- July 17 - Rome Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Jonathan Davenport VL Rome Speedway 
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)  

Ty Dillon and Shane McDowell at Rome Speedway

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)

Southern Nationals: Davenport Shrugs Off Recent Struggles to Capture Rome Win

Series report

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 Speedway.

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 Chris Madden at Rome Speedway

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 Bochiardy)

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 Bochiardy)

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 position.

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.

Ty Dillon - Tyler Milwood

Early leader Ty Dillon looks for a way under Tyler Wilwood at Rome. (Mark Bochiardy)

Tony Knowles and Chip Brindle at Rome Speedway

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.

Thomas Hendrickson photo


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Total Seal Late Model Series at Canyon Speedway Park

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