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PENSACOLA, FL – The adage goes: Good things come to those who wait.

Chris Davidson just wishes it didn’t take so long.

The veteran Late Model driver has been driving over to Five Flags Speedway from his native Texas for more than two decades. In that span, Davidson had never won a feature – neither in the Pro nor Super Late Model classes. He notched a victory in the last chance race at last year’s Snowball Derby, but never a regular-season feature.

That all changed Friday night at the famed half-mile asphalt oval. Davidson dominated the first of four Allen Turner Pro Late Model 100 races this season, holding off a hard-charging Ryan Paul late in the race en route to a memorable Victory Lane celebration.

“The car was really good all night,” Davidson said. “I have to thank Ryan Paul for driving me clean. The car didn’t fire off on (a late) restart and he had an opportunity to turn me and didn’t. Not too many racers would do that.”

Paul finished runner-up while last season’s defending Allen Turner PLM track champion Jake Garcia came home third.

Davidson took the lead from fast-qualifier Kyle Plott on Lap 15, avoided lapped cars, and withstood three cautions – including one with four laps left – to overwhelm the 19-car field.

His biggest test came on the final restart with 96 laps complete. Davidson struggled to get going and Paul pounced and tried to rattle the leader’s cage. He made several attempts to get around Davidson, and each time the Pearland, TX, driver thwarted Paul’s plans.

Fourteen-year-old Grant Thompson struggled in his debut behind the steering wheel of a PLM, driving Augie Grill’s famed Grand American Race Car to a seventh-place result.

In what could be the first of many compelling battles the duo wage, Thompson and fellow teen Jake Garcia drove door-to-door in the opening laps following the drop of the green flag. Garcia, 15, got the better of Thompson, keeping the Mobile young hotshoe on the outside and forcing Thompson to chew up precious rubber on his right-side tires.

Davidson had no idea what was playing out behind him. He got around Plott early on and was into the wind for the remainder of the evening.

For more information on 5 Flags Speedway visit their website located at 5flagsspeedway.com

Feature Results

1) #14 Chris Davidson
2) #18p Ryan Paul
3) #35 Jake Garcia
4) #43 Daniel Dye
5) #12t Christopher Tullis
6) #67 Colin Allman
7) #112 Grant Thompson
8) #11 Jordan McCallum
9) #9 Hudson Halder
10) #3 Jim Weber
11) #4m Elliott Massey
12) #12b Brandon Brilliant
13) #41 Troy Grisaffi
14) #84 Steven Chunn
15) #88R Bobby Reuse
16) #4p Kyle Plott
17) #62 William Hale
18) #77 Greg Fore
19) #46 Jarrett Parker

Qualifying Results:

1) #4p Kyle Plott
2) #18p Ryan Paul
3) #14 Chris Davidson
4) #35 Jake Garcia
5) #62 William Hale
6) #112 Grant Thompson
7) #11 Jordan McCallum
8) #46 Jarrett Parker
9) #12b Brandon Brilliant
10) #43 Daniel Dye
11) #12t Christopher Tullis
12) #9 Hudson Halder
13) #3 Jim Weber
14) #88R Bobby Reuse
15) #4m Elliott Massey
16) #84 Steven Chunn
17) #41 Troy Grisaffi
18) #77 Greg Fore
19) #67 Colin Allman

5 Flags Speedway Press Release – Story by Chuck Corder

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