Saturday, June 30, 2012
Davenport Dominates Chevrolet Performance FASTRAK Clash at Eldora Speedway
by Kelley Carlton
NEW WESTON, Ohio -- For the first time in his career, Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Georgia has scored a National Event win at the historic Eldora Speedway. The win came in Saturday night’s $5000 to win Chevrolet Performance FASTRAK Clash at the famous half mile Ohio facility. Davenport, who normally competes fulltime on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for Clint Bowyer Racing, piloted a Steve Cooke owned Barry Wright Race Car to the flag to flag victory. “We try to run with FASTRAK when we get the chance. I don’t get a lot of chances to do it anymore but it sure was neat to be able to come back to this place and get this win. It’s so hard to get laps here at Eldora that it pays to try and race here every chance you get. Hopefully we can take some of what we learned tonight and apply it when we come back here for the World 100 later this year.” Davenport commented from Eldora’s Victory Lane.
Eric Cooley of Fulton, Mississippi bested the field of 39 entries during VP Race Fuels Race for the Pole Qualifying with a 16.998 second lap. Cooley also picked up the $500 for the fastest qualifier posted by Westside Fighting and Fitness in Villa Rica, Georgia. Following Cooley in time trials was Davenport, current FASTRAK City Chevrolet Touring Division point leader Lee Cooper, Hickory, North Carolina’s Jimmy Schiltz and 2011 FASTRAK Rookie of the Year Jordan Dill. The FASTRAK National Event format calls for all drivers to compete in one of 4 heat races to set the first 8 rows of the A-Main Feature. Heat race wins went to Cooley, Davenport, Cooper and Schiltz. B-Main wins fell to Bobby Rohrer and Zack Mitchell.
The 40-lap A-Main rolled to the green just before 10 PM Eastern. At the outset Davenport nosed ahead of Cooley as the pair drag raced into turns one and two. Cooley snuck ahead entering turn one but Davenport’s outside momentum pushed him past Cooley and into the lead down the back straightaway. As the leaders exited the corner to complete lap two 4th running Cooper went for a solo spin in turn 4 bringing out the first of 5 yellow flags. As the field reset in the complete double-file formation for the restart Davenport opted for the outside allowing Cooley to reset to his inside again. When the green appeared Cooley grabbed the advantage and maintained it down the back straightaway. But again Davenport called on the high-side momentum to allow him to roll by Cooley for the lead off of turn 4.
Back through the field the action was going at a feverish pace as drivers were able to maneuver all over the well-prepared Eldora surface. 23rd starting Zack Mitchell of Enoree, South Carolina began a strong march to the front that found him just outside the top ten only 11 laps in to the event. Jimmy Schiltz slipped back in the early laps only to find his rhythm and race his way back into the top 5 just past halfway. Up front Davenport was putting on a driving clinic as he worked his way masterfully and at times breathtakingly through lapped traffic.
A final yellow flag bunched the field for a 3 lap shootout when FASTRAK Northeast point leader Max Blair made hard contact with the turn one wall. Blair was okay but the Centerville, Pennsylvania’s night was done. Davenport picked up right back where was before the yellow flag – pulling away from the field. In the final laps Schiltz roared to life and grabbed third and pulled alongside Cooley for second but wasn’t able to make the pass and he settled for third as the checkered flag waved. “I can’t say enough about these guys that work on this car. I didn’t get here until late this afternoon and they had it ready for me. All I had to do was get in and drive it. It was just a great car. We appreciate everyone coming out and supporting us and this event. Thanks again to AES Racing and Steve Cooke for allowing me to come here and drive for this car. Also thanks to Barry Wright Race Cars and all the folks who help out on this team.” concluded Davenport.
Davenport’s Steve Cooke owner Barry Wright Race Car is powered by a Chevrolet Performance 604 Crate Engine and is sponsored by AES Racing, Advanced Electronic Systems, Hoosier Tires and Dirtwrap.
Chevrolet Performance FASTRAK Clash Official Finish
1st #38 Jonathan Davenport - Blairsville,GA
2nd #33 Eric Cooley - Fulton,MS
3rd #24 Jimmy Schiltz - Hickory,NC
4th #20 Wayne Robertson - Corning,NY
5th #4c Chad Ruhlman - Bemus Point,NY
6th #11s David Smith - Inman,SC
7th #00 Josh Holtgraver - Pittsburgh,PA
8th #50 Steve Dixon - East Smethport,PA
9th #11m Zack Mitchell - Enoree,SC
10th #99* Rick Singleton - Hesston,PA
11th #77 Brian Connor - Martinez,GA
12th #14 Dan Angelicchio - Greensburg,PA
13th #25 Matt Long - Concord,NC
14th #111 Max Blair - Centerville,PA
15th #17c Steve Cooke - Mt. Airy,NC
16th #42 Dave Airgood Jr. - Hermitage,PA
17th #1 Kyle Lukon - Burgettstown,PA
18th #88 Trent Ivey - Union,SC
19th #5 George Kowatic - Moon Township,PA
20th #c7 Dan Breuer - Troutman,NC
21st #07 Dale Timms - Hodges,SC
22nd #11 Bobby Rohrer - Waterford,PA
23rd #57 Lee Cooper - Woodruff,SC
24th #75 Matt Cobb - Bradford,PA
DNS: Jordan Dill, Brad Coffey, Mark Sant, Colton Flinner, Randy Wyant, Bob Pifer, Mike Covington, Kevin Colston, Forrest Trent, Joel Prosser, Adam Blankenship, William Stiles, Jr., Steve Beatty, Beau Glemba and Todd Coffman.