By benefit of winning Heat 1 and coming from the back in Heat 2 to finish fourth, Jonathan Davenport started on the pole and won the 2023 Superstar Racing Experience finale at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri in his series debut. Davenport survived a chaotic restart that shuffled the field with 10 laps remaining and a another with three laps remaining while showing incredible patience as Clint Bowyer slid in front of him twice in the closing laps.

Davenport became the fifth driver to win in his debut – a list that includes Kyle Busch from earlier this year at in Radford, Virginia.

“I didn’t know Clint was going to slide me right there,” Davenport said. “I would have let him go on across, but I hit him at the right time when I got back on the gas. I knew he was going to come back again, so I lifted. Somebody else took us three wide. At that point, there weren’t many laps left and I had saved long enough.

“I was just out there pacing myself, trying to keep the edges on the tires and just do regular dirt guy stuff.”

Davenport has 10 previous victories on this track with the most recent coming in the 2023 Diamond Nationals two months ago.

In the shuffle at the end, Brad Keselowski turned a miserable night in which he spun early into a second-place finish.

Ken Schrader took the final spot on the podium.

Newman entered with a 39-point lead and clinched the title with the points he earned in Heat 1. Newman swept the top five during the six-race series and scored one win in the second race at Stafford Speedway. Newman had to overcome a softening tire with 40 laps remaining. He was forced to line up last and picked his way through the field to finish fourth.

“It means a lot no doubt,” Newman said of his title. “Any kind of championship and the Superstar Racing Experience, what can you say – guys like Tony Stewart, Jonathan Davenport who’s won everything on dirt, racing against Kenny Schrader, Kenny Wallace – it’s a whole lot of fun. Racing against (Helio) Castroneves, IndyCar champion and winner, it’s pretty special.”

After his unsuccessful attempt to slide Davenport with 10 laps remaining, Bowyer rounded out the top five.

Last week’s winner at Eldora Speedway, Tony Stewart had four wins in the first five dirt track races in the series and finished second in the other. He never found the setup at Lucas Oil Speedway and spent most of the heats and features in the back of the pack. He finished seventh.

Feature Results: 1. Jonathan Davenport; 2. Brad Keselowski; 3. Ken Schrader; 4. Ryan Newman; 5. Clint Bowyer; 6. Marco Andretti; 7. Tony Stewart; 8. Kenny Wallace; 9. Helio Castroneves; 10. Hailie Deegan; 11. Ernie Francis, Jr..; 12. Bobby Labonte


Heat Action

Davenport dominated the first heat in his unfamiliar car, showing the skills learned behind the wheel of a dirt late model could be translated to the heavier stock cars. Davenport kept another couple of dirt track specialists, Schrader and Bowyer behind him as much deeper in the field, Stewart survived a 360-degree spin to finish 10th.

The big winner of Heat 1 was Newman who earned enough points to clinch the 2023 SRX championship.

Bobby Labonte took the lead early in Heat 2 and survived a restart for the mid-race competition caution and another for cause when Brad Keselowski spun.

Bowyer and Davenport moved up through heavy traffic and battled for top-five positions after the restart after starting shotgun on the field by virtue of winning Heat 1. Bowyer finished second with Davenport fourth. Kenny Wallace sandwiched himself between in third.


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