- July 23 - Volunteer Speedway by Sam Holbrooks

Jonathan Davenport - Vic Hill - Volunteer Speedway Southern Nationals
Davenport Tolls to First Volunteer Speedway Win; Pockets Southern Nationals Cash


By Robert Walden


BULLS GAP, Tenn.- July 23.  The Ray Cook-promoted Southern Nationals Series, which features 10 events in the span of 13 days around the Southeast, made its fifth stop at Volunteer Speedway on Friday for a $5,300-to-win show presented by Tri-Am RV Center. In a race won twice each by Jimmy Owens and Tommy Kerr in previous years, Jonathan Davenport can add his name to the speedway's history books.


Chris Madden races #50 Shannon Buckingham before grabbing second at Bulls Gap.

(Randall Perry)























Davenport claimed the pole position after setting fast time at 12.460 seconds among 34 entries, with five-time track champion Vic Hill second quickest at 12.527 to earn the outside front row starting berth for the main event.  Davenport, of Blairsville, Ga., then won in impressive fashion by leading flag-to-flag to record his first-ever victory on the famed high banks.


Davenport blasted out of the gates at the start and never looked back, grabbing the lead on the opening lap over Billy Ogle Jr., Hill, and Mark Douglas, who jumped the cushion between turns one and two on lap three, allowing both Shannon Buckingham and Chris Madden to get by. Madden then got around Buckingham for fourth on the fifth circuit, and dropped Ogle back to fourth in the running order on lap 14.



Southern Nationals winner Jonathan Davenport at Volunteer Speedway.(Randall Perry)
The event’s first caution waved on lap 17 when Jeff Maupin slowed with a flat tire, and again three laps later when Donald Bradsher got into the turn one wall. A large lead for Davenport was erased again on lap 44 as Clint Smith’s driveshaft broke and scattered debris on the front straightaway. One lap later, Tony Knowles slowed with flat tire.


Poised for a run to the checkers, Hill was glued to rear bumper of Davenport to try and mount a challenge. But Hill quickly lost second place to Madden as they raced into the first turn, as Madden got inside of Hill to take the position.

Out front, however, it was all Davenport over the final laps as he pulled away to easily record the victory over Madden, Hill, Ogle and Buckingham.


“Man, this is cool to get a win at Volunteer Speedway,” said the Georgia racer Davenport, after climbing from his car. "I just couldn’t have asked for a better driving car.  This is a new Barry Wright Race Car we debuted earlier this week when we won at East Alabama Motor Speedway, and we ran awfully well with it last night at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway, too. We really should have won that race, but we got tangled up with an (idiot) who wasn't driving past the air cleaner on his hood and it took us out of the race. So it's awesome to have this strong run here to victory tonight, it's just a statement of how good this race team is. I want to dedicate this win to my crew chief Lance Wright (sitting in grandstands due to pit altercation previous night at series event in Cleveland) and also to his dad, my car owner Barry Wright.”


After getting into the turn four wall driving his car during qualifying, Brian Booze was the recipient of Vic Hill's generosity as he let the Pennsylvania driver start the race in his backup car as a provisional starter.



Southern Nationals - Volunteer Speedway
1) Jonathan Davenport, 2) Chris Madden, 3) Vic Hill, 4) Billy Ogle, Jr., 5) Shannon Buckingham, 6) Eric Wells, 7) Rick Rogers, 8) Tommy Kerr, 9) Mark Douglas, 10) Chris Brown, 11) Shane Clanton, 12) Mike Smith, 13) Jeff Smith, 14) Tony Knowles, 15) Terry Wolfenbarger, 16) Clint Smith, 17) Chad Ogle, 18) Jeff Wolfenbarger, 19) Chris Wall, 20) Jeff Maupin, 21) Mike Collins (prov.), 22) Donald Bradsher, 23) Mark Vineyard, 24) Brian Booze (prov.)
Fast Time (34 entries): Davenport (12.460 secs.); B-Main winners: Kerr, Rogers, Wolfenbarger
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Updated 11/17/10

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