Jonathan Davenport originally finished 9th at Portsmouth Raceway Park; Disqualified to 26th
Over the weekend, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series visited the familar Portsmouth Raceway Park. The 3/8-mile Ohio dirt track was set to host the season finale for the national dirt late model tour.
The Dirt Track World Championship is a two day dirt late model show. The finale on Saturday paid $100,000 to the race winner after 100 laps of racing.
Jonathan Davenport rolled into the weekend having already clinched the series title. He’s won it in back to back seasons collecting his third overall championship on the tour.
The No. 49 team started 7th in the 100-lap main event.
On lap 40, Davenport slowed to bring out a caution. He thought he had a flat tire and went to the pit area under yellow. The crew changed a tire.
Davenport returned to the track. He restarted at the rear of the field. He drove to a 9th place finish.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Tire Change Rule
However, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has a new rule in place for 2019. The rule is simple, if a driver slows to bring out a caution, he can only change the tire if the tire is actually flat.
Even if the driver spins, by himself, he still can’t change tires unless any of the said tires are actually flat.
The rule is in place to prevent drivers from slowing on the track even when they don’t have an issue, just so they can change tires or make setup changes under the yellow flag. In the longer races, this was an increasing problem before this year.
Officials walk the infield pit area and monitor these types of situations. Usually, they’ll catch teams before it happens and remind them of the rule, to help them out.
In this case, Davenport’s team changed the tire. It was later discovered by officials that the tire they took off was not flat.
After the race, Davenport was disqualified. Instead of finishing 9th, he finish last, 26th.
Jonathan Davenport is still the 2019 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion.