Story By: JEREMY SHIELDS / LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series celebrated the 2018 season on Friday night with the annual Awards Gala at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Jonathan Davenport was awarded his second-career National Championship title, collecting a $75,000 points-fund check, along with a $10,000 bonus from Sweet Manufacturing. Other awards claimed by the 2018 National Champion include: ASi Racewear Crown Jewel Cup presented by DirtonDirt.com ($10,000), Bad Boy Mowers TV Race Challenge presented by E3 Spark Plugs ($10,000), Midwest Sheet Metal Points Leader Spoiler Challenge ($1,000), Simpson Most Top Five Finishes ($500), Wrisco Industries Most Feature Wins ($1,000), and the Sunoco Race Fuels Race for Gas ($3,000).
Davenport was humbled in front of a large group of his fellow drivers and supporters, thanking his crew, family, sponsors, car owners, friends, and more for believing in him and helping make this possible. “I’ve got to start by thanking my boy Blane because he cuts me no slack. If I run bad, he wants to know why,” Davenport chuckled.
“Thank you to Lance Landers for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” said Davenport. “Thanks to my partner, Nutrien Ag Solutions and Steve Martin; he’s more than just a sponsor, he’s a great friend. Thanks to the hardest working crew chief in the industry, Jason Durham. Since the day we put this team together, it’s always been about this Championship.”
Davenport and the Lance Landers Motorsports team ended their season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series with 9 wins, 28 top-fives, 38 top-ten performances and collecting a total of $403,948.79 in earnings.
Davenport’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by Cornett Racing Engines and receives sponsorship from: Nutrien Ag Solutions, Spartan Mowers, Valvoline, ASC Warranty, Penske Shocks, Mark Martin Automotive, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Midwest Sheet Metal, and Sunoco Race Fuels.
Mason Zeigler received the 2018 Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year presented by Hot Rod Processing award. The twenty-six-year-old finished twelfth in the overall Championship Standings during his first-ever year on a national tour.
Zeigler completed his first season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series totaling 7 top-five finishes and 21 top-ten performances. In addition to his $10,000 in Rookie of the Year prize money, Zeigler received product certificates from: AR Bodies, Earnhardt Technologies Group, FAST Shafts, Keyser Manufacturing, Performance Bodies, QA1, and Wrisco Industries.
“I can’t say thank you enough to my dad and my entire family for supporting me and my dreams,” exclaimed Zeigler. “I also could not do this without my crew, they sacrifice so much time away from their families to be on the road.”
Zeigler pilots the #25z Rocket Chassis, powered by Pro Power Racing Engines. He attributes his success to the support of his sponsors. “I have to say thank you to my great sponsors: Ohiopyle Vacation Rentals, JLE Industries, Arizona Sport Shirts, Dynamic Drivelines, Stone House Restaurant, VP Racing Fuels, MS Shock Therapy, Midwest Sheet Metal, and Keyser Manufacturing.”
Zeigler added: “It’s been a long grueling season; I have so much more respect for everyone in this room than I did when I started. Thank you to everyone for a great season, we’re looking forward to next year.”
Other awards presented included:
ASi Racewear Crown Jewel Cup – Presented by DirtonDirt.com: Jonathan Davenport ($10,000)
Bad Boy Mowers TV Race Challenge – Presented by E3 Spark Plugs: Jonathan Davenport ($10,000)
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Year: Rocket Chassis ($1,000)
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year: Durham Racing Engines ($1,500)
Allstar Performance Power Move of the Year: Earl Pearson Jr. ($500)
Simpson Most Top Five Finishes: Jonathan Davenport ($500)
Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Challenge: Jonathan Davenport ($1,000)
Eibach Springs Most Heat Race Wins: Josh Richards ($500)
Miller Welders Most Fast Time Awards: Josh Richards ($500)
Sunoco Race Fuels Show-Me 100 Bonus: Bobby Pierce ($2,500)
Sunoco Race Fuels Race for Gas: Jonathan Davenport ($3,000)
Wrisco Industries Most Feature Wins: Jonathan Davenport ($1,000)
PFC Brakes Most Pole Awards: Josh Richards ($500)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Year: Jason Durham ($1,000)
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Year: Tim McCreadie ($500)
Mike Swims Award of Excellence: The King Family