latemodelamerica.com - May 21 - Cleveland Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Davenport VL Cleveland

Jonathan Davenport after Saturday's win at Cleveland Speedway. (Ronnie Barrett)

Southern All Stars: Davenport Claims Rough n' Tumble "Tennessee Memorial" at Cleveland

Jonathan Davenport after Saturday's win at Cleveland Speedway. (Thomas Hendrickson)
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.

Chris Ferguson at Cleveland Speedway

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 - Chris Madden - Cleveland Speedway Southern All Stars

David Payne races ahead of Chris Madden before repeating his "Gobbler" performance earlier this season and posting second in Cleveland Speedway's "Tennessee Memorial". (Thomas Hendrickson)


Ivedent Lloyd - Ray Cook - Cleveland Speedway Southern All Stars

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 - Steve Smith - Cleveland Speedway Southern All Stars

Stacy Boles and #3 Steve Smith race for position before Boles brought home a fifth place showing in the diminished field. (Thomas Hendrickson)

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.

Ivedent Lloyd at Cleveland Speedway 

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)

Thomas Hendrickson photo 

 

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