With a full race to spare, Davenport claimed the LOLMDS title with a brand new race team
Jonathan Davenport went out on a new venture for 2018. Lance Landers brought a new team to the national tour. Kevin Rumley was signed on as the engineer. Jason Durham was brought on as the crew chief.
Right away, the team went to victory lane. They picked up four wins during Georgia / Florida Speedweeks alone. Three of those wins came with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, across two different tracks.
In total, the new team has collected 13 wins for 2018. With a single race remaining, the team has collected $271,548 in LOLMDS earnings alone. They’ve also locked up the 2018 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship, a full race early.
What are your thoughts on how this team started fresh then went on to win the championship?
“It just says what kinda team that Lance Landers put together,” Jonathan Davenport told RacingNews.co .
“From me, to the crew chief, to the tire specialist, to Kevin. It’s just a strong bunch of guys that already kinda knew one another. It didn’t take much time for us to gel and get on the same page.”
In Late July, Jonathan Davenport swept the Lucas Oil Series weekend at I-80 Speedway. That was a $10,000 win followed by a $53,000 win the very next night. I remember thinking that with a deposit of funds of that size, that team was going to come back even stronger after already kicking everyone’s ass.
Yet, since that weekend at I-80 Speedway, Davenport has collected only a single win. He won the preliminary night of the Dirt Million. He does have three runner-up finishes. But, in the summer-fall months, the team went through a clear dry spell.
After you won $63,000 at I-80 Speedway, you guys had a little downhill moment in the middle of the season. But, you surfaced back to the front on a more regular basis recently. Was there any one thing that you attribute that dip and rise to?
“We was struggling before we went to I-80,” Davenport explained. “We changed a bunch of stuff and got better.”
“Then, we just had some bad luck. It wasn’t that we were struggling just had bad luck while trying new stuff.”
“Everybody’s so close now. You could miss one adjustment and run 10th. It’s very easy to do in our series.”
“As many good cars and drivers as we have, it’s very easy to run 7th or 8th at any given night. And it’s even harder to win. If you run anywhere from 2nd to 5th, it’s a huge accomplishment against all these guys.”
“Then, you throw in some of the regional guys, or the World of Outlaws guys that come race with us. And the local guys.”
“I wouldn’t say that we struggled, a whole lot this year. But, it’s just the competition is so close,” Davenport concluded.
Only one race remains, the Dirt Track World Championship will get underway this weekend at Portsmouth Raceway Park. Davenport could leave the car in the box, he’s already the champion.