July 9, 2024 | By Lyndal Scranton

18th annual CMH Diamond Nationals rolls into Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday

Photo by GS Stanek Racing Photography

WHEATLAND, Mo. — The mission for the rest of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series field at Saturday's 18th annual CMH Diamond Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment would seem pretty clear cut.

Don't let Jonathan Davenport get the lead. Otherwise, the Blairsville, Ga., driver might not give it up.

Davenport will be shooting for his ninth feature victory at Lucas Oil Speedway over the last two seasons when the stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil MLRA return to Wheatland for the mid-summer classic. The Diamond Nationals winner - Davenport is defending champ - will earn $20,000 and a diamond ring.

Not only has Davenport won at Lucas Oil Speedway often, he's done so in dominant fashion. In those eight wins since April 1, 2023, Davenport has led an astonishing 235 of 240 laps. That included a wire-to-wire triumph at the Show-Me 100 Presented by Missouri Division of Tourism on May 25th of this year and all 90 laps of last summer's now-defunct SRX Series where he topped a podium that included Brad Keselowski and Ken Schrader.

Davenport enters a three-race Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series swing that begins Thursday at 34 Raceway second in championship points behind Ricky Thornton Jr. Intrigue was injected into the series in recent days with the announcement that Thornton and SSI Motorsports have parted ways, despite his success in the first half of 2024.

Thornton, of Chandler, Ariz., won more than 60 races with the team over the past two seasons. Three of those have been at Lucas Oil Speedway, in preliminary nights for the Show-Me 100 and a Lucas Oil MLRA Spring Nationals feature. Thornton drove a car owned by Steve Sheppard in a Monday FloRacing Night in America Tour at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway, where he finished seventh.

The series lead for Thornton if 235 points over Davenport with Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio 355 behind.

Also on the Saturday program will be the Arctic Food Equipment USRA Modifieds, chasing $1,000-to-win, and the O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars with a $750 top prize.

Pit gates open at 4 pm. Saturday with grandstands at 5, hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.

Saturday admission:

Adults (13 and up) - $30
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $27
Youth (ages 6-12) - $10
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family pass - $70
Pit pass - $45

Camping: Daily rates

Dry Camping $15/night (up to 6 people) ($5 additional a night per person)
Reserve Dry $25/Night (limited Availability) (up to 6 people) ($5 additional a night per person)
Reserved Electric & Water- $40/Night (up to 6 people) ($5 additional a night per person (Limited Availability)

For ticket or camping information on any Lucas Oil Speedway event, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or via email at nmcmillan@lucasoilspeedway.com.



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