CONCORD, N.C. – Audio and recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman – Chris Seelman photo –
They call him “Superman” for a reason, and on Sunday night, Jonathan Davenport proved exactly why to his foes at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Davenport rocketed past mid-race leader and three-time World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Darrell Lanigan on lap 31 of the rain-postponed finale to the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals and never looked back, pulling away from the field following a caution with nine laps to go to score his 22nd feature win of 2015 and cap off a dream season at the wheel of his No. 6 Sundance Service/Longhorn Chassis machine.
No one could touch the Blairsville, Ga. driver down the stretch as he pulled into Charlotte’s victory lane for the third time in the last six years (after winning on opening night in 2010 and 2011), but the first time in the season-ending spectacular.
“This is definitely a great feeling, and it puts a cap on [our year],” Davenport said of the $12,000 score, his sixth on the WoO LMS tour this year and a result which pushed his season winnings to a whopping $653,895 after victories in the Dirt Late Model Dream and World 100 at Eldora Speedway; the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois; the USA Nationals at Cedar Lake (Wis.) Speedway; the Sunoco North-South 100 at Florence (Ky.) Speedway and the Jackson 100 at Brownstown Speedway in Indiana.
“I had a lot of fun racing the front guys tonight. Darrell and I ran side-by-side a lot, and I kept trying a couple of different lines [to close in on him]. Finally when we got into lapped traffic, there was just too much grit blowing across the race track to be on the top so I moved down to the bottom and was able to hold on when he tried to pass me back on the outside there towards the end. We made a little bit of a tire [compound] gamble tonight and it paid off for us.”
“This has been an absolutely incredible year — I don’t think there’s a man that walks on two feet that could have pictured a season like we’ve had this year. I’m truly blessed by all of it.”
Chris Madden started from the outside pole and powered past Lanigan on the opening circuit, holding the top spot through a lap one caution for Morgan Bagley’s spinning race car. Once the green flag returned, the next nine circuits ran without incident and allowed Davenport to steal second from Lanigan before James Rice went off-roading through turn three to draw the second caution of the night.
The outside lane was the place to be on the restart at lap 11, as Lanigan went top-side to move from third to first ahead of both Madden and Davenport. Traffic was key though as the race moved into its second half, and Davenport stormed up to the cushion and around Lanigan to put the exclamation point on his “dream season” by the time the race reached its end.
Lanigan had one final shot after Casey Roberts slowed with nine laps to go to bunch the field back up for a dash to the finish, but could not chase down Davenport and had to settle for second in his final race as a WoO LMS regular and his first weekend driving for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Clint Bowyer’s dirt late model operation.
“I got on the outside of a lapped car and it ran me up the race track,” a frustrated Lanigan said on the frontstretch after the event. “That left the whole bottom open for Jonathan to get through, and that was it after that.”
“It’s a pleasure to drive for Bowyer and these guys. Hopefully we can keep this run going and give them a solid showing next year [on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series tour].”
Madden, Jimmy Owens and Don O’Neal rounded out the top five.
Shane Clanton had a less-than-spectacular night, but finished ninth and was officially crowned as the 2015 series champion – his first World of Outlaws title at the wheel of the No. 25 Weldbank Energy/Capital Race Cars mount.
“It was truly special that we were as consistent and ran as well as we did all year long,” Clanton said during the trophy presentation and the end of the night. “It’s a testament to everything this team has done all year long trying to make this car as good as we could possibly make it. From the start of the year to the mid-point when we went on that second run through New York and Canada, we just kept making it happen.”
“Tonight we were going for the win and just missed it a little bit on our tire with the way the groove was going, so it showed we were struggling, but holding this big trophy makes up for all that.”
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz, who was crowned with his seventh title in that division at the end of the night, ran through the field from 20th to finish 11th.
Lanigan, Clanton, Davenport, Madden, Owens and Billy Moyer Jr. won qualifying heats to start the late model portion of the program. Chase Junghans, Schatz and Dale McDowell took the checkers in their respective Last Chance Showdowns to lead the transfers into the main event.
The 2016 World of Outlaws Late Model Series season begins Feb. 12-13 with the “Winter Freeze” at Screven Motorsports Complex in Georgia. For more information, visit www.woolms.com.
Audio with race winner Jonathan Davenport:
Audio with runner-up Darrell Lanigan:
Audio with series champion Shane Clanton:
RESULTS: World of Outlaws Late Model Series; Bad Boy Buggies World Finals; The Dirt Track at Charlotte; Nov. 8, 2015
- Jonathan Davenport
- Darrell Lanigan
- Chris Madden
- Jimmy Owens
- Don O’Neal
- Gregg Satterlee
- Josh Richards
- Rick Eckert
- Shane Clanton
- Chris Brown
- Donny Schatz
- Billy Moyer Jr.
- Scott Bloomquist
- Dennis Erb Jr.
- Chub Frank
- Steve Francis
- Brandon Overton
- Dale McDowell
- Boom Briggs
- Chase Junghans
- Nick Latham
- Morgan Bagley
- Eric Wells
- Chris Ferguson
- Casey Roberts
- Brandon Sheppard
- Frank Heckenast Jr.
- Will Vaught
- Jordan Yaggy
- Tim McCreadie
- James Rice
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 21-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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