PORT ROYAL, PA (August 26, 2022) – Brandon Sheppard and Jonathan Davenport went to Lucas Oil Victory Lane on Friday night in the preliminary night twin 25 lap features at the Port Royal Speedway.
Sheppard led all the way to win the first 25 lap main event, while Davenport had to chase down Chris Ferguson to take the lead on lap 17 for the victory.
In the first preliminary feature, Sheppard pulled away from Earl Pearson Jr. and Jimmy Owens after a late race caution for the win. Mike Marlar came home in fourth, with Michael Norris completing the top five.
Sheppard took advantage of his pole starting spot, bolting to the lead at the start of the race. Owens then followed Sheppard until lap 17 when Pearson, using the top line, got by him for second. The two 4-time series champions then battled to the finish with Pearson edging out Owens. Sheppard’s margin of victory was 1.230 seconds at the finish.
The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Metal Works, Sunoco Race fuels, Sallack Well Service, Keyser Manufacturing, Gunter’s Honey, Petroff Towing, and Rocket Pre-Owned Motors.
Completing the top ten in the first feature were Gary Stuhler, Ross Robinson, Daulton Wilson, Rick Eckert, and Dale Hollidge.
“It’s good to get back to Victory Lane. The track was awesome tonight. The track crew did a great job getting the track ready after the rain. You could race all over it tonight. I am sure tomorrow night it will slick off and put on a good show for these fans. I want to thank my crew for all the hard work they do on the car. This should get us a good starting spot tomorrow night for the heat races.”
Pearson, who capitalized on a solid run at Port Royal Speedway in April, came home in second. “Our car was good tonight. We could run that top good. I thought maybe on that last restart I had something for him [Sheppard]. The top three put on a heck of a show for these fans. Jimmy and I went back and forth for a long time there. The track was smooth and racy. I am sure it will be drier tomorrow night. I think we have a car capable of winning this race on Saturday night.”
Owens, who stayed in the top three the entire race, rounded out the podium in the first 25-lapper. “We had a good car. It was very maneuverable. I thought I could stay with Brandon there for a while longer, but he got away from us and then we had that caution and Earl, and I were racing hard. It was a good race and hopefully it will put us in a good position for the heat races.”
Davenport would continue his hot streak but had to earn the win as Ferguson led the first 16 laps of the second 25 lapper before yielding the lead to Davenport in traffic. When the checkers flew, Davenport had opened a 4.337 second advantage.
Davenport, who started third, led Ferguson, Gregg Satterlee, Kyle Strickler, and Hudson O’Neal to the finish line for his sixth straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory and the 65th of his career.
“That was the key to get through lapped traffic. I knew it would slime up there a little bit once we got to traffic. The top was pretty dominant there. Finally, there was a couple of drivers that got in his way. Then we started dicing through there. I got a good run off the bottom of two there one time and that was the only time I could do that. He come back on me one time and he turned down across and I tried not to hit him, so I got broke loose and I had to try and slide him all the way across hos nose. I was trying to run him as clean as I could.”
Ferguson, the 2022 Show-Me 100 winner, appeared to have the car to end Davenport’s long win streak but fell short at the end. “I just needed to be a little better on the cushion. We were just a little too tight to be up there running where we were. I was having to drive the car really hard. I did what I could to keep him behind me as long as I could, but he was just a little bit better up there than us.”
Satterlee, who entered the weekend as one of the Pennsylvania hopefuls, came from seventh to round out the podium. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction. We kind of started off on the wrong foot tonight. I didn’t qualify very well and I kind of put us behind going forward for the rest of the evening. We were able to make up some ground in the heat race and we made some really good changes for the feature. Our car was good it was really balanced well. We were just getting better and better as the race wore on.”
The winner’s Lance and Darla Landers, Double L Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions, Spartan Mowers, ASC Warranty, Bilstein Shocks, VP Fuels, Midwest Sheet Metal, Mark Martin Automotive, and Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas.
Completing the top ten in second feature were Tim McCreadie, Ricky Thornton Jr., Garrett Alberson, Tyler Erb, and Colton Flinner.
Rumble by the River Feature #1 Finish (25 Laps):
Rumble by the River Feature #2 Finish (25 Laps):
See the full story and results:
Photo: Jonathan Davenport Social / lucasdirt.com
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