All you need to know about the 41st annual Gopher 50 Late Model race

Jonathan Davenport kept more than 3,000 fans on the edges of their seats — or out of those seats — until he squeaked past Bobby Pierce by less than three-tenths of a second at the checkered flag to win the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts North Star Nationals in May of 2018.

Davenport will be back at Deer Creek this weekend and he’s looking to go 2-for-2 — and then 3-for-3 — in races at the ⅜-mile high-banked dirt track near Spring Valley. For the first time, the Lucas Oil Series is a part of the annual Gopher 50 charity Late Models race.

Davenport currently sits third in the Lucas Oil Series points, behind 2010 Gopher champion Tim McCreadie and 20-year-old Hudson O’Neal.

The Late Models will race for a $12,000 winner’s purse Friday and a $15,000 winner’s check — as well as the title of Gopher 50 champion — on Saturday.

Here’s all you need to know about the 41st running of the Gopher 50:

What: 41st annual Gopher 50 Late Model race.

Who: Lucas Oil Late Models, USRA Modifieds.

When: Friday and Saturday, pit gates open 2:30 p.m., grandstand opens 3 p.m., hot laps at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Deer Creek Speedway, approximately 15 miles south of Rochester on U.S. 63.

Tickets: adults $30 Friday, $35 Saturday; kids 12-and-under $15 both nights.

Pit passes: adults $40, kids 12-and-under $25.

Last year’s winners: There was no race in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brandon Sheppard won the Gopher 50 in 2019, while Rochester’s Dustin Sorensen won the USRA Modifieds feature.

LATE MODELS

2019 — Brandon Sheppard. 2018 — Mike Marlar. 2017 — Chris Madden. 2016 — Josh Richards. 2015 — Darrell Lanigan. 2014 — Darrell Lanigan. 2013 — Darrell Lanigan. 2012 — Shane Clanton. 2011 — Josh Richards. 2010 — Tim McCreadie. 2009 — Darrell Lanigan. 2008 — Brian Birkhofer. 2007— Chub Frank. 2006 — Rick Eckert. 2005 — Darrell Lanigan. 2004 — Brian Birkhofer. 2003 — Scott Bloomquist. 2002 — Shannon Babb. 2001 — Billy Moyer. 2000 — Billy Moyer. 1999 — Scott Bloomquist. 1998 — Jay Johnson. 1997 — Rick Aukland. 1996 — Billy Moyer. 1995 — Bill Frye. 1994 — Willy Kraft. 1993 — Billy Moyer. 1992 — Bob Hill. 1991 — Rick Egersdorf. 1990 — Scott Bloomquist. 1989 — Billy Moyer. 1988 — Steve Kosiski. 1987 — Willy Kraft. 1986 — Tom Steuding. 1985 — Leon Plank. 1984 — Willy Kraft. 1983 — Joe Kosiski. 1982 — Steve Kosiski. 1981 — Steve Kosiski. 1980 — Leon Plank.

MODIFIEDS

2019 — Dustin Sorensen. 2018 — Zach VanderBeek. 2017 — Rodney Sanders. 2016 — Jesse Glenz. 2015 — Jimmy Mars. 2014 — Brent Larson. 2013 — Brandon Davis. 2012 — Brandon Davis. 2011 — Zack VanderBeek. 2010 — Mike Sorensen. 2009 — Jason Cummins. 2008 — Tim Donlinger. 2007 — Mark Noble. 2006 — Al Hejna. 2005 — Steve Arpin. 2004 — Jason Hughes. 2003 — Mark Noble. 2002 — Jimmy Davis. 2001 — Willy Kraft. 2000 — Ron Jones. 1999 — Ron Jones. 1998 — Ron Jones.

LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL SERIES

1. Tim McCreadie (Watertown, N.Y.) 2,830; 2. Hudson O’Neal (Martinsville, Ind.); 2,800; 3. Jonathan Davenport (Blairsville, Ga.) 2,680; 4. Kyle Bronson (Brandon, Fla.); 2,570; 5. Mike Marlar (Winfield, Tenn.) 2,565; 6. Josh Richards (Shinnston, W.Va.) 2,555; 7. Shane Clanton (Zebulon, Ga.) 2,540; 8. Ricky Thornton (Adel, Iowa) 2,520; 9. Tyler Erb (New Waverly, Texas) 2,490; 10. Jimmy Owens (Newport, Tenn.) 2,480.

IN SATURDAY’S POST BULLETIN: Tim McCreadie, the 2010 Gopher 50 champion, is excited to come back to Deer Creek Speedway, this time as the points leader in the Lucas Oil Late Model Series. (also available at PostBulletin.com/Sports/Motorsports on Friday)

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