Jonathan Davenport celebrates in victory lane Sunday at Port Royal Speedway. (Dan Demarco photo)

PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Not even a brief rain shower early in the evening could halt Jonathan Davenport Sunday night.

The three-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion sprinted to his first series win of the year, topping the action at Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway during the River Valley 40.

Davenport became the 10th different winner in the first 12 races this season on the Lucas tour and the first driver to win a race from the pole. It was not an easy victory, however, as Shane Clanton and Brandon Sheppard gave Davenport all he wanted for most of the 40-lap feature.

Clanton got by Sheppard on a lap-21 restart, and closed in on the leader in the final laps. He finished just .475 seconds behind Davenport, with Sheppard trailing in third. Chris Ferguson came home in fourth, followed by Stormy Scott.

It marked Davenport’s 51st career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win.

“I don’t know if Clanton was easing in on me or what. I felt the top was dying and I did not think the bottom was where I needed to be,” tipped Davenport. “He was too close to take that chance, because I knew if he went to the top, he would get a big run and slide me. I just decided to move up and beat up the wall so I could get a good run down the straightaways.”

Clanton came up just short of the win, but was pleased with his finish.

“My car was really good. I could have gone another 40 laps with the way the car ran tonight,” said Clanton. “We worked our tails off in the last week and a half to get the car better. Hopefully we can keep this momentum up.”

Sheppard rounded out the podium with his third-place finish.

“Davenport has been really tough. Congratulations to him and Shane. It was a fun race,” Sheppard noted. “Thanks to the fans for coming out! We had a pretty good car. As bad of luck as we have been having lately, it is nice to get a top three here.”

The finish:

Jonathan Davenport, Shane Clanton, Brandon Sheppard, Chris Ferguson, Stormy Scott, Gregg Satterlee, Josh Richards, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Mike Marlar, Kyle Bronson, Devin Moran, Ricky Thornton Jr., Tyler Erb, Hudson O’Neal, Michael Norris, Jeff Rine, Earl Pearson Jr., Andy Haus, Ross Robinson, Dylan Yoder, Gary Stuhler, Trever Feathers, Mason Zeigler, Colton Flinner.

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