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Ultimate Series at Cherokee Speedway - 11/20 Results (Read 3488 times)
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Ultimate Series at Cherokee Speedway - 11/20 Results
11/21/11 at 12:17am
Cherokee Speedway
November 20, 2011

Davenport claims $10,000 21st Annual Blue-Gray 100 victory at Cherokee Speedway

by Gene Murphy
GAFFNEY, SC - Cherokee Speedway, which boasts itself to be "The Place Your Mama Warned You About", lived up to the expectations for its Annual Blue Gray 100 Fall crown jewel event. Sunday evening's race will go down in the track's storied history as one of its most memorable.

Jonathan Davenport, piloting the Cowpens-based Barry Wright Race Cars "house" car, aggressively claimed the 21st running of the Blue Gray 100 as his own. On the start, Davenport slid to second behind fellow front row starter Steve Shaver, behind the wheel of the Leroy and Kevin Rumley-owned machine. Content to bide his time, and never slipping farther than third, Davenport took the lead from Shaver following a Lap 43 restart. By Lap 58, the battle for the lead had become a three-way dogfight between Davenport, Shaver, and Dale McDowell. On the 66th circuit, McDowell cleared Shaver for second and set his sights on Davenport, two laps later McDowell took the lead. During a caution period on Lap 69, Shaver retired his machine to the pits.

Following a restart on Lap 72, Davenport dove under McDowell entering turn one with a move that will be talked about for some time. Not willing to yield the lead, McDowell stayed in the gas alongside Davenport's right rear quarter panel. With both cars dancing on the edge of control they both washed up the track and McDowell's car slammed the turn two concrete. The incident also collected the Ultimate Super Late Model Series point leader entering the event, Chris Ferguson, whose machine received heavy right side damage, but was able to continue in 16th position.

During the cleanup, McDowell climbed from his car and walked down to turn one, where Davenport and the rest of the field had stopped for the red flag. McDowell leaned into Davenport's window, obviously expressing his displeasure over the incident.

Caution fell on lap 81 for Chip Bridle's hard contact with the turn 2 wall, ending his night and his championship hopes. The final caution of the race came on lap 90 - setting up an Epic battle for the points Championship with Casey Roberts ahead of Chris Ferguson by 4 cars with 10 to go. Davenport led the field back to green for the final time but the battle was back in the field, Booper Bare got by Roberts on the restart and Ferguson was again on the move working around Earl Pearson Jr and Mike Gault. Jared Landers made his way around Ferguson with 6 to go moving Ferguson back to 2 cars behind Roberts. Landers worked around Roberts on the high side to move to 5th overall dropping Roberts to 6th with Ferguson up to 7th. Davenport held the lead until the end of the race and claimed the $10,000 prize money. Chris Madden finished second three car lengths behind Davenport at the fall of the checkered flag. Dennis Erb, Booper Bare, and Jared Landers rounded out the top five.

After the race, back at his hauler, a still steamed McDowell was direct and to the point. "I got took out," he said while holding a bag of ice to his swollen hand. "If you want to know anymore than that, you need to go ask (Davenport)."

A visually subdued and remorseful Davenport seemed to grudgingly accept the trophy and oversize check in victory lane. Afterwards, he shared his thoughts on the incident. Davenport said, "(McDowell) probably wouldn't have done it to me. I was going to do it, then at the last second I tried not to, but I was already committed so it made it probably even a little worse. But, I don't know. Usually Dale don't get upset like that unless somebody does something wrong."

The event also decided the battle for the Ultimate Super Late Model Series point's crown. Entering the race, Ferguson led, while Casey Roberts and Chip Brindle resided in second and third. Separating first to third was just four points. Despite the damage suffered in the Lap 72 accident, Ferguson held on to finish seventh and claimed the 2011 Ultimate Super Late Model Series championship by a single point over Roberts. The Ultimate Series allows each driver who makes every event to drop his worst finish of the season. Casey Roberts would have won his 5th consecutive Championship by 4 points had it not been for the dropped race.

2011 ULTIMATE Series Champion
Chris Ferguson

2011 ULTIMATE Series Rookie of the Year
Chip Brindle

2011 ULTIMATE Series Season Points Results Top 10
1) Chris Ferguson 370, 2) Casey Roberts 369, 3) Chip Brindle 359, 4) Ross Bailes 302, 5) Daniel Baggerly, 6) Jonathan Davenport 263, 7) Zach Mitchell 255, 8) Ricky Weeks 244, 9) Chris Madden, 10) Johnny Pursley 165

Blue Gray 100 Official Finishing Order: - Cherokee Speedway - November 20, 2011
1) Jonathan Davenport, 2) Chris Madden, ) Dennis Erb, 4) Booper Bare, 5) Jared Landers, 6) Casey Roberts, 7) Chris Ferguson, 8) Earl Pearson Jr., 9) Mike Gault, 10) Ross Bailes, 11) Daniel Baggerly, 12) Ricky Weeks, 13) Jamie Lathroum, 14) Chip Brindle, 15) Jeff Smith, 16) Tim Allen, 17) Dale McDowell, 18) Steve Shaver, 19) Mike Marlar, 20) Brent Dixon, 21) Jeff Cooke, 22) Doug Sanders, 23) Freddy Smith, 24) Zack Mitchell

21st Annual Blue-Gray 100
November 20, 2011

1 49 Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA
2 44 Chris Madden Gaffney, SC
3 28 Dennis Erb Jr Carpentersville, IL
4 00 Booper Bare Rockbridge Baths, VA
5 777 Jared Landers Batesville, AR
6 101 Casey Roberts Toccoa, GA
7 22 Chris Ferguson Mt. Holly, NC
8 44 Earl Pearson Jr Jacksonville, FL
9 17 Mike Gault Gaffney, SC
10 87 Ross Bailes Clover, SC
11 16B Daniel Baggerly Rural Retreat, VA
12 1 Ricky Weeks Rutherfordton, NC
13 6 Jamie Lathroum Mechanicsville, PA
14 21B Chip Brindle Chatsworth, GA
15 18w Jeff Smith Dallas, NC
16 17 Tim Allen Kannapolis, NC
17 17M Dale McDowell Chickamauga, GA
18 6 Steve Shaver Vienna, WV
19 5G Mike Marlar Winfield, TN
20 1D Brent Dixon Elberton, GA
21 99 Jeff Cooke Spartanburg, SC
22 42 Doug Sanders Springwood, NC
23 00 Freddy Smith Seymour, TN
24 57 Zack Mitchell Woodruff, SC
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