Race Weekend Central

Jonathan Davenport Wins in Wild SRX Finish at Lucas Oil, Ryan Newman Scores Championship

Jonathan Davenport dominated the main event at Lucas Oil Speedway in his Camping World SRX Series debut, the final race of the 2023 SRX season.

He held off a hungry Clint Bowyer, who made a bonsai move in the closing stages of the race, and won handily after the final restart.

“I didn’t know Clint was gonna slide me right there,” Davenport said. “I would have let him go on a cross, but I hit him right at the right time. I was already back on the gas. I knew he was gonna come back again, so I just lifted and somebody else took us three-wide. At that point, you know, ain’t that many laps left. I done saved long enough.”

And though he finished fourth, Ryan Newman scored the 2023 series title, clinching the championship after the first heat of the night.

“It means a lot no doubt,” Newman said, “Any kind of championship in the SRX, what can you say. Guys like Tony Stewart, Johnathan Davenport whose won everything on dirt, racing against Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace, Castroneves an INDYCAR winner. It’s pretty special.”

Brad Keselowski recorded his best SRX finish, a second. Keselowski ran between the middle and back of the pack until the wild restart with 10 to go, benefiting the most from the mayhem.

Ken Schrader finished in the final podium spot in third, and Bowyer concluded the event fifth.

Marco Andretti, Tony Stewart, Kenny Wallace, Helio Castroneves and Hailie Deegan rounded out the top 10, while Ernie Francis Jr. and Bobby Labonte completed the running order in 11th and 12th, respectively.

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Davenport dominated the majority of the day. Starting on the pole, he kept the lead from Bowyer by running the high line of the 3/8-mile dirt oval, keeping the 10-time NASCAR Cup winner at bay.

The race ran incident free until 22 laps to go when Castroneves was spun by Francis. The race was paused for a brief three laps.

Davenport pulled away on the restart with 19 laps to go after Bowyer and Andretti both got together fighting for second. Bowyer got back by him after returning the favor to Andretti and started chasing Davenport down once again before the caution came out again for Francis spinning after contact with Keselowski.

With 10 to go, Bowyer sent it deep on Davenport into turn 1. Bowyer put his car right in front of Davenport and got stuffed in the turn. Bowyer tried once again into turn 3 but lost it out of turn 4, falling multiple spots.

With three to go, Labonte spun, bringing out the final caution, but Davenport held off the field one final time securing the victory.

Heat 1

Newman captured the third SRX championship at the conclusion of heat one after Stewart spun while battling Keselowski for fifth. Newman had to maintain a 35-point lead after the conclusion of heat one and finished eighth in the heat, while Stewart could only recover to 10th, leaving Newman as the champion

Davenport won heat one after defending a hard-charging Schrader in second.

Heat 2

Labonte took the lead at the start of heat two. He fended off Wallace, who started up front after the field inversion. Wallace finished third, however, as Bowyer blitzed through the filed once again, ending up right behind Labonte at the end of the 25-lap heat.

The heat also featured one natural caution when Keselowski spun on the front straightway with 10 laps to go.

About the author

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Wyatt Watson has followed NASCAR closely since 2007. He joined Frontstretchas a journalist in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter, collecting exclusive content for Frontstretch.

Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime

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