From Superman to the Million Dollar Man, Jonathan Davenport wins Eldora Million

Davenport Eldora Million
Eldora Speedway
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“Superman” became the “Million Dollar Man” Thursday night as Jonathan Davenport held off a late-race charge from Chris Madden and Tim McCreadie in a 101-lap feature at Eldora Speedway that paid $1,002,022 to win. Davenport now holds the distinction of winning the most lucrative late model race in history.

“This is a life-changing moment for sure,” Davenport said at FloRacing.com. “Just looking out and seeing all of y’all listen to what I have to say is incredible.

“Wow, I just can’t put it into words yet. It’s probably not going to sink in until we get that money in the bank account. It’s definitely going to change my life and hopefully my son and daughter’s. Me and [car owner] Lance [Landers] are going to take this million and make two with it.”

This is the second time in late model history that a million dollars has been on the line. The inaugural Eldora Million was scheduled for October, 2000 until heavy rains and cold temperatures delayed it until the following June.

While Davenport dominated the 2022 race, it didn’t come easy as he was forced to battle McCreadie and Madden for the lead.

Charging forward from his ninth-place starting position, it took 75 laps without the benefit of a caution for McCreadie to catch Davenport, who started on the outside of the front row.

At that point, the two combatants swapped sliders as McCreadie took the lead on Lap 84 and Lap 86 before heartbreak hit two laps from the end. McCreadie suffered a flat tire, but with five drivers on the lead lap, he was still able to finish fourth.

With McCreadie out of the way, it was Madden’s chance to steal the payday from Davenport. Madden executed a slide job in Turn 1 on the final restart only to have Davenport return the favor in Turn 3.

“Madden, me and him have had our differences growing up. but I think we finally put that behind us,” Davenport said. “For him to slide me and then me slide him back with one or two to go, that’s just a hell of a feeling.”

Madden held on to finish second.

Devin Moran, who’s father Donnie was the original “Million Dollar Man” with his 2001 win, finished third.

Chris Ferguson rounded out the top five.

Attention now shifts to The Dream, another 100-lap feature. Brandon Overton won last year’s edition of this race.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.