After being all but struck by lightning during the early events of the "Southern
Nationals" mini-tour, Jonathan Davenport was back in form against a field of 38 entries at Rome Speedway Sunday
night. (Mark Bochiardy)
With help from veteran Crew Chief Shane McDowell, Ty
Dillon (left) led the first 15 laps of the Rome event before suiffering a flat tire. (Mark Bochiardy)
Davenport Shrugs Off Recent Struggles to Capture Rome Win
ROME, Ga. - July 17. Jonathan Davenport, of Blairsville, Ga., put his recent struggles on the Schaeffer Oil
Southern Nationals Series trail behind him tonight by capturing the $5,300 top prize at the historic Rome
The Barry Wright Race Cars House Car driver laid down the quickest lap of the 38 competitors during time trials,
but trailed leader Ty Dillon for the first 15 circuits in the main event. When Dillon gave up the point with a flat
tire, Davenport was able to capitalize by leading the remaining laps to claim his first series win of the year over
Chris Madden, Casey Roberts, Chris Ferguson, and Aaron Ridley.
Casey Roberts and #44 Chris Madden raced side by side for more than a third of the
Rome event before Madden was able to secure second. (Mark
Ty Dillon went from third to first on the opening lap to take the initial race lead. After holding the point for
the first 15 circuits, Dillon suffered a flat tire on his #41 machine under caution and was forced to give up the
top spot. He returned to the track and eventually salvaged an eighth place effort.
Polesitter Davenport took control of the race at that point and kept both Chris Madden and Casey Roberts behind
him for the remainder of the distance.
Chip Brindle (left) and Vic Hill (right) weren't able to make much noise at Rome, but
that didn't prevent a chuckle or two before the race. (Mark
Madden (top) and Roberts (bottom) raced side-by-side for upwards of 20 laps battling for the second spot behind
Davenport, who took first victory with the series in 2011 and his fifth career series triumph.
Ronnie Johnson was the hard charger of the race, as he picked off nine competitors to finish in the sixth
The Schaeffer Oil Southern Nationals will resume on Monday, July 18 with the rain-postponed $5,300 to win
feature at the North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth, Georgia.
Early leader Ty Dillon looks for a way under Tyler Wilwood at Rome.
Part of a long family tradition of racing in north Georgia, Tony Knowles (left), with
Chip Brindle before the start of the Rome event Sunday evening.(Mark Bochiardy)
July 17 - Rome Speedway Southern Nationals
1) Jonathan Davenport, 2) Chris Madden, 3) Casey Roberts, 4) Chris
Ferguson, 5) Aaron Ridley, 6) Ronnie Johnson, 7) Johnny Pursley, 8) Ty Dillon, 9) Brian Reese, 10) Tony
Knowles, 11) Dennis Franklin, 12) Tyler Millwood, 13) Chip Brindle, 14) Daniel Baggerly, 15) Phillip
Anderson, 16) Donald Bradsher (prov.), 17) Dusty Chitwood, 18) Vic Hill, 19) Frank Ingram, 20) Tyler
Ivey, 21) Joe Armistead, Jr., 22) Bubba Russell (prov.)
Fast Time (38 entries): Davenport
(14.111); B-Main winners: Reese, Ridley, Ingram.