BRISTOL, Tenn. — Jonathan Davenport blasted from a 10th place starting place to run away with the 40-lap super late model portion of Saturday’s Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Davenport showed exactly why he’s nicknamed “Superman,” blowing by NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson with 15 laps to go and racing away for a 3.5-second victory, pocketing $50,000 in the process.
Larson, who won a heat race earlier in the evening, wound up second. Dirt-racing legend Scott Bloomquist finished third followed by Bobby Pierce and Frank Ingram.
Davenport, a three-time Lucas Oil Series national champion, said Saturday night’s victory ranked near the top of his racing accomplishments.
“This ranks right up there with anything I’ve done… it’s the second or third biggest. I put so much emphasis on this race,” said Davenport. “I just love this place in general. I think it means a lot for us to be here. We’ve had this circled on the calendar for a long time. It means a lot to me.”
Chris Ferguson, who started on the pole and had won a $10,000-to-win super late model race in Friday’s Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals, fell out of the lead early and wound up seventh.
Larson dominated a 10-lap heat race early in the evening, racing to a comfortable win. But he said he was no match for Davenport in the feature.
“It was a fun race, even finishing second. The track was really good, we were able to move around,” said Larson, who will be back on track here next weekend for the Food City Dirt Race NASCAR Cup Series race.
“Davenport was just a lot better than me. He blew my doors off and put a straightaway on me and maintained it.”
Despite starting deep in the field, Davenport was able to quickly work his way toward the front and by the half-way point he had wrestled the lead from Larson.
“You just never know how things are going to play out. I think it took me maybe 10 laps to get going good. We fired back off on a restart and I could just go by them. I knew then we had a good car,” said the 38-year-old Davenport. “Then we started along Scott (Bloomquist) on a restart, and we fired off so good. I could run wide open through the center. At that point I knew I was going to be really good on the long runs.”
NASCAR Cup star Kyle Busch, who was late arriving at the track after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, advanced to the feature with a second-place finish in the first 10-lap last chance qualifying race.
He started 19th in the feature and wound up 11th, one lap down.
Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Larson, Scott Bloomquist,Bobby Pierce, Frank Ingram, Donald McIntosh, Chris Ferguson, Chris Madden, Dakotah Knuckles, Joey Coulter, Kyle Busch, Coleby Frye, Jay Scott, G.R. Smith, Travis Stemler, Michael Rouse, Adam Yarbrough, Michael Chilton, Brian Nuttall Jr., Kyle Lear, Jensen Ford, Jon Hodgkiss, Brandon Overton, David Payne.