FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — official series release — LOLMDS photo —
Jonathan Davenport took the lead on lap 27 and sprinted away from the field to win the Dunn-Benson Ford Wayne Gray Memorial at Fayetteville Motor Speedway.
The win marks his fourth consecutive in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition and his eighth straight overall victory.
Davenport helmed his K&L Rumley Enterprises, TS Crane Service, Sundance Services, and Sundance Flowback Well Testing, Longhorn Chassis No. 6 to his sixth win this season with the LOLMDS. Earl Pearson Jr. led 22 laps of the 50-lap feature and finished second. Steve Francis charged from ninth to place third. He was followed by Steve Casebolt and Ross Bailes.
“Everybody started getting on the bottom and it started to turn black,” Davenport said. “I came here last year, and I knew it was going to be close on tire wear. Tonight, we almost had a flat. At the end, I rode around just trying to conserve them. I can’t thank Kevin and Leroy Rumley and everybody back at the shop. All of my crew and sponsors, a big thanks to all of them as well. This is just awesome.”
Justin Labonte, son of NASCAR driver Terry Labonte, grabbed the lead at the start of the feature and held the point for the first five laps of the race.
Pearson started alongside Labonte and then forged ahead on lap six in the Carlton and Kemp Lamm-owned, Dunn-Benson Ford, Lucas Oil Products, Black Diamond entry.
Pearson held off Davenport until a few laps after a mid-race caution for Scott Autry. Davenport used the outside line to take the lead on lap 27 and never looked back.
Pearson was satisfied with his second place finish.
“We had a good car tonight,” he said. “On that last restart, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hold off Jonathan. He is on a roll, no doubt! We have to feel good about this performance tonight in front of my car owners, sponsors and friends.”
Francis was pleased with his solid third-place finish.
“The whole team has worked hard trying to turn our year around, and we have been making progress,” Francis said. “If we keep running like this, we might be able to beat Davenport.”
Justin Labonte set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time among the 24 entrants, with a lap of 16.915 seconds.
CREDIT: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series