June 4, 2011 – Davenport pockets $5,000 for ‘King of The Gap’ Super Late Model victory Saturday at Volunteer Speedway
Davenport pockets $5,000 for ‘King of The Gap’ Super Late Model victory Saturday at Volunteer Speedway
By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (June 4) — Following a rainy spring around the East Tennessee region, and with the official first day of summer still a few weeks away, summer-like temperatures in the 90s greeted race fans and competitors Saturday at Volunteer Speedway for running of the $5,000-to-win King of The Gap – Saturday Night Smackdown 60 for Super Late Models.
Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., is the current Super Late Model track record holder at Volunteer Speedway, having toured the track at 12.001 seconds (120.004 mph) on March 6, 1998 – one year before the track was reconfigured in spring of 1999 – making it 40-feet wider on the backstretch exiting turn two.
Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., many call him “Superman” and we all know Superman has nerves of steel, put a buzz in the grandstand crowd when he ran a 12.050-second lap during Super Late Model qualifying, which is the fastest lap ever turned since the track was widened. Second quickest in time trials was five-time track champion Vic Hill, who ran 12.178.
Davenport and Hill ran side-by-side down the front straightaway into the first turn at the drop of the green, and with Hill riding the high-line around turns one and two he carried momentum down the backstretch to power into the lead over Davenport. The event’s first caution waved only two laps in when Ross White spun, and at the same time Hill had a rear tire go down sending him into the pits while under yellow.
With Davenport now riding on the point, he was followed by Eric Jacobsen and Billy Ogle Jr. The lead trio was setting a blistering pace out front, and unofficial times on stopwatches had them touring the high banks faster than they qualified. Just about 10 car lengths behind them, Tommy Kerr, Chad Ogle and Steve Smith were jockeying for position.
With Billy Ogle Jr. working on Jacobsen for the runner-up spot, on each lap he stuck the nose of his mount underneath Jacobsen in the corners only for the Californian Jacobsen to pull back ahead on the straightaway. But Billy Ogle Jr. finally got hooked up racing off the fourth turn on lap 7 to move past Jacobsen into second.
Billy Ogle Jr. immediately closed to the rear bumper of Davenport’s Elite Concrete/Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas/EnCompass Solutions Inc./Cabinets by Design of South Carolina/Baird Transport/Nichols Plumbing/JRI Shocks – Precision Suspension/Hoosier Racing Tires/AES Racing/Clements Racing Engines/Barry Wright Race Cars/No. 49 Chevrolet Corvette, but could never really mount a serious challenge to overtake the leader.
With Davenport winning last year’s Ray Cook Southern Nationals Series event at Volunteer Speedway in impressive fashion by leading flag-to-flag, he almost equaled that performance tonight as he led all but the first two laps. For his outstanding performance, Davenport earned $5,000 and was crowned “King of The Gap” for winning the Saturday Night Smackdown 60. Finishing behind Davenport was Billy Ogle Jr. Jacobsen, Kerr and Mark Vineyard.
Sixth-place went to Hill, the last car on the lead lap, followed by Chad Ogle, John Tweed, Kerry Jones and White.
Dale Ball of Johnson City, 1999 Super Late Model and defending two-time (2008 and 2010) Crate Late Model track champion, battled early with pole-sitter Mack McCarter in the 25-lap Crate Late Model feature. They traded the lead back and forth before the teenager McCarter’s night ended prematurely on lap 9, when he got into the outside backstretch concrete wall racing off turn two, thus bringing out the caution and McCarter having to be towed into the infield pits.
With McCarter sidelined, Ball still had to contend with two former track champions in Jerry Broyles and Mike Smith. Broyles won the 2009 Crate Late Model and also 2008 Open Wheel Modified track championships, while Smith won the 2006 Super Late Model title.
Back under green, Ball, driving the Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson of Johnson City/Luke’s Pizza of Johnson City/Alan Poyner Enterprises/Mainline Communications/Jim Schweitzer Inc./Twin D Auto & Truck Sales of Johnson City/Tri-City Rubber & Gasket Co./Advance Auto Parts/Kirk Loudy’s Envy Suspension & Race Consultants/Warrior Race Cars/No. 2 Chevrolet Impala, began to steadily pull away from Broyles and Smith and cruised to his third feature win of the season.
Rounding out the top five at the finish behind Ball, Broyles and Smith, were Todd Brooks and Forrest Trent
If anyone needs directions to victory lane at Volunteer Speedway, just ask Jamie Whitt of Wise, Va. The defending “Gunslingers of Kingsport” Hobby Stock track champion led all 20 laps in capturing his third feature win of the season over Shannon Davidson, Sue Curl, Dennis Metcalf and Dale Reed.
Bulls Gap’s Jesse Wilder, a recent East Tennessee State University Engineering graduate, took his fellow Road Warriors competitors to school in recording his first-ever feature win. Chasing Wilder to the checkers were Robert Barndt, Chad Naillon, Kyle Hunter and Billy Bernard.
Brandon Johnson of Talbott captured the Pure 4 feature win in holding off Shawn Henry and Blake Hall for the victory. Johnson got around Henry only two laps from the finish.
SUPER LATE MODEL $5,000-TO-WIN – “KING OF THE GAP – SATURDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN 60”
1. Jonathan Davenport #49-Blairsville, GA
2. Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN
3. Eric Jacobsen #5-Watsonville, CA
4. Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN
5. Mark Vineyard #4-Powell, TN
6. Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN
7. Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN
8. John Tweed #5-Greeneville, TN
9. Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN
10. Ross White #0-Karns, TN
11. Travis Greer #11-Marion, VA
12. Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN
13. Jeff Maupin #25-Greeneville, TN
Did Not Start: Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN
CRATE LATE MODEL (25 laps)
1) Dale Ball #2; 2) Jerry Broyles #72; 3) Mike Smith #4; 4) Todd Brooks #T1; 5) Forrest Trent #4Q; 6) Ricky Moore #75; 7) James Cole #5c; 8 ) Chuck Laney #91; 9) Richard Adkins #73; 10) Keith Helton #5; 11) Tim Maupin #2T; 12) Ken Wilkerson #21; 13) Hugh Scalf #56; 14) Mack McCarter #71c; 15) Andy Ogle #68
“GUNSLINGERS OF KINGSPORT” HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)
1) Jamie Whitt #1; 2) Shannon Davidson #4; 3) Sue Curl #5; 4) Dennis Metcalf #55; 5) Dale Reed #52; 6) Chuck Johnson #17; 7) Brian Holcomb #50; 8 ) Mike Kelley #8; 9) Roger Hunter #7-11; 10) Tony Spoon #07; 11) Dustin Shaver #7; 12) Charlie Bates #27; 13) Chris Gregg #73; 14) Devin Helton #28; 15) Terry Dean #47 – Did Not Start: Ricky Gosnell #15; Bud Kelly #B21; Danny Helton #88; Chuck Kilian #96
ROAD WARRIOR (10 laps)
1) Jesse Wilder #79; 2) Robert Barndt #14; 3) Chad Naillon #20; 4) Kyle Hunter #7-11; 5) Billy Bernard #10; 6) Brian Ellis #48 – Did Not Start: Chris Naillon #54
PURE 4 (10 laps)
1) Brandon Johnson #01; 2) Shawn Henry #0; 3) Blake Hall #60