The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series continued its week-long stint at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla. on Friday night with the first points paying affair of the week. At the end of the night, it was Jonathan Davenport who scored the most points and took home the $10,000 check for taking the checkered flag.
Billy Moyer, Jr. set the pace in Group A time-trials and overall by laying down a lap of 14.393 seconds around the third mile clay oval to beat out Earl Pearson, Jr., Bobby Pierce, Devin Moran and Tyler Erb.
Josh Richards was best in Group B qualifying as he posted a lap of 14.520 seconds to outrun Kyle Bronson, Matt Cosner, Dennis Erb, Jr. and Jeff Mathews.
Moyer claimed the pole position for the feature by winning the first heat race of the night ahead of Moran and Allen Murray while Pearson took the second preliminary over Tyler Erb and Boom Briggs.
Pierce earned the victory in the third heat by beating out Tim McCreadie and Dustin Mitchell just before Josh Richards secured the outside front row starting position for the feature by winning the fourth heat ahead of Dennis Erb, Jr. and Mason Zeigler.
Bronson took the checkered flag ahead of the pack in the fifth heat over Gregg Saterlee and Scott Bloomquist while Jonathan Davenport bested Darrel Lanigan and Don O’Neal in the final heat race.
Chub Frank and Brandon Sheppard secured places in the feature by finishing first and second in the first B-main and Brandon Overton and Jason Jameson did the same out of the second B-main.
Chase Junghans grabbed the final starting position on the main event starting grid by winning the DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash race.
The start of the 50-lap feature saw Richards bolt to the early lead with Moyer, Davenport, Bronson and Pearson trailing. Initially Richards pulled away from the pack but Moyer tracked him down and on lap 6 executed a slide job in turn one to take the top spot.
Richards returned the favor three laps later to retake the lead while Pearson and Bronson battled for the fourth position. However, that contest was ended when Bronson suffered a flat right rear tire to bring out a caution on lap 11.
On the ensuing restart, Davenport made the move around Moyer to take second with Pearson following him through. Satterlee, Pierce and Zeigler mixed it up just a bit further back as they raced for 5th-7th.
Pearson continued to hound Davenport for the runner-up spot behind Richards, who began pulling away for the field. Pearson finally moved around Davenport for second on lap 30 but the driver known as “Superman” fought back before a caution flag waved for the slowing car of Junghans and lap 33.
On the lap 33 restart it was Davenport who moved back to second and offered a brief challenge for the lead against Richards. Meanwhile a wild scramble ensued throughout the top-10 as Moyer swept around both Zeigler and Pearson to move into the fourth spot while Pearson, Overton, Sheppard and O’Neal fought for positions at the back of the top-10.
As the laps clicked off, Davenport moved to the top groove and closed back on Richards on lap 39. Finally on lap 46 Richards found himself bogged down by slower traffic on the inside line while Davenport used the high groove to blast by for the lead on lap 46. From that point, no one could catch Davenport as he drove under the checkered flag for the win.
Feature Finish: 1. Jonathan Davenport, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Gregg Satterlee, 4. Billy Moyer, Jr., 5. Mason Zeigler, 6. Brandon Sheppard, 7. Jimmy Owens, 8. Brandon Overton, 9. Don O’Neal, 10. Earl Pearson, Jr., 11. Bobby Pierce, 12. Tim McCreadie, 13. Devin Moran, 14. Tyler Erb, 15. Hudson O’Neal, 16. Scott Bloomquist, 17. Dennis Erb, Jr., 18. Chub Frank, 19. Boom Briggs, 20. Kyle Bronson, 21. Allen Murray, 22. Chase Junghans, 23. Jason Jameson, 24. Dustin Mitchell, 25. Darrell Lanigan, 26. Matt Cosner