Davenport details the setup process for chassis calls on the #49 Lance Landers Motorsports car
A few weeks ago at Atomic Speedway, Davenport found himself battling for 3rd from last in the b main. In the feature, he drove from last to 5th and drew the eye and reception of the Ohio crowd.
Can you explain how someone can be battling for 3rd from last in the b main. Then, drive through 20 of the best dirt late model drivers in the country and finish 5th in the feature?
“Well, just getting the car right and getting the correct race. We was good in the b main, there wasn’t enough laps and they just watered the race track before we went out there. So, there wasn’t really but one groove and it was hard to pass,” Jonathan Davenport tells RacingNews.co .
“Once the race track cleaned up, our car got a lot better. We just got behind the 8-ball early in the night in the new car. We had some things wrong with it.”
“We had to adjust on it and kinda find out what it liked, in a hurry. We went the wrong way in the heat race. We come back a little bit towards it there in the b main. That made it better, so we went more that way for the feature.”
So, it’s not so much that the track came to you? More so that you tweaked on the brand new car?
“I’d say it was a combination of both. We kinda met in the middle on each of them. The race track was totally different in the feature than what it been all night. It got really slick where you could move around. It wasn’t just one lane to pass.”
“In that heat race, you couldn’t hardly see. We was blowing so much dust up going down into the infield. I’m sure it wasn’t very fun for the fans. It wasn’t very fun for us either,” Davenport says with a laugh.
The photo below shows Jonathan Davenport in his heat race at Atomic Speedway. He’s hiding there behind the dust in the top left corner of the frame.
“Once the race track got to where we could actually race on it. We showed we was pretty good.”
How much do you make chassis calls yourself? Or is that more on your crew chief?
“Well, my decision is 100%. I get 100% of the last decision. But, I respect them and that’s what they’re here for is to help me make calls.”
“I tell them what I feel. They diagnose it, dissect it and come up with ideas to change it and make it better. We can talk about it then we can put it on the car.”
“If it’s something I don’t like, I say no. Well, then they’ll go off and try something else.”
So, it’s not usually that you come in and say something specific like, ‘Let’s take some left rear spring out.’ It’s more that they give you a list of things and you kinda pick which one you like best?
“No. It’s just a group decision. It’s pretty much that I give them a problem and they tell how they’re going to fix it.”
“If I have other ideas or don’t like their ideas then we move on and try something else. I usually go along with what they say. There’s always that one time that you don’t. The majority of the time, I trust in their decisions in what they both come up with and we roll with it.”
Jason Durham is the crew chief of the Lance Landers Motorsports #49. Kevin Rumley is the engineer, a.k.a. the mad scientist who generally thinks all the way outside of the box as far as the ingenuity side. Together, this is the group that keeps the #49 at the front of the field.
On Saturday night, Davenport returned to victory lane. He led flag to flag at the half-mile of Hagerstown Speedway en route to the $12,000 LOLMDS victory lane payment. Davenport is the current points leader in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.