Wheatland, MO (July 17, 2021) – Jonathan Davenport found the delayed start to Saturday nights 15th Annual CMH Diamond Nationals to be worth the wait, as the Blairsville, Georgia driver motored to his third career CMH Diamond Nationals victory at the Lucas Oil Speedway.
Late afternoon showers developed and consumed the Wheatland, Missouri area for nearly two hours, pushing the start time back to just after 9pm and leaving a hammer down racing surface for the 34 entrants in the Lucas Oil MLRA and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Co-Sanctioned event. Jimmy Owens looked like he would be the driver to be early on as he scored the Illini Racing & Supply Fast Time award with his lap of 14.738 seconds followed by a victory in his respective heat race.
Owens would start the 50 lapper from the outside front row alongside of Stormy Scott. Owens, a four time Diamond Nationals winner, jump to the top spot at the drop of the green, until the races first of five StopTech Brakes Cautions waved on lap four for a spinning Earl Pearson Jr.
A length green flag run would ensure as Owens continued to hold an advantage over Scott and Davenport who started in the fourth position on the grid. The second caution of the night waved over the speedway on lap 17 when defending Diamond Nationals winner Chris Ferguson slowed with a flat right rear tire.
With Owens still showing the way, this restart would find Davenport overtaking Scott for second, and beginning his pursuit of Owens. With the leaders working lapped traffic Davenport wrestled the lead away off the exit of turn two on lap 28, just as disaster would strike Owens once again. As Owens raced down the back stretch, Mason Oberkramer would lose a driveshaft and stall out directly in front of Owens, leaving him nowhere to go but into the rear of the Oberkramer machine. Owens along with third running Shane Clanton would both get collect and have to seek attention in the hot pit.
On the restart lady luck would bring an end to the night for Show-Me 100 Winner and 6th running Hudson O’Neal, when Josh Richards would make contact with O’Neal entering turn three. Richards would continue on, while O’Neal would be credited with a 19th place finish. Before the race resumed and with many drivers running out of tear offs, series officials place the event under the red flag to allow teams to switch helmets as a precautionary measure.
With the green back in the air it appeared that Kyle Bronson was about to contend for the lead with Davenport after he had closed to within a couple car lengths of the leader. That charge was all for not as the caution waved for the final time on lap 42 after Garrett Alberson rolled in turn four collecting the likes of Tony Jackson Jr. and Tim McCreadie.
The final eight laps would see Davenport stretching out the advantage, enroute to the $15,000 feature victory. Richards would slip past Bronson for second with just a pair of laps remaining, while Stormy Scott and Earl Pearson Jr. rounded out the top five.
Following his third career Diamond triumph, Davenport commented on the late race battle in saying, “Yeah, I kind of figured they were (there). Those guys are really good in these conditions and this place never did slow down at all. I kind of figured it would get a little black streak here and there but it never did. You just had to search around and it finally started to get a little bit choppy there about halfway home and you had to move around just a little bit off the bottom.”
“I don’t know what happened to Jimmy (Owens) there,” said Davenport of the early race leader. “He’s got the worst luck in the world. I hate it for him because he probably had the best car.”
Richards continued his strong runs at Wheatland in 2021 with another top five, this time doing so with car owner Clint Boyer in attendance. “We will absolutely take it. You know we were just a little bit off, this motors got a lot of laps on it. I felt a little off early in the night and didn’t get a good qualifying lap in and it put us behind all night.” I feel like we had a car good enough to win if we could have gotten out in front in the clean air.” Richards collect the nights Casey’s Hard Charge award for his 14 position advancement after starting in the 16th position.
Bronson can into Saturday night on the heels of a pair of second place runs but had to settle for third. “We had a pretty good car there and was just kind of riding at the beginning. I started to run Jonathan down with about ten laps to go pretty good and then that caution killed me there.”
Next up for the Lucas Oil MLRA is a two-day return to Lake Ozark Speedway, in Eldon, Missouri on August 13th and 14th. Friday nights weekend opener will pay $3,000 to win while Saturdays weekend finale will put a $5,000 payday on the line for the winner. Will Vaught has dominated the Lake in recent years, collecting wins in each of the series last three stops.
Lucas Oil Speedway Contingencies 7/17/21
Lap Leaders— J. Owens (1-27), Davenport (28-50)
Stop Tech Brakes Cautions— Lap 4 (E. Pearson Jr.), Lap 17 (C. Ferguson), Lap 28 (M. Oberkramer, J. Owens, S. Clanton), Lap 28 (H. O'Neal), Lap 42 (G. Alerson, T. Jackson Jr., T. McCreadie)
Illini Racing & Supply "Fast Time" -- Jimmy Owens (14.738 sec)
Casey’s “Hard Charger of the Race” – Josh Richards (+14)
DirtonDirt.com “Pole Award” – Stormy Scott
Dynamic Drivelines Crew Chief of the Race – Jason Durham
Gorsuch Performance Solutions “10th Place Finisher” – Tyler Erb
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher"— Daniel Hilsabeck
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Tony Jackson Jr.
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race"-- Jonathan Davenport
Racing Junk “Hard Luck Award” – Garrett Alberson
StopTech Brakes “6th Place Finisher”- Justin Duty
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” – Mason Oberkramer
Swift Springs “Move of the Race”— Josh Richards
Wrisco Feature Winner-- Jonathan Davenport
CMH Diamond Nationals 50 Laps | 00:49:44.355
1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 14-Josh Richards; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 2S-Stormy Scott; 5. 1-Earl Pearson Jr; 6. 15D-Justin Duty; 7. 20-Jimmy Owens; 8. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 9. 25-Shane Clanton; 10. 1T-Tyler Erb; 11. 22H-Daniel Hilsabeck; 12. 39-Tim McCreadie; 13. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 14. 91P-Jason Papich; 15. 14M-Reid Millard; 16. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 17. 59-Garrett Alberson; 18. 11H-Spencer Hughes; 19. 71-Hudson O'Neal; 20. 25S-Chad Simpson; 21. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 22. 3W-Brennon Willard; 23. 3S-Brian Shirley; 24. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 25. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 26. 157-Mike Marlar
B-Main 1 LINE-X 10 Laps | 00:11:58.073
1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 2. 3S-Brian Shirley; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb; 4. 00S-Jesse Stovall; 5. 36-Logan Martin; 6. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 7. (DNF) 12C-Scott Crigler; 8. (DNF) L88-Larry Clawson; 9. (DNS) 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr
B-Main 2 UNOH 10 Laps | 00:06:12.732
1. 59-Garrett Alberson; 2. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 3. 14M-Reid Millard; 4. 56-Jonathan Rowan; 5. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 6. 3W-Brennon Willard; 7. 96-Dalton Imhoff; 8. 45-Kylan Garner; 9. 157-Mike Marlar
Heat 1 Penske Shocks 8 Laps | 00:03:15.191
1. 2S-Stormy Scott; 2. 91P-Jason Papich; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie; 4. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley; 6. 12C-Scott Crigler; 7. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 8. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 9. 36-Logan Martin
Heat 2 Summit Racing Equipment 8 Laps | 00:04:14.650
1. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 2. 25-Shane Clanton; 3. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 4. 25S-Chad Simpson; 5. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb; 7. 00S-Jesse Stovall; 8. L88-Larry Clawson
Heat 3 Simpson Race Products 8 Laps | 00:03:24.076
1. 20-Jimmy Owens; 2. 1-Earl Pearson Jr; 3. 15D-Justin Duty; 4. 11H-Spencer Hughes; 5. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 6. 14M-Reid Millard; 7. 157-Mike Marlar; 8. 45-Kylan Garner; 9. 3W-Brennon Willard
Heat 4 Ohlins Shocks 8 Laps | 00:04:27.930
1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 71-Hudson O'Neal; 3. 22H-Daniel Hilsabeck; 4. 14-Josh Richards; 5. 59-Garrett Alberson; 6. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 7. 56-Jonathan Rowan; 8. 96-Dalton Imhoff