Jonathan Davenport after Saturday's win at Cleveland
Speedway. (Ronnie Barrett)
Stars: Davenport Claims Rough n' Tumble "Tennessee Memorial" at
Steve Hixson, track p.r.
CLEVELAND, Tenn. - May 21. Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga. took on the 34th annual Coca-Cola "Tennessee
Memorial" 50-lap feature at Cleveland Speedway and won a lead-swapping duel with Chris Madden of Gaffney, SC. to
claim the $5,000 win.
Davenport, who started on the pole, took his sixth career victory on the Southern All-Star Dirt Racing Series
with just eight of 24 starters running at the finish. Even Madden would finally tangle with Chris Ferguson of Mount
Holly, N.C., as they battled for second in the final laps, knocking both drivers out of the race.
Local favorite David Payne of Murphy, N.C., moved up to finish in the second spot after running the entire event
inside the top five. He was followed by William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., Chad Ogle of Sevierville, Tenn., and
Stacy Boles of Clinton, Tenn., in a race slowed by 11 cautions.
After suffering two flat tires, Chris Ferguson managed to pass more cars than anyone,
but the third time was a charm when he tangled with Chris Madden and exited the race in
ninth. (Thomas Hendrickson)
Davenport took command at the start while front-row starter Ray Cook, locals Derek Ellis and Riley Hickman were
among drivers who dropped out early. Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. of Ocala, Fla. pressured Davenport in the first half of the
race as the top two drivers pulled away from the field during short green flag runs between caution flags. Madden
dropped as far back as eighth at one point early in the event before stepping up on the fougher high side of the
clay banked oval, to gain back his momentum.
David Payne races ahead of Chris Madden before repeating
his "Gobbler" performance earlier this season and posting second in Cleveland Speedway's "Tennessee
Ivedent Lloyd races Ray Cook for second early on, but Cook retired early and Lloyd
saw hopes for a top finish end when he rolled to a stop with four laps to go. (Thomas Hendrickson)
Stacy Boles and #3 Steve Smith race for position before Boles brought home a fifth
place showing in the diminished field. (Thomas
On the 23rd lap, Madden took second from Lloyd, and after a lap 33 restart, made an outside move to take the
lead, only to have Davenport answer the move with his own outside pass a lap later. The lead-swapping affair
continued when Madden went back ahead on lap 39, but Davenport surged back into the lead two laps later amid wild
action that at one point saw Madden spin (a complete 360) in turn two and continue without losing a spot.
A lap 46 restart set up a four-lap dash to the finish, and Ferguson, who spun 10 laps earlier, had rallied back
to third and was suddenly in the mix. He tried an outside move on Madden, but the two tangled coming off turn four,
resulting in enough damage to knock both drivers out of the race. As the car was pulled from the track, Ferguson
received a "standing O" from the crowd.
Florida's Ivedent Lloyd
appeared set to finish well before his car came up four laps short of finishing. (Thomas Hendrickson)
With his nemesis eliminated, Davenport sailed the final few laps to the victory. Davenport's previous Southern
All Star victory came in last year's "Gobbler" at Cleveland in November. Rough track conditions prolonged the
racing program, and equipment was brought onto the surface after qualifying to smooth things out. Clanton, tagged
the wall in qualifying and did not compete, and Hall of Famer Skip Arp also scratched after qualifying.
May 21 - Southern All Stars - Cleveland Speedway
1) Jonathan Davenport, 2) David Payne, 3) William Thomas, 4) Chad
Ogle, 5) Stacy Boles, 6) Billy Ogle, Jr., 7) Brian Hendrix, 8) Tanner Works, 9) Chris Madden, 10) Chris
Ferguson, 11) Ivedent Lloyd, Jr., 12) Brian Reese, 13) Riley Hickman, 14) Steve Smith, 15) Tony
Knowles, 16) Derek Ellis, 17) Tommy Kerr, 18) Johnny Chastain, 19) Ray Cook, 20) Chip Brindle, 21)
Aaron Ridley, 22) Jake Knowles, 23) Mark Douglas, 24) Mark Vineyard. (37 entries)