Story and photo by Patrick Reynolds
Rossburg OH- The old adage of, it is not where you start but where you finish, was on full display by World 100 winner Jonathon Davenport at Eldora Speedway Saturday night, especially when you were as superior as he was.
He finished in the third and final qualifying position in the sixth heat which assigned him 18th on the grid for the main event. Davenportâ€™s strength was overwhelming as he took the lead by lap 65 and scored the $48,000 victory by over 10 seconds.
â€œI knew we was pretty good, I didnâ€™t know how good we was (before the race),â€ Davenport said. â€œOnce we got going, I could circle around the bottom, go in the middle, and as soon as I saw that top (groove) clean up, thatâ€™s where I was going.â€
Jared Landers took the lead at the green flag from his second position. He held the top spot for the first half of the race while Davenport was slicing through traffic. A lap 35 caution bunched the field with Davenport up to sixth.
Davenport said, â€œAs good as were at the beginning of the race, I could maneuver anywhere I wanted to. The car was just excellent. I couldnâ€™t ask for something any better at all.â€
He kept up his charge and moved by pole sitter and second running Scott Bloomquist on lap 45 only to have a caution negate the pass.
Davenport continued his march after the restart, found his way past Bloomquist on lap 57, and then put Landers in his crosshairs.
â€œIt took me a couple of laps to get my rhythm going again and we tracked him down, passed him,â€ Davenport said of the Bloomquist pass.
Landers and Davenport swapped the lead back and forth from laps 60 to 64 before Davenport seized control of the race on lap 65.
Davenport continued to stretch his lead as the battle heated up for second place. With 25 laps remaining, Landers held second, Bloomquist third, Bobby Pierce fourth, and Steve Francis in fifth. Pierce worked his way to third on lap 85 and into second by lap 90.
Davenportâ€™s speed was too much for anyone to contend with and he took the checkered flag over 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Pierce, Bloomquist, Landers, and Francis completed the top-five.
Sixth through tenth were Dale McDowell, Chris Madden, Shane Clanton, Jimmy Mars, and Mike Marlar.
Davenport backed up his win in The Dream here in June, in which he won after Bloomquist crossed the finish line first but came up light at the scales. Davenport was awarded that $100,000 win. This time, no one could match the speed in Davenportâ€™s car and he felt vindicated that he won a big Eldora race on the track and not during tech inspection.
â€œScott did his job better than me at The Dream and this time I done my job better,â€ Davenport said.
World 100 Notes
The six qualifying heats were won by Chris Madden, Pierce, Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Moyer, Landers, and Bloomquist. Each 15-lapper moved the top three finishers into the World 100.
The twin 20-lap B-Mains transferred the top-five of each race into the A-Main. They were won by Mike Marlar and Don Oâ€™Neal.
The 5-lap B-Scrambles for non-qualifiers were won by Brandon Sheppard and Matt Westfall.
There were 106 drivers were on hand for the 30 available World 100 starting positions. Among the non-qualifiers were Vic Hill, Sheppard, Tim McCreadie, Westfall, Billy Moyer Jr., Greg Satterlee, and Austin Hubbard.
Patrick Reynolds is a former professional NASCAR mechanic who hosts Motor Week LIVE! Mondays 7pm ET/ 4pm PT onÂ www.racersreunionradio.com