Tribune staff reports
Jonathan Davenport of Mount Airy, North Carolina, continued his dazzling season Saturday night at Brownstown Speedway by winning the 36th Annual Jackson 100 and it’s $20,000 top prize.
Davenport took over the lead on lap 49 from Brandon Sheppard, and dashed to his first win in the historic event.
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Trailing Davenport to the finish line was Mike Marlar, who also was looking for his first-career win in the crown-jewel event.
Devin Moran, pole-sitter Sheppard and Don O’Neal completed the top-five.
“Man what a year,” Davenport said after the race. “This win means a lot to me. I have never run that good here. I still can’t believe I ran the whole race on the bottom. I’m used to those high-speed, running up against the wall type of tracks.”
Sheppard led much of the race before the half-way mark, only relinquishing the lead once on lap 11 to Marlar.
The only caution of the 100-lap affair came on lap 75.
On the restart, Davenport pulled away from the field as Marlar and Sheppard battled it out for second.
Moran, who started 16th, then climbed to fourth and made the move on Sheppard for third shortly after.
“I can’t say enough about Kevin and Lee Roy Rumley,” Davenport said. “Lee Roy’s engines are unbelievably strong. This Longhorn Chassis is incredible.”
Marlar had yet another impressive run in a Lucas Oil event.
“I have to thank Ronnie Delk and everyone at Capital Race Cars, Marshall Green and his people build a great race car,” Marlar said. “I don’t know if I could have passed him (Davenport). I was catching up to him, but we are satisfied with a second place here with this tough of a field of drivers.”
Moran said he was pleased with his third-place finish.
“To get another podium finish here at Brownstown is just tremendous,” he said. “My dad (Donnie) was never able to win here. We are getting closer and closer to winning here. I can’t wait to come back.”
Completing the top-10 were Scott Bloomquist, Jared Landers, Jimmy Owens, Dale McDowell and Mason Zeigler.
In preliminary action, Marlar set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group A) among the 40 entrants, with a lap of 13.558 seconds. Landers set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 13.848 seconds.
Marlar, Earl Pearson Jr., Sheppard and O’Neal won their respective heat races.
Dennis Erb Jr. and Matt Bex won their respective B-Mains.
In other action Saturday night, the “Fast Max” UMP Modifieds and the “Woolston Automotive” Super Stocks were also on hand.
Current Modified point leader Joe Godsey and Super Stock point leader Tyler Cain each picked up feature wins in their divisions.
Godsey has five Modified wins and Cain has nine Super Stock wins at Brownstown for 2015.