Sports Design Young Lions Nationals

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Aug. 21, 1999) - Usually when a teenager is speeding in a car, the police have an easy job writing the ticket. But in the case of Blairsville, GA speeder Jonathan Davenport, it earned him the title of "Fastest Teen in...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Aug. 21, 1999) - Usually when a teenager is speeding in a car, the police have an easy job writing the ticket. But in the case of Blairsville, GA speeder Jonathan Davenport, it earned him the title of "Fastest Teen in America" Saturday night at Lil’ Texas Motor Speedway. Davenport claimed the third annual Sports Design Young Lions Nationals for Legends Cars drivers age 12 to 16. Davenport kept his Davenport Auto Sales 52 ahead of the pack all 30 circuits around Lil’ Texas one-fifth mile paved oval. Davenport withstood the challenges of the top teenage drivers representing seven different states during the Nationals program. In the process of winning the Young Lions Nationals, Davenport proved to be a prophet. Davenport imitated Babe Ruth’s historic "called" home run which the famed baseball player predicted. "I think we’ve got a place in our shop already for that winner’s trophy," Davenport confidently predicted following a preliminary-race victory. "I have raced on larger tracks for the most part, so it isn’t easy getting used to a place like Lil’ Texas. The straightaways seem so short. "Our car wasn’t handling as well as we wanted it to but it was good enough to get the job done," Davenport said later while collecting the specially-designed four-foot custom glass winner’s trophy. "It sure seemed like a longer race than 30 laps." Davenport bested the cream of the teens racing Legends from all corners of the country. Homestater Casey Smith, Austin, the current Texas Semi Pro point leader and winner of 19 features in-state this year, rode mere inches behind Davenport throughout the feature race. Smith just couldn’t put the Smith Excavating and Construction 99 around Davenport’s fleet machine. "I tried everything I could to win this race, but I just couldn’t get around Jonathan," commented 14-year-old Smith. "Our race team congratulates him for a great race." Chris Beach, Hardeeville, SC, ran two to three car lengths behind Smith and settled for the show position in the Hardeeville Motor Speedway 03. Texans captured the next three positions. Blake Hansen, Plano, battled Beach through most of the race and finished fourth in the Lone Star Web 21. Jared Whitton, Carrollton, took fifth in the Whitton Racing 20, just ahead of Bradley Riethmeyer, Hutto. A heat race accident took Riethmeyer’s primary Legends Car out of commission. He charged through the pack from position 20 starting berth to a sixth-place showing. Smith posted the fastest qualifying lap with heat-race victories earned by Beach, Davenport and Ryan Lawler, Colleyville, racing in only his fourth Legends race. Lawler lost an apparent Bandolero 20-lap feature victory when officials deemed he jumped the restart lineup on two occasions. Ben Pigeon, Abilene, took the winner’s trophy, the second in two days, earning his first during last week’s Thursday Night Stampede. The Sports Design Young Lions Nationals were opened to drivers utilizing their own Legends Cars. The past two seasons only eight area champions were invited to Atlanta to perform for the national championship. Legends Cars are five-eighths scale replicas of the stock cars from the 1930s and 1940s where NASCAR’S founding drivers learned their trade. The cars feature a 1,200 cc Yamaha powerplant, a recycled Toyota rear end and are race-ready when delivered. Sedan and coupe replicas from Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge allow owners to select from their choice of body styles.



Feature (30 laps): 1. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA; 2. Casey Smith, Austin, TX; 3. Chris Beach, Hardeeville, SC; 4. Blake Hansen, Plano, TX; 5. Jared Whitton, Carrollton, TX; 6. Bradley Riethmeyer, Hutto, TX; 7. Bryan Phifer, Kokomo, IN; 8. Jimmy Zerby, Canon City, CO; 9. Kelly Vinson, New Braunfels, TX; 10. Chip Fletcher, Arvada, CO; 11. Walt Brannen, Elko, GA; 12. Scott Merino, Plano, TX; 13. Zack Keller, New Braunfels, TX; 14. Josh Whitton, Carrollton, TX; 15. Marty Armin Jr., Grasonville, MD; 16. Jeff Gordon, Fort Worth, TX; 17. Brent Downey, Avon, IN; 18. Jamie Neblett, Apex, NC; 19. J.C. Umscheid, Cedar Park, TX; 20. Ryan Lawler, Colleyville, TX.


Feature (20 laps): 1. Ben Pigeon, Abilene, TX; 2. Josh Gilbert, Grapevine, TX; 3. Ryan Lawler, Colleyville, TX; 4. Derek Shumaker, Conroe, TX; 5. Andrew Lewis, Coppell, TX; 6. Mark Merino, Plano, TX; 7. Kayla Hontz, Hurst, TX; 8. Blake Pigeon, Abilene, TX; 9. John Gottsacker, University Park, TX; 10. Brent Seeley, Dallas, TX; 11. Billy Adams, Colleyville, TX.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Andrew Lewis , Ryan Lawler