HomeDirt Late Model NewsJonathan Davenport Claims Inaugural Castrol® FloRacing Night in America Victory

Jonathan Davenport Claims Inaugural Castrol® FloRacing Night in America Victory


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Jonathan Davenport (49) fought back a late-race surge from Tyler Erb to claim the victory in Thursday night’s inaugural Castrol® FloRacing Night in America. (Tyler Carr photo)

By Ben Shelton

Series Action Continues on Wednesday Night at Ohio’s Atomic Speedway

MIDDLEBOURNE, W.Va. (April 15) — After winning Thursday night’s inaugural Castrol® FloRacing Night in America event, Jonathan Davenport says there’s more where that came from.

The Blairsville, Ga., driver led all 40 laps to earn $10,000 at Tyler County Speedway after repelling a furious charge by Tyler Erb over the final laps, making him the historic first winner of the FloRacing streaming platform’s unique 10-race midweek Dirt Late Model series.

But Davenport said his Double L Motorsports Longhorn Chassis can be even better after the team discovered an issue that held them back last weekend at a dirt-covered Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

“I still think a little bit of the (same) gremlins (hampered) us tonight,” Davenport said after he struggled to turn entering the corners. “We’re just fighting a few issues, but once we get them figured out, it’s going to be a helluva year.”

Erb, of New Waverly, Texas, narrowly missed landing a successful slide job on Davenport with five laps remaining but then never got closer in finishing seven-tenths of a second behind at the checkers while NASCAR and open-wheel star Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., was third in his first-ever competition in West Virginia. Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., and polesitter Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., who lowered the track record in time trials with a lap of 12.080 seconds, rounded out the top five.

Davenport has designs on a “helluva year,” but with Tyler County giving him his sixth overall victory, Davenport’s year is already better than his subpar 2020 when he tallied five victories.

“It means a lot to win the first Flo race,” the outside front-row starter said in victory lane. “Tyler County’s always a great place to come to and race. We always get a lot of great support from the fans and I just can’t wait to get on to the rest of the weekend.”

Davenport kept his competitors in check most of the 40-lapper, which had eight cautions over the first 20 laps. When facing traffic in the late stages, he had to get up on the wheel to fight off the fourth-starting Erb’s feisty challenges.

The winner had a scary moment heading for the white flag when the rear of his car briefly connected the the front of Ryan King’s lapped car. Davenport was aiming to get some breathing room and said he didn’t mean to make contact.

“I knew Terbo was probably going to cut across (and) back under me right there,” Davenport said, who won his fifth Late Model event at Tyler County, where he earned $25,000 in 2017’s Hillbilly 100 on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. “I knew we was coming to the white, so I just tried to get clear racetrack there.”

Erb, who was second or third the entire distance except for the first lap, gave it all he had.

“I did the best I could. J.D. did a good job,” Erb said. “I felt like, I just kind of figured out how to run the top in (turns) three and four before he did. (The frontrunners’ crew chiefs) they’re down there (in the infield), it was like a horse-jockey match if you were paying attention (to their directions for drivers). He’d go high, I’d go low, we’d go low and high. It was run. We had a really good car.

“It’s something to build off of. I love coming here. Thanks for everybody coming out (when) it’s cold on a Thursday night. But this was an awesome deal and, we’ll see you at Atomic next week.”

Larson struggled on restarts and bemoaned losing a heat race to Davenport that would’ve put him on the front row for the feature in his K&L Rumley car.

“I needed to really win the heat race — I think we’d have had a really good shot to win,” Larson said. “I felt just as good if not better than the guys in front of me. (The track surface) just gets so dirty and hard to kind of find a clean lane, and see, too. It’s pretty dark here with the dust, but (it’s) a really cool place.”

The first of the feature’s eight cautions came on the seventh lap when Larson got sideways in turn four, triggering a Devin Moran-Mike Marlar scramble.

Six more yellows came consecutively on laps 14-17. Boom Briggs slowed for the first one, retiring to the infield. A lap later Kyle Bond ended up facing the wrong direction on the frontstretch as the same time Tyler Evans had trouble. Steve Casebolt drew back-to-back cautions on lap 16 (and Bond was checked out for nosepiece damage). The lap-17 cautions appeared when Ryan King’s hood flew up, blocking his vision, and again for a Bond spin.

The eighth and final yellow came for Kyle Thomas, the track’s season-opening winner who got into the guardrail at the halfway point.

Twenty-nine Late Models were entered in the historic racing program. Heat winners were Jacob Hawkins, Davenport and Zeigler, while Tyler Stutler captured the B-main.

The checkers fell on the Late Model feature at 9:13 p.m. with the entire three-division program ended just before 10 p.m.

Castrol® FloRacing Night in America resumes on Wed., April 21, with a $22,000-to-win event at Atomic Speedway in Alma, Ohio, that will be streamed live to FloRacing subscribers.

Castrol® FloRacing Night in America feature finish (40 laps): 1. Jonathan Davenport, 2. Tyler Erb, 3. Kyle Larson, 4. Mason Zeigler, 5. Jacob Hawkins, 6. Tyler Carpenter, 7. Tim Dohm, 8. Mike Marlar, 9. Steve Weigle, 10. Devin Moran, 11. Ryan King, 12. Tyler Stutler, 13. Brian Baumberger, 14. Tanner English, 15. Kyle Bond, 16. Hudson O’Neal, 17. Josh Richards, 18. Kyle Thomas, 19. Steve Casebolt, 20. Tyler Evans, 21. Boom Briggs, 22. Drake Troutman.

First heat finish (8 laps): Jacob Hawkins, Tyler Erb, Mike Marlar, Tyler Evans, Steve Weigle, Kyle Bond, Travis Brown, Chad Smith, Kurt Burge, Paul Wilmoth Jr.

Second heat finish (8 laps): Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Larson, Devin Moran, Hudson O’Neal, Drake Troutman, Tanner English, Tyler Stutler, Brian Baumberger, Greg Oakes, Kenny Rucker.

Third heat finish (8 laps): Mason Zeigler, Tim Dohm, Tyler Carpenter, Josh Richards, Boom Briggs, Kyle Thomas, Ryan King, Jared Hawkins, Steve Casebolt.

B-main finish (10 laps): Tyler Stutler, Ryan King, Brian Baumberger, Steve Casebolt, Greg Oakes, Jared Hawkins, Kurt Burge, Kenny Rucker, Travis Brown, Chad Smith.

Renegade Racing Fuel Fast Qualifier ($100 Product): Jacob Hawkins
Integra Racing Shocks Heat Race #1 Winner ($200 Product): Jacob Hawkins
Pit Stop USA Heat Race #2 Winner ($150 Product): Jonathan Davenport
PFC Brakes Heat Race #3 Winner ($200 Product): Mason Zeigler
Buzze Racing B-Main #1 Winner (Free Steering System Dyno: Tyler Stutler

Any questions regarding Castrol® FloRacing Night in America and its events can be directed toward series general manager Ben Shelton at msrmafia@gmail.com or 901-335-3037.

For more information on Castrol® FloRacing Night in America sponsors, visit the company websites at www.castrol.comwww.renegaderacefuel.com; www.keysermanufacturing.com/brand/integra-racing-shocks-springs; www.pitstopusa.comwww.pfcbrakes.com; www.buzzeracing.com; www.arizonasportshirts.com; and www.hoosiertire.com.

For complete details regarding Castrol® FloRacing Night in America, please visit the series landing page at www.flosports.tv/castrolfloracingnightinamerica/

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