NEW RICHMOND, Wis. – official series release — Michael Moats file photo —
Less than a week after winning Fairbury American Legion Speedway’s Prairie Dirt Classic with a final-lap pass, Jonathan Davenport used more late-race heroics to make another visit to victory lane Thursday night at Cedar Lake Speedway.
Kicking off the 28th annual USA Nationals weekend in thrilling fashion, Davenport chased down Billy Moyer Jr. late in Thursday’s 40-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature at Cedar Lake and outdueled Moyer Jr. in a dramatic close battle at the three-eighths-mile oval.
After catching Moyer Jr. with less than five laps remaining, the sixth-starting Davenport edged ahead as the two leaders took the white flag and pulled out front over the final circuit. Davenport crossed the finish line 0.678 seconds ahead of Moyer Jr. to earn a $6,000 payday in an event that served as a tune-up for Cedar Lake’s $50,000-to-win USA Nationals that will be contested on Friday and Saturday.
“This car was just phenomenal again tonight,” Davenport said of his Lee Roy and Kevin Rumley-owned Sundance Services Longhorn Chassis. “This is definitely good for us. It’s a good momentum builder for the weekend. Now we just need a good qualifying lap tomorrow and a good heat race run and see if we can’t start near the front on Saturday.”
Moyer Jr., who twice led the race for a total of 31 laps, settled for second with his father Billy Moyer taking third after himself leading laps 11 through 17 Scott Bloomquist was fourth in the caution-free race with Jimmy Owens rounding out the top five.
Much like he did on his way to topping Dennis Erb Jr. in Fairbury’s Prairie Dirt Classic on July 25, Davenport again charged around the high line in the closing laps Thursday night at Cedar Lake. Although the top groove was tricky, Davenport expertly rode the cushion to the fourth WoO LMS victory his career.
“The cushion was right up next to the wall and I kept thinking I was actually hitting the wall,” said Davenport, who currently leads the points standings on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. “It wasn’t easy because you had to be right up there on it, but being up there was what let us get around (Moyer Jr.) there when we got back to him.”
After pulling ahead of second-starting Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., on the start, Moyer Jr. controlled the race’s early portions until a bout with the cushion in turns one and two allowed both his father and Davenport to charge by him. But Moyer Jr. battled back and used a three-wide pass to overtake both Moyer and Davenport and move back into the lead on lap 18.
Moyer Jr. opened a sizeable gap through the race’s middle portions, but the late-charging Davenport and his own struggles with lapped traffic prevented Moyer Jr. from claiming what would’ve been the first WoO LMS victory of his career.
“I knew Davenport was coming,” Moyer Jr. said. “I just got beat. I didn’t judge lapped traffic right. We had a real strong run. The car is awesome, but I just gotta do a better job and get through traffic better.”
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series USA Nationals Opening Night Feature at Cedar Lake Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Jonathan Davenport/40 $6,000
2. (1) Billy Moyer Jr./40 $3,550
3. (4) Billy Moyer/40 $2,200
4. (5) Scott Bloomquist/40 $1,850
5. (7) Jimmy Owens/40 $1,500
6. (12) Jason Feger/40 $1,550
7. (10) Brandon Sheppard/40 $1,300
8. (2) Chub Frank/40 $1,250
9. (8) Darrell Lanigan/40 $1,250
10. (3) Tim McCreadie/40 $1,150
11. (14) Bobby Pierce/40 $900
12. (18) Jimmy Mars/40 $850
13. (11) A.J. Diemel/40 $900
14. (16) Josh Richards/40 $925
15. (20) Shane Clanton/40 $750
16. (19) Earl Pearson Jr./40 $700
17. (13) Mike Marlar/40 $660
18. (23) Kent Robinson/40 $640
19. (24) Frank Heckenast Jr./40 $620
20. (9) Mason Zeigler/40 $600
21. (26) Rick Eckert/40 $700
22. (28) Chase Junghans/39 $110
23. (17) Boom Briggs/39 $600
24. (21) Mitch McGrath/39 $625
25 (27) Eric Wells/39 $110
26. (29) Brandon Overton/39 $360
27. (25) Morgan Bagley/39 $600
28. (15) Shannon Babb/13 $600
29. (22) Jesse Stovall/11 $600
Time of Race: 10 Mins., 44 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.678 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Moyer Jr. (1-10; 18-38); Moyer Sr. (11-17), Davenport (39-40)
CREDIT: World of Outlaws