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Defending USA Nationals Champion Jonathan Davenport Will Start From The Pole At Cedar Lake Speedway

From Mike Warren /

The 35th annual USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway will start how the 34th ended.

Defending USA Nationals champion Jonathan Davenport thundered to the lead from his second starting spot in Friday’s dash, leading all eight laps to earn the pole for Saturday’s 100-lap, $50,000-to-win finale.

Two rounds of Heat Races for the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series locked the top 16 drivers into the Feature—while the top eight raced for a chance at the front row in the dash.

The drivers locked in are Jonathan Davenport, Chris Madden, Jake Timm, Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Tanner English, Ashton Winger, Frank Heckenast Jr., Ricky Weiss, Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton, Kyle Strickler, Ryan Gustin, Max Blair, and Chad Mahder.

Despite ending the night in a position to succeed on Saturday, Davenport, of Blairsville, GA, stated he needs to get better to take home $50,000 this weekend.

“Really, I didn’t feel that great car-wise,” Davenport said. “We got stuck with the toughest Heat I feel like in the first one when it was slimy. So, we had a lot of adversity go our way, but we battled through it, and that’s the easiest seven cars I’ve passed all year.

“We’ve still got work to do; I don’t feel like we’re good enough to win by any means, but I feel like we’re in contention.”

While “Superman” has won the USA Nationals twice, he’s yet to do it back-to-back. A victory on Saturday would only add to the Eldora Million winner’s career highlights.

“It’s a lot of luck to just get to the Feature here because of the passing points and the way the racetrack changes,” Davenport said. “I don’t think I’ve ever won a big event back-to-back that I can think of, so this will be, I think, the first time for any event, so it would be something special.”

Davenport has a familiar foe starting beside him for Saturday’s Feature, as Chris Madden finished second.

The Gray Court, SC driver, has already won four $50,000-to-win events in 2022 and is confident he can add another to his resume this weekend.

“We love this place, and we hope the weather doesn’t make it to where it’s hammer down or a Baja the whole race,” Madden said. “If it gets back to what we had (Friday), we’ll have a bunch of great racing, and I think we got a great race car.

“Hopefully, we can stay out of trouble for a little while and be there at the end. This race, sometimes the pace can be pretty fast to start with. They re-work it, and sometimes it can be pretty fast, so you have to know your boundaries and just stay within what you have and plan on racing there the last 20 laps.”

Jake Timm finished third in the dash holding off Tyler Erb, who earned the most passing points through the ten CASE Construction Equipment Heat Races.

Four-time and reigning Series champion Brandon Sheppard rounded out the top five.

Another driver who gained momentum entering Saturday’s portion of USA Nationals was Garrett Smith, who won the special standalone F.A.N.S. Fund Dash worth $3,000. The Eatonton, GA driver held off a hard-charging Jason Feger to earn the $3,000 prize.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet return to Cedar Lake Speedway for the 100-lap, $50,000-to-win USA Nationals on Saturday, Aug. 6. Last Chance Showdowns and a non-qualifiers race will set the remaining spots in the field.

If you can’t make it to the tracks, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App. Each night of USA Nationals is included in a DIRTVision monthly OR annual FAST PASS subscription.


1. 49- Jonathan Davenport [2], 2. 44-Chris Madden [4], 3. 49T-Jake Timm [3], 4. 1T-Tyler Erb [6], 5. 1S- Brandon Sheppard[8], 6. 32- Bobby Pierce [5], 7. 81E-Tanner English [3] 8. 58- Ashton Winger [7]

Session 1 – Heat 1 (12 Laps): 1. 19R-Ryan Gustin[2]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce[8]; 4. 25F-Jason Feger[4]; 5. 157-Mike Marlar[6]; 6. 49-Jonathan Davenport[10]; 7. 40B-Kyle Bronson[7]; 8. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 9. 1-Boom Briggs[9]; 10. 38-Thomas Hunziker[3]

Session 1 – Heat 2 (12 Laps): 1. 58-Ashton Winger[1]; 2. 97-Cade Dillard[2]; 3. 81E-Tanner English[4]; 4. 3S-Brian Shirley[3]; 5. 55C-Chad Mahder[5]; 6. 7-Ricky Weiss[7]; 7. 28M-Jimmy Mars[9]; 8. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[6]; 9. 10K-Shawn Kirwin[8]

Session 1 – Heat 3 (12 Laps): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb[6]; 2. 1S-Brandon Sheppard[7]; 3. 31K-Kye Blight[2]; 4. 90-Lance Matthees[1]; 5. 18-Shannon Babb[5]; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler[9]; 7. 9T-Tim Isenberg[3]; 8. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]; 9. 16-Tyler Bruening[8]

Session 1 – Heat 4 (12 Laps): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[1]; 2. 111V-Max Blair[2]; 3. 10-Joseph Joiner[3]; 4. 25-Shane Clanton[6]; 5. 51-Matt Furman[5]; 6. B1-Brent Larson[7]; 7. 42-Mckay Wenger[8]; 8. 11-Gordy Gundaker[9]; 9. 99B-Andy Boozel[4]

Session 1 – Heat 5 (12 Laps): 1. 49T-Jake Timm[2]; 2. 44-Chris Madden[8]; 3. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[4]; 4. 6M-Jeff Massingill[1]; 5. 18C-Chase Junghans[6]; 6. 7X-Jesse Glenz[3]; 7. 11G-James Giossi[9]; 8. 10S-Garrett Smith[7]; 9. 10P-Paul Parker[5]

Session 2 – Heat 1 (12 Laps): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 1S-Brandon Sheppard[2]; 3. 25-Shane Clanton[3]; 4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[6]; 6. 20-Jimmy Owens[8]; 7. 31K-Kye Blight[7]; 8. 10P-Paul Parker[4]; 9. (DNS) 10K-Shawn Kirwin

Session 2 – Heat 2 (12 Laps): 1. 7-Ricky Weiss[3]; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb[4]; 3. 11G-James Giossi[1]; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[6]; 5. 25F-Jason Feger[7]; 6. 51-Matt Furman[5]; 7. 90-Lance Matthees[9]; 8. 97-Cade Dillard[8]; 9. 1-Boom Briggs[2]

Session 2 – Heat 3 (12 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden[2]; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce[3]; 3. 11-Gordy Gundaker[1]; 4. 18-Shannon Babb[5]; 5. 58-Ashton Winger[9]; 6. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[4]; 7. 7X-Jesse Glenz[7]; 8. 38-Thomas Hunziker[8]; 9. 99B-Andy Boozel[6]

Session 2 – Heat 4 (12 Laps): 1. 10S-Garrett Smith[3]; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler[1]; 3. 55C-Chad Mahder[5]; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[4]; 5. 49T-Jake Timm[7]; 6. 42-Mckay Wenger[2]; 7. 19R-Ryan Gustin[8]; 8. 10-Joseph Joiner[6]; 9. (DNS) 7T-Drake Troutman

Session 2 – Heat 5 (12 Laps): 1. 28M-Jimmy Mars[1]; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening[2]; 3. 81E-Tanner English[6]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar[5]; 5. B1-Brent Larson[3]; 6. 111V-Max Blair[8]; 7. 76-Brandon Overton[10]; 8. 18C-Chase Junghans[4]; 9. 9T-Tim Isenberg[7]; 10. 6M-Jeff Massingill[9]\

F.A.N.S. Fund Dash (12 Laps): 1. 10S-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 25F-Jason Feger[6]; 3. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[5]; 4. 10-Joseph Joiner[2]; 5. 42-Mckay Wenger[8]; 6. 7-Ricky Weiss[9]; 7. 58-Ashton Winger[10]; 8. 32-Bobby Pierce[11]; 9. 31K-Kye Blight[7]; 10. 11G-James Giossi[3]; 11. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]

See the full story and results:

Photo: / Jacy Norgaard


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