Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS/RPW – CHARLOTTE, NC – One of the biggest races of the year, the Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track At Charlotte, turns up some of the biggest Late Model drivers in the nation. The World of Outlaws Late Model Series saw drivers such as Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, Shane Clanton, Josh Richards, and even the point leader Brandon Sheppard.
Claiming victories in the Drydene heat races were Josh Richards, Ross Bailes, Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Scott Bloomquist, and Steven Roberts. In the Last Chance Showdowns, it was Tim McCreadie, Ricky Weiss, and Hudson O’Neal who would get wins setting up for the 50 lap Morton Buildings feature.
Putting the pedal to the metal, Superman Jonathan Davenport leads the opening laps over Chris Smokey Madden and his teammate Scott Bloomquist. Early on Davenport showed he had no motivation to slow the pace as he quickly had a 1.3 second advantage over Madden on lap 4. As the leaders set the fast pace, Shane Clanton moves around Ross Bailes on lap 6 to claim position 9.
The first yellow occurs on lap 7 for Boom Briggs slowing on the speedway. As there was no tire down, via the World of Outlaws rules, the field re-aligns and quickly goes back to racing action. This proves to be a great opportunity for Shane Clanton. The former champion is able to move up 2 spots putting him up to 6th while Brandon Sheppard is able to put himself into 11th running sport. The yellow would fall again on lap 9 for point competitor Darrell Lanigan who spins in turn 3. Lanigan is in a point battle to with Junghans and Clanton for second through fourth, so trouble for Lanigan who does not want to see that type of trouble. Several other issues occur under this lap 9 yellow, Brent Larson has a bad battery and his crew attempts to change it, Ross Bailes has a right front down, and Boom Briggs heads to the trailer.
When the field comes back to life, the top 3 remain, Davenport leads Madden and Bloomquist. On lap 14, Davenport recorded a 1,4 second advantage on second place. Additionally, Brandon Sheppard gets around both Jimmy Owens and Don O’Neal for 10th. Sheppard continues his march, gets past Steven Roberts for 9th on lap 17. With Davenport entering lap traffic near lap 18, it was going to shake things up. Bloomquist and Madden close in on Davenport while Davenport tries to work his way by lap traffic.
On lap 22, Madden trades spots with his teammate Scott Bloomquist while the point leader Brandon Sheppard moves by Kyle Hardy for 8th. Later on lap 29, Sheppard just barely scrubs Josh Richards to get by for the 7th spot. Just as the leaders were coming around for lap 32 and nearly starting to go 3 wide for the lead, the yellow flag flies on lap 31 for Dustin Mitchell slowing on track.
Right off the green for the restart, Madden takes command from Davenport and Sheppard gets by Clanton for 5th. As the final laps click down, no one was going to stop Chris Smokey Madden. Not even a last lap pass for Bloomquist to get past Davenport.
Chris Madden would win the Friday night Morton Buildings 50 lap feature over his teammate Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, Chris Ferguson, and Cade Dillard.
“It rubbered up at the end,” Madden explained in Victory Lane. “I just needed to be in that lane and not get out of it. This win is really bittersweet for us today as we lost Randy Sweet. We will miss him.”
Randy Sweet worked with the whole Bloomquist team including the owner Scott Bloomquist who finished 2nd to his teammate Madden.
“It is pretty special,” Bloomquist mentioned to Blake Anderson. “Chris does a great job in the car and our cars are pretty identical. After earlier this year, I am nearly back to 100% as well.”
After winning the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship, Davenport finishes 3rd in the Friday night portion of the World Finals.
“I just got too fast too early, wasn’t sure the track was taking that much rubber that quick,” Davenport said about his run Friday night. “I slipped up that once and Chris was able to get by me.”
World Finals At Charlotte – Morton Buildings World of Outlaws Late Models – November 8, 2019
Morton Buildings Feature (50 Laps)- Chris Madden, Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, Chris Ferguson, Cade Dillard, Brandon Sheppard, Shane Clanton, Josh Richards, Kyle Hardy, Don O’Neal, Steven Roberts, Hudson O’Neal, Dale McDowell, Ricky Weiss, Mike Marlar, Ryan King, Chase Junghans, Tim McCreadie, Joey Coulter, Dennis Erb Jr, John Blankenship, Darrell Lanigan, Blake Spencer, Ross Bailes, Brian Birkhofer, Jimmy Owens, Dustin Mitchell, Brent Larson, Boom Briggs
Drydene Heat Races – 8 Laps – Top 3 Qualify
Heat 1- Josh Richards, Chris Ferguson, Brandon Sheppard, Logan Roberson, Matt Sponaugle, Joey Moriarty, Chase Junghans, Robby Hensley, Corey Gordon, Brent Larson, Dale Hollidge, Benji Hicks
Heat 2- Ross Bailes, Cade Dillard, John Blakenship, Tim McCreadie, Trent Ivey, Colton Horner, Ashton Winger, Brandon Hightower, Colton Flinner, Tyler Horst, Anthony Sanders, Blake Spencer
Heat 3- Chris Madden, Darrell Lanigan, Ryan King, Dale McDowell, Ricky Weiss, Daulton Wilson, Brandon Overton, Tyler Erb, Jason Covert, Boom Briggs, Bryan Bernheisel
Heat 4- Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Hardy, Don O’Neal, Max Blair, Rick Ecker, Dennis Erb Jr, Kyle Strickler, Matt Cosner, Forrest Trent, Dan Stone, Tyler Dietz, Chris Nash
Heat 5- Scott Bloomquist, Shane Clanton, Joey Coulter, Kody Evans, Hudson O’Neal, Austin Holcombe, Dustin Mitchell, Freddie Carpenter, G.R. Smith, Jeremy Conaway, Cla Knight
Heat 6- Steven Roberts, Jimmy Owens, Brian Birkhofer, Ross Robinson, Mike Marlar, Nick Hoffman, Michael Brown, Stacy Boles, Mike Lupfer, Nick Davis, Christian Thomas
Last Chance Showdowns – 10 Laps – Top 2 Qualify
Last Chance Showdown 1- Tim McCreadie, Chase Junghans, Joey Moriarty, Trent Ivery, Colton Horner, Robby Hensley, Ashton Winger, Corey Gordon, Brandon Hightower, Dale Hollidge, Colton Flinner, Brent Larson, Anthony Sanders, Matt Sponaugle, Logan Roberson, Tyler Horst, Benji Hicks, Blake Spencer
Last Chance Showdown 2- Ricky Weiss, Dale McDowell, Max Blair, Dennis Erb Jr, Jason Covert, Rick Eckert, Brandon Overton, Boom Briggs, Kyle Strickler, Matt Cosner, Tyler Erb, Daulton Wilson, Tyler Dietz, Forrest Trent, Chris Nash, Bryan Bernheisel
Last Chance Showdown 3- Hudson O’Neal, Mike Marlar, Ross Robinson, Dustin Mitchell, Nick Hoffman, Kody Evans, Austin Holcombe, Michael Brown, Freddie Carpenter, Nick Davis, Jeremy Conaway, Stacy Boles, Mike Lupfer, Cla Knight, G.R. Smith, Christian Thomas