On Saturday evening, piloting a popular Six Pack, Brewster Baker throwback wrap, Jonathan Davenport showed the world, once again, just how good he is. The two-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion drove his way past a number of talented peers, with patience and an eye on the prize, surviving a number of late restarts and challenges from many fellow drivers, to capture his third-career Eldora Speedway World 100 victory. As Davenport pulled on-to the winner's stage and acknowledged the nearly sold-out crowd absolutely losing their minds over what they just witnessed, a sense of a changing of the guard swept across the Big E.
Jonathan Davenport grew up in Georgia, focused on making his way into motorsports and becoming a successful racing driver. Davenport burst on-to the national scene around 2009, after Legends Car and early late model success across the south-eastern part of the country. During that 2009 season, Jonathan visited victory-lane on a number of occasions, splitting time between Craig Patterson's No. 49 Crate Late Model & Rumley Racing's No. 6 Super Late Model. Davenport followed that season up with an amazing 24-win 2010, including victories in both the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the two premier late model national touring series in the United States. Most fans and media alike acknowledged that the young-man may be one of the next successful late model drivers of his generation, but no one could have foreseen just how much success Jonathan would have over the course of the next decade.
With a 17-win 2011 season under-his-belt, Davenport picked up and took-on the most competitive dirt late model division in the country, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, full-time, for the first time in his career. The Georgia native was able to capture a few victories, eventually finishing seventh in the season-ending points championship, along with being named Rookie-of-the-Year, for his efforts.
In 2012 and 2013, Davenport was only able to capture 16-victories, looking to come out-of-the-gate swinging in 2014, and show the entire country just how good he and his team could be. Over the course of the next three seasons, J.D. visited victory-lane on 68-occasions, including victories in the Dirt Late Model Dream, Show-Me 100. Prairie Dirt Classic, World 100 and World Finals, among many other major event wins. Superman would also take home his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship title in 2015, followed by a runner-up performance in 2016.
During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Davenport continued to show just how great he could be, capturing a number of race victories, another World 100, Hillbilly 100 and Silver Dollar Nationals win and his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship in 2018. So far in 2019, Jonathan has remained on fire, leading the LOLMDS points championship by nearly 600-points over Tim McCreadie, on his way to a third series championship, which will tie Jimmy Owens and Scott Bloomquist for second all-time, moving him just one-title away from Earl Pearson, Jr. for the number one spot, all at the age of 35. Davenport has visited victory-lane 17-times so far in 2019, highlighted by his third-World 100 crown on Saturday evening at Eldora Speedway.
With 15-20 years left in his prime and nearly 200 late model victories already to his credit, along with putting the finishing touches on his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship, there is zero doubt that Jonathan Davenport is on his way to becoming the greatest late model driver of the modern era. With Billy Moyer and Scott Bloomquist's best years behind them, it may be Davenports time to assume the role as top dog and become the driver that all of his peers compare themselves to, week-in and week-out.