley Hickman[10] ; 23. 3s-Brian Shirley[15] ; 24. 18B-Shannon Babb[14]

B Feature 2 Scramble – (5 Laps)
1. 1V-Vic Hill[2] ; 2. 7M-Donald McIntosh[4] ; 3. 10-Eddie Carrier Jr. [3] ; 4. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[1] ; 5. 1M-Mike Mataragas[5] ; 6. 31-Nick Latham[8] ; 7. 20H-Jacob Hawkins[7] ; 8. 2TS-Travis Stemler[6] ; 9. 20C-Duane Chamberlain[10] ; 10. 48-Tim Lance[12] ; 11. 1N-Casey Noonan[11] ; 12. 128-Jeff Alsip[14] ; 13. 31AUS-Paul Stubber[13] ; 14. 7B-Jeff Babcock[9]

A Feature – (100 Laps)
1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[3] ; 2. 22S-Gregg Satterlee[2] ; 3. 157-Mike Marlar[4] ; 4. 17M-Dale McDowell[25] ; 5. 14-Darrell Lanigan[6] ; 6. 44-Chris Madden[11] ; 7. 17D-Zack Dohm[14] ; 8. 21-Billy Moyer[15] ; 9. 32S-Chris Simpson[27] ; 10. 1-Brandon Sheppard[9] ; 11. 116-Brandon Overton[17] ; 12. 39-Tim McCreadie[10] ; 13. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.[8] ; 14. 20-Jimmy Owens[21] ; 15. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr. [18] ; 16. 9-Devin Moran[24] ; 17. 28-Dennis Erb Jr. [16] ; 18. 71-Hudson O’Neal[1] ; 19. 7R-Kent Robinson[22] ; 20. 15H-Jon Henry[23] ; 21. 83-Scott James[30] ; 22. 32P-Bobby Pierce[7] ; 23. 55-Jeep VanWormer[26] ; 24. 0-Scott Bloomquist[13] ; 25. 28M-Jimmy Mars[12] ; 26. 1R-Josh Richards[19] ; 27. 25-Jason Feger[29] ; 28. 25C-Shane Clanton[20] ; 29. 40B-Kyle Bronson[28] ; 30. 5-Don O’Neal[5]

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15 comments

  1. Is he the first to ever lead all 100 laps?

  2. Was the dirtcar inspection done and the 49 given the “pass” before this article was written???because the way the inspection went it sure didn’t sound like he won

  3. And Kyle Norris don’t be a bitch and cry because your bitch ass bloomer didn’t win. Respect Davenport and if you can’t then go cry alone with Bloomer. #supermanalltheway

  4. No I think dan shlieper also led all 100 laps also.