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Weekend Sweep In Wheatland:  Davenport Wins $20K MLRA "Spring Nationals" Finale


Lucas Oil MLRA

Weekend Sweep In Wheatland: Davenport Wins $20K MLRA "Spring Nationals" Finale

Wheatland, MO (April 13, 2024) – Jonathan Davenport left no doubt on the opening weekend for the Lucas Oil MLRA, as he continued his dominance at the Lucas Oil Speedway in capturing Saturday nights 11th Annual MLRA “Spring Nationals” finale and its $20,000 payday.

Davenport capped a near perfect weekend for his Nutrien Ag Solutions Longhorn team, coming just shy of the weekend sweep of all events when Dustin Hodges topped Davenport and the rest of the 44-car field to score his first career My Race Pass overall “Fast Time Award” with a lap of 14.788 seconds.

The starting grid would find Hodges alongside of Davenport for the start of the sixty lap main event, with Davenport taking the early lead. The main event would go green for the first 25 circuits, with Davenport building up a lead of 4.801 seconds over Ricky Thornton Jr. and Mason Zeigler when the nights first caution waved on lap five as Chris Simpson stopped at the entrance of turn one.

The green would wave over the field once again for another ten-lap stretch, until a spin for Matt Johnson on lap thirty five placed the field under the nights second caution. Garrett Alberson was on the move leading up to the caution, as he moved his Roberts Motorsports entry from 13th on the grid inside the top three in third position.

The nights final caution waved just three laps later with 22 laps remaining as a multi car incident in turn three and four involving the likes of Trevor Gundaker, Hodges, Dillon McCowan, Cole Wells, & Dusty Leonard put the field under red. On the nights final re-start, the man on the move was 21st starting Mike Marlar who had now raced his way into fifth.

For the second night in a row, Davenport controlled the restart and quickly put over a one second margin between himself and Thornton Jr. Thornton made an effort to chase him down on the restart, but it was to no avail for the second consecutive night, as Davenport cruised to the win by 4.237 seconds over Thornton Jr. Thornton Jr. nipped Alberson at the line for second, while Marlar completed his night in fourth, collecting the “Swift Springs Move Of The Race”. Mason Zeigler completed the top five after finishing in third the night prior.

“We were so good in that heat race, we was afraid to change anything,” noted Davenport of his win in heat race # 3—a victory of nearly 5.5 seconds over Thornton Jr. “I feel like we over adjusted last night, so we did finally make some changes there at the very end, I don’t know if it was the right one, but it sure made it a lot easier to drive. I could maneuver very well and the car was just really good and I’m happy with it.”

For much of the race Davenport had to contend with lap traffic as his biggest threat for the victory. “I got into a pretty good rhythm there and the biggest thing I felt like won me the race was the lapped cars. I just tried not to get complacent and get behind one even if it was the wrong line. I tried to just keep my momentum up and try to pass them in the next corner. I knew those guys were right on me, Ricky has been really good, and Garrett was coming up through there, Mason was in and out of the top three there. I kept looking at the board, and ya the 157 keep crawling up the board, I was trying my best to put him a lap down there so he didn’t have a chance but congratulations to all those guys. We’ll definitely sleep good tonight," he concluded.

Thornton Jr. had opportunities to chase down the Davenport, who for the second night captured the MD3 “Most Laps Led”, but in the end he was one spot shy. “The one yellow come out and I wanted to see how we compared, and he just drove off, so that’s why we’re here. I feel like we were a little better than the other night, but just not as good as we need to be. Hopefully when we come back for the Show-Me we’ll be a little better than tonight and don’t start so far back in a heat race, because that’s a big deal here.”

Alberson grabbed his first podium of the year with a sold night from deep in the field.
“I’m super excited, we started off kind of slow today. The track through us all for a curve ball, except for Davenport, he had it covered. It took us a while to get going there, we made some really good decisions before the race on our set up. That track was really fun, I kept thinking it was going to rubber here and there, but it kinda kept moving around and stayed slick and technical. We had a good race with Marler there and got close to Ricky so I’m super excited about it,” he noted of his third place run.

A quick turn-around awaits the Lucas Oil MLRA, as a three-night stand in the Hawkeye state awaits teams starting on Thursday night April 18th. The “Hawkeye Land 40” will mark the MLRA’s first ever visit to the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa. The weekend will conclude with two consecutive nights of action on Friday and Saturday April 19th – 20th at the 34 Raceway in West Burlington, IA. Friday nights “Prelude to the Slocum” will pay $5,000 to win, while Saturday nights 16th Annual “Slocum 50” will send the winner home with a $10,555 pay day.

Lucas Oil Speedway Contingencies 4/13/24
Lap Leaders – (1 - 60)
Cautions – 3

MyRacePass “Overall Fast Time Award" – Dustin Hodges (14.788 sec.)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race – Cory Fostvedt
MD3 "Most Laps Led" – Davenport (60)
Swift Springs “Move of the Race” – Mike Marlar
Sunoco Race Fuel “Rookie of the Race” – Aaron Marrant
PEM Racing "4th Place Finisher" – Mike Marlar
Fluidyne: "5th Place Finisher: – Mason Zeigler
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" – Rodney Sanders
Sunoco "Engine Builders Challenge" – Clements
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Chad Simpson
MSD Performance Holley: “1st B-Main NON-Qualifier” – Brennon Willard
MD3 Last Place Finisher: – Garrett Smith

Arizona Sport Shirt A Main
60 Laps | 00:41:23.151

  1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[6]; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson[13]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar[21]; 5. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[4]; 6. 25-Chad Simpson[7]; 7. 32S-Chris Simpson[20]; 8. 18D-Daulton Wilson[19]; 9. 49W-Justin Wells[3]; 10. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[9]; 11. 29-Rodney Sanders[15]; 12. 25J-Tony Jackson Jr[25]; 13. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[16]; 14. 36-Logan Martin[10]; 15. 8-Dillon McCowan[8]; 16. 76-Blair Nothdurft[14]; 17. 15D-Justin Duty[24]; 18. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[23]; 19. 1X-Matt Johnson[22]; 20. 11-Jeff Herzog[11]; 21. 78S-Steve Stultz[26]; 22. 1XM-Aaron Marrant[18]; 23. (DNF) 7W-Cole Wells[12]; 24. (DNF) 22H-Dustin Hodges[1]; 25. (DNF) 7D-Dusty Leonard[17]; 26. (DNF) 10S-Garrett Smith[5]

B1- FAST Shafts
12 Laps | 00:14:16.842

  1. 7D-Dusty Leonard[1]; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson[9]; 3. 157-Mike Marlar[11]; 4. 78S-Steve Stultz[2]; 5. 3W-Brennon Willard[6]; 6. 96-Dalton Imhoff[3]; 7. 44W-David Webster[12]; 8. 17T-Jeremy Tharp[14]; 9. (DNF) 15S-Clayton Stuckey[8]; 10. (DNF) 65-Jon Binning[10]; 11. (DNF) 11T-Trevor Gundaker[7]; 12. (DNF) USA1-Chris Hawkins[4]; 13. (DNF) 8K-Tyler Kuykendall[5]; 14. (DNS) 7B-Shayne Bailey

B2- Wieland
12 Laps | 00:13:33.548

  1. 1XM-Aaron Marrant[3]; 2. 32S-Chris Simpson[4]; 3. 1X-Matt Johnson[1]; 4. 15D-Justin Duty[10]; 5. 93-Mason Oberkramer[8]; 6. 82-Jace Parmley[12]; 7. 1/4-Jaxon Ertel[5]; 8. 71-Jim Body[9]; 9. 26-Glen Powell[14]; 10. (DNF) 2-Tyler Stevens[6]; 11. (DNF) 50C-Kayden Clatt[11]; 12. (DNF) 17A-Austin Howes[13]; 13. (DNF) 25J-Tony Jackson Jr[2]; 14. (DNF) 67-Jimmy Vanzandt[7]

H1-Flo Sports
8 Laps | 00:04:10.098

  1. 22H-Dustin Hodges[1]; 2. 10S-Garrett Smith[3]; 3. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[5]; 4. 58-Garrett Alberson[6]; 5. 7D-Dusty Leonard[2]; 6. 96-Dalton Imhoff[4]; 7. 8K-Tyler Kuykendall[7]; 8. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[9]; 9. 18D-Daulton Wilson[8]; 10. 157-Mike Marlar[10]; 11. 7B-Shayne Bailey[11]

H2-Simpson Race Products
8 Laps | 00:02:41.120

  1. 49W-Justin Wells[1]; 2. 25-Chad Simpson[2]; 3. 11-Jeff Herzog[4]; 4. 29-Rodney Sanders[3]; 5. 78S-Steve Stultz[5]; 6. USA1-Chris Hawkins[8]; 7. 3W-Brennon Willard[7]; 8. 15S-Clayton Stuckey[9]; 9. 65-Jon Binning[10]; 10. 44W-David Webster[6]; 11. (DNS) 17T-Jeremy Tharp

H3-Earnhardt Technologies
8 Laps | 00:02:34.775

  1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[4]; 3. 36-Logan Martin[2]; 4. 76-Blair Nothdurft[5]; 5. 1X-Matt Johnson[8]; 6. 1XM-Aaron Marrant[7]; 7. 1/4-Jaxon Ertel[3]; 8. 67-Jimmy Vanzandt[6]; 9. 71-Jim Body[9]; 10. 50C-Kayden Clatt[11]; 11. (DNS) 17A-Austin Howes

H4- Lucas Oil
8 Laps | 00:04:33.070

  1. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[1]; 2. 8-Dillon McCowan[4]; 3. 7W-Cole Wells[6]; 4. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[2]; 5. 25J-Tony Jackson Jr[7]; 6. 32S-Chris Simpson[3]; 7. 2-Tyler Stevens[5]; 8. 93-Mason Oberkramer[10]; 9. 15D-Justin Duty[9]; 10. 82-Jace Parmley[8]; 11. 26-Glen Powell[11]

Article Credit: Billy Rock

Submitted By: Billy Rock

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Lucas Oil MLRAas of 5/5/2024
  • 1.Chad Simpson 605pts
  • 2.Chris Simpson 565pts
  • 3.Gordy Gundaker 540pts
  • 4.Tony Jackson Jr540pts
  • 5.Trevor Gundaker 490pts
  • 6.Justin Duty 475pts
  • 7.Dillon McCowan 460pts
  • 8.Jeff Herzog 455pts
  • 9.Earl Pearson Jr445pts
  • 10.Aaron Marrant 390pts
Full Points