The LOLMDS field put on a thrilling show as they raced through the ruts at 34 Raceway
On Thursday night, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series ventured to 34 Raceway. With rains earlier in the week, the track was soft as the national dirt late model tour rolled into turn.
When the green flag dropped on the 50 lap feature event, it was on. Drivers raced through the ruts, went airborne and remained on the throttle pedal.
By the halfway point in the race, only half of the field remained. It wasn’t so much damage related. More so that cars were just pulling off the race track to save their equipment.
But, at the front of the field, drivers were racing hard for $10,000 on the Burlington, Iowa dirt track. There was a massive rut on the bottom in turn one and another on the top in turn three.
Don O’Neal was putting pressure on Davenport on the many restarts. O’Neal and others could get the lead but Davenport would quickly work his way back to the front and hold it until the next caution.
Heading into turn three, Davenport stood up in a complete bicycle as O’Neal slid him on the bottom. As Davenport landed back on earth he was on the throttle and still retook the lead off turn four.
Laps later, Don O’Neal slid Davenport in turn one. He moved across the nose of Davenport and they made contact off turn two. Davenport tried to cross under him but made contact with the left rear tire.
Don O’Neal came to a stop on the back stretch. He was carried off the track on the hook. He returned from the pit area with a new tire and went back racing.
Hudson O’Neal ended up taking the victory in a pass on the closing laps to take the win. Davenport held on for 2nd.
Jonathan Davenport on the race at 34 Raceway
I noticed on restarts you were trying a bunch of different things in turn one. What were you testing out there?
“I was just trying to figure the best through the holes, the best way to get off the corner and go down the back straight away,” Jonathan Davenport told RacingNews.co after the race.
“I knew he was getting runs on me on the start. But, after we could run 3-4 laps, I could get away from him. On the starts, I never did know where to take off really.”
“I tried a couple different lines. None of them would really work right. Being 2nd and 3rd, they could kinda judge off what I was doing and see where they was gaining. I kept trying something different to see if I could get better.”
In turn three, you bicycled all the way up. Off turn four, you still passed him back. What do you recall of that deal?
“Just luck I guess. Just racing through the holes. You gotta give a little bit extra once they get passed. I was just trying to get back by him there. It just worked out.”
“I hadn’t been in that part of the race track. I just hit that hole wrong and bicycled up. Thankful that didn’t take me and him both out.”
“But, then he slid across my nose down here. I never even seen him until the last second. By the time I seen him, I lifted. I got up on his left rear tire.”
“It looked like I probably stayed in the gas but I tried to turn off of him and it flattened his left rear. I hate it for him. I sure didn’t mean wreck him. You know, I gotta race against him all year. We travel up and down the road together.”
“It wasn’t nothing intentional by any means. I’m sure he’s mad. I would be too. Hopefully, he’ll get over it.”
“We was sliding each other. And sliding each other clean. I slid him then he run into my left rear and gave me a flat tire,” Don O’Neal said of the incident.