PHENIX CITY, Ala. – official series release — LOLMDS photo —
Jonathan Davenport stormed from third to first in the final three laps to win Saturday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 19th annual Bama Bash at East Alabama Speedway.
Davenport passed both Scott Bloomquist and race leader Jared Landers in the waning laps for his sixth series victory of the season. The defending series champion beat Landers, Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens and Darrell Lanigan to the finish line for the win in front of one of the biggest crowds in track history.
“I kept looking at the flagman and the starts I had tonight were terrible,” said Davenport. “[Randy] Weaver and I went with a harder tire than anyone else in the field. Once we got rolling; and with my experience here; I knew the top would come into play. I just kept being patient up there and waiting people to clean it off. Once it did, this Longhorn car really got rolling.”
“There were a couple of times I went off the back straightaway. I got a little too close to the cushion up in one and two a few times. I was able to get by Scott and then was able to close on Jared. That had to be an exciting finish to watch.”
Landers led the first 57 laps of the race and appeared to be headed for his first series win of the season. Bloomquist closed on Landers in the final 10 laps. Landers was able to negate any move Bloomquist made, and that’s ultimately when Davenport was able to get his rhythm going on the top of the track.
“I would like to thank Baird Transport for coming on board this year,” said Landers. “Lee Roy Rumley couldn’t be here tonight, so I want to tell him that I am thinking about him and we wish he was with us here in victory lane. I love coming here to race; it is one of my top five favorites to come to.”
Landers improved his finishing position one spot from the night before at Boyd’s where he was edged out for second by Randy Weaver.
“I came up on a lapped car and he did nothing wrong, he was holding his line and I was making bad decisions on places to pass,” Landers added. “I kind of got out of rhythm. I knew Jonathan had a harder tire on, and the tire choice paid off for him.”
Bloomquist had to go to a backup car after hot laps and fought his way from seventh to challenge for the lead.
“It turned out to be an OK night,” said Bloomquist. “We had the same thing happen to us that happened at Knoxville last year with the rear drive of the car. We were good in the heat race. I knew that couple of drivers had gone with harder compounds, and it paid off for them. Our tires started going away at the end. I caught Jared, but we just didn’t have enough left to get the lead.”
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Bama Bash 60; East Alabama Motor Speedway; April 2, 2016
- Jonathan Davenport
- Jared Landers
- Scott Bloomquist
- Jimmy Owens
- Darrell Lanigan
- Earl Pearson Jr.
- Brandon Sheppard
- Dennis Erb Jr.
- Don O’Neal
- Tim McCreadie
- Steve Francis
- Devin Moran
- Austin Horton
- Austin Smith
- Dale McDowell
- Randy Weaver
- Chris Madden
- Joe Armistead
- Mason Massey
- Clint Smith
- Colton Flinner
- Tod Darda
- Matt Dooley
- Brian Reese
CREDIT: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series