Jonathan Davenport has completely dominated the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series during his time chasing the tour full-time, from his rookie season in 2015, where he made all of the campaign's starts for the first time, through his best season-to-date in 2019, it has been building and building, until everyone looked up and realized that Superman is one-title away from tying Earl Pearson, Jr. for the most ever, of four. At the youthful age of 36-years-old, with guys like Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer, and Sammy Swindell competing, winning and dominating deep into their 50s and 60s, everyone recognizes that the sky really is the limit for Davenport, and even if the South Carolina native doesn't take home his fourth LOLMDS crown in 2020, he eventually will and many expect him to add a fifth, sixth or even seventh title, if he so chooses and the series stays together long enough for that to happen, the question is, then what?
Let's fast-forward a few years, to 2025 and hypothetically say that JD has just put the finishing touches on a sixth or seventh Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship, with a lot left in the tank and wanting a new challenge for the 2026 campaign, to raise himself even closer to Greatest of All-Time stature. The competition level and big event money remain high in the LOLMDS, with drivers like Tyler Erb, Hudson O'Neal, Josh Richards, possibly Bobby Pierce and Tyler Carpenter, among others that aren't even on our radar yet in early 2020, can easily battle for wins and championships on a weekly basis, but that also all remains true on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series side of things. With the addition of Scott Bloomquist Racing in 2020 and the expectation that the team will continue to grow, possibly to two or three cars by the time this hypothetical situation manifests itself, led by superstar Chris Madden, the WoOLMS roster, to go along with champions Brandon Sheppard and possibly still Scott Bloomquist, young Cade Dillard, and Ricky Weiss, as well as solid drivers like Black Spencer, Brent Larson, and Chase Junghans, the appeal of a jump to the WoO tour, by 2026, could be un-ignorable for The Fast No. 49.
Everyone in dirt late model racing will be dying to see the SBR vs JD rivalry back on a weekly basis by the middle of the 2020s, with the possibility that by that time both Chris Madden and Jonathan Davenport could be dominating their respective series, even with bullets like Rocket Chassis drivers Brandon Sheppard and Tyler Erb taking it to them week-in and week-out, and this could be the scenario that returns the friendly rivalry to full-strength, as it was in 2016. During that 2016 season, Scott Bloomquist ended up running away with the points championship, after narrowly losing the title to Davenport, in 2015, with Jonathan competing on the tour full-time for the first time. Even with Bloomer running away with the trophy in '16, the battles those two had over the course of those two seasons were arguably the best in series history, giving fans the ultimate head-to-head, knock-out, drag-out, on a race-by-race basis.
Since the end of that 2016 season, late model fans have seen a few more remember-able championship fights, i.e. Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie and Scott Bloomquist for 2017's Lucas Oil Late Model DirtSeries crown, as well as Brandon Sheppard and Mike Marlar for the 2018 World of Outlaws Late Model title, continuing to push the sport to new levels. Unfortunately, largely due to an injury to Bloomer in 2019, Davenport ran away with the LOLMDS trophy, while Brandon Sheppard completely dominated the WoOLMS, as the series was largely made up of young talented drivers looking to gain experience each week.
Jonathan Davenport and his loyal partners seem to be committed to the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at this point in his career, but from afar, it seems like Davenport is not a guy to shy away from competition, with that being the whole reason, along with more $20,000-to-win, or larger events, he initially chose the series over others, years ago. With that being said, all it would take is a few more quality teams and drivers choosing the WoOLMS over the ladder, and series directors continuing to add money to the event purse and winnings, to possibly sway arguably the sports most talented driver away from the LOLMDS and on-to the Outlaw tour, completing possibly the most talented and deepest series roster in history.
Will Superman ever join some of his peers in switching national touring series allegiance? Who knows, but if he did, the fans would be the real winners.
- Jacy Norgaard Photo