TUCSON, Ariz. (Nov. 25, 2015) — After enjoying a Super Late Model season of historic proportions, Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., is primed to get an early start on another big-money campaign in 2016.
Davenport and his K&L Rumley team — winners of 21 features (including five crown jewel events), the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series title and nearly $650,000 in total earnings in 2015 — plan to kick off their ’16 schedule with an assault on the Jan. 9-17 Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by Black Diamond-Club 29 Race Cars at USA Raceway, where they will bid for gargantuan bonuses that have been posted as part of the Keyser’s Quarter-Million program.
The 32-year-old Davenport is being lured to the desert southwest for the first time in his career by the opportunity to cash some huge checks. Not only does the six-race mini-series boast increased purses in 2016 — consecutive $5,000-to-win events on Jan. 9, 10, 13, 15 and 16 lead into a grand finale on Jan. 17 that has an $11,000 top prize — but there’s also the $5,000 Black Diamond-Club 29-sponsored points fund that will divided among the week’s top-five drivers and, of course, the unique Keyser’s Quarter-Million program, which offers a $250,000 bonus for winning all six races, a $100,000 bonus for capturing five features and a $50,000 booty for topping four A-Mains.
“We’re ready to go to Arizona right now,” Davenport said after capping his amazing ’15 campaign driving the Lee Roy Rumley-owned Longhorn No. 6 with a victory in the Nov. 8 Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C. “We got a few things to work on — we gotta get some motors built back — and once we do that we’ll be headed to Arizona and just carry on from there.”
Davenport’s crew chief, Kevin Rumley, is already focused on the team’s cross-country trip to the 3/8-mile oval outside Tucson. In fact, he’s not even calling the Wild West Shootout a season-opening event for 2016.
“We are treating Arizona like the last race of 2015,” said Rumley, an engineering whiz whose mechanical expertise combined with Davenport’s sublime driving talent to set the Super Late Model world on fire over the past 10 months.
While it will take a supreme effort for a driver to collect any of the Keyser’s Quarter-Million bonuses — the only driver who has won even three of six features since USA Raceway began hosting a half-dozen January Super Late Model races in 2010 is Hall of Famer Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark. (in ’10, ’11 and ’12) — Davenport would seem to be the guy who just might be able to pull it off. After all, Davenport proved adept at stringing together checkered flags in 2015, including a stretch of nine wins in a row in May and June.
“We’re gonna give it our best shot,” said Davenport, whose richest ’15 successes included the Dream ($100,000) and World 100 ($48,000) at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway and back-to-back $50,000 scores in the USA Nationals at Wisconsin’s Cedar Lake Speedway and the North-South 100 at Kentucky’s Florence Speedway. “It won’t be easy (to win at least four features), but that’s what we’re going out there to try and do.
“I’m just looking forward to going out there. I’ve never run that deal before, so it should be fun.”
Six-day General Admission tickets are now available for the Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by Black Diamond-Club 29 Chassis, which also includes nightly action for the Barnett Harley-Davidson Modifieds presented by MVT and Border International and RealTruck.com Xmods presented by Polar Industries.
Over $170,000 in purses will be distributed to drivers in the three competing divisions over the course of the Wild West Shootout.
Full-week General Admission tickets are priced at just $100, giving race fans an opportunity to enjoy all six nights of racing for less than $17 per event. VIP all-access suite tickets (including pit pass) for all six days are available for $240, while single-day tickets are just $20 for the first five programs and $22 for the Wild West Shootout finale on Sun., Jan. 17.
Advanced tickets may be purchased online at www.raceusaraceway.com/events/10th-annual-wild-west-shootout-2/ or by calling the USA Raceway office at 520-664-2074.
Wild West Shootout hotel information can be found at www.raceusaraceway.com/fan-info/lodging/ or by calling the Courtyard by Marriott at 520-573-0000.
Fans who can’t make the trip to Arizona can still watch all the action live by ordering the live pay-per-view video broadcasts of the Wild West Shootout that will be produced by DirtonDirt.com. Details and ordering information are available by visiting the Dirt Late Model news website.
USA Raceway is located east of Tucson, Ariz., off I-10 exit 268, then 1.6 miles south on Craycroft Road, which turns into Los Reales.
For more information contact the track at 520-664-2074 or visit www.raceusaraceway.com.