Even “Superman” has a way of preventing history.

Brandon Sheppard was on the cusp of tying Josh Richards for the most World of Outlaws wins, but Jonathan Davenport had other ideas Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The Blairsville, GA driver pulled a slide job on Sheppard, stealing the victory away on night one of the NGK NTK World Finals.

Ricky Weiss grabbed the early lead in the 50-Lap Feature, but it was short-lived once Sheppard wrestled the position away on Lap 12. That’s when Davenport and Weiss waged war for the second, fighting tooth and nail through several restarts in the first half of the event.

Once Davenport dispatched of Weiss, he set his sights on Sheppard and his chance at a win—an opportunity that may not have come without Sheppard catching the back of the field.

“I couldn’t make up hardly any ground on him when he was in clean air,” Davenport said. “Once we got to lap traffic, that’s when I could make some ground up on him and just see what his strengths were and my weaknesses, and I tried to capitalize on what his weaknesses were.”

That’s what Davenport did. Capitalize. A perfectly timed run entering Turn 3 allowed “Superman” to become Sheppard’s kryptonite, crushing “The Rocket Shepp’s” hopes on Lap 32.

Davenport makes the pass for the lead
Jonathan Davenport makes the pass for the lead on Friday at the NGK NTK World Finals/Jacy Norgaard photo

“I got a big run, and he messed up at just the perfect time for me and worst time for him,” Davenport said. “I slid him getting into Turn 3 and just tried to hold on from there.

“We can’t see those signal guys from here, so I was just trying to make consistent laps and try not to mess up.”

The win is Davenport’s fourth NGK NTK World Finals victory and ninth career World of Outlaws win.

Sheppard settled for second—his 25th World of Outlaws podium of 2021. The reigning Series champion stated his Rocket1 Racing car was fast but tightened up near the end.

“Towards the end, I just got tight and couldn’t really make the corners as good as I needed to,” Sheppard said. “I kind of burnt my tires off late in the race just from having to slide the car. We had a really fast car all night, though, so I definitely can’t complain. We’re just going to get back to work on this thing, and hopefully, we can get one spot better on [Saturday].”

Fellow Illinois driver Dennis Erb Jr. crossed the line third, grabbing a top-three for the sixth time this season. While he didn’t have the start he hoped for, “The One-Man Band’s” Rocket Chassis came to life in the second half of the race—allowing him to grab the final podium spot from Tyler Erb on the last lap.

“My car didn’t fire off very good, but the longer the race went, the car was getting better and better,” Erb said. “I was able to drive back up through there, so I was happy with that.”

Tyler Erb finished fourth—his first World of Outlaws top-five of the season, and early race leader Ricky Weiss rounded out the top-five.

Jonathan Davenport’s ability to strike while the iron is hot has paved the way to victories on some of the sport’s biggest stages. Whether it’s beating Brandon Overton at DIRTcar’s World 100 at Eldora Speedway or Sheppard at the World Finals, “Superman” has a way of preventing history.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet finish their 2021 season Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for night two of the NGK NTK World Finals. Hot Laps are scheduled for 1 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or through the DIRTVision App.

Morton Buildings Feature 50 Laps | 00:27:39.532 – 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[4]; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard[2]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[7]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[13]; 5. 7-Ricky Weiss[1]; 6. 01-Chris Ferguson[8]; 7. 14-Josh Richards[10]; 8. 8-Kyle Strickler[15]; 9. 111V-Max Blair[21]; 10. 44-Chris Madden[9]; 11. 16-Tyler Bruening[17]; 12. 72-Jason Covert[19]; 13. 99B-Boom Briggs[23]; 14. 10-Garrett Smith[16]; 15. B1-Brent Larson[24]; 16. 7R-Ross Robinson[22]; 17. 20-Jimmy Owens[6]; 18. 111-Steven Roberts[14]; 19. 19R-Ryan Gustin[12]; 20. 0H-Nick Hoffman[20]; 21. 11-Austin Kirkpatrick[5]; 22. 76-Brandon Overton[11]; 23. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 24. 23B-John Blankenship[18]; 25. 42-Cla Knight[25]; Hard Charger – Max Blair (+12)

Slick Woody’s Qualifying Group A 2 Laps | 00:06:45.000 – 1. 39-Tim McCreadie, 00:14.790[5]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport, 00:14.886[15]; 3. 01-Chris Ferguson, 00:14.891[11]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens, 00:14.969[9]; 5. 1T-Tyler Erb, 00:14.994[2]; 6. 76-Brandon Overton, 00:15.034[8]; 7. 44-Chris Madden, 00:15.067[12]; 8. 8-Kyle Strickler, 00:15.097[16]; 9. 72-Jason Covert, 00:15.117[17]; 10. 89-Ashton Winger, 00:15.177[13]; 11. 91-Cody Overton, 00:15.255[24]; 12. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 00:15.278[18]; 13. 32-Dustin Mitchell, 00:15.283[14]; 14. 111V-Max Blair, 00:15.317[22]; 15. 99B-Boom Briggs, 00:15.322[7]; 16. 16-Tyler Bruening, 00:15.407[4]; 17. 48-Colton Flinner, 00:15.438[6]; 18. 2-Dan Stone, 00:15.464[23]; 19. 17-Tim Vance, 00:15.758[1]; 20. 99-Jesse Glenz, 00:15.906[21]; 21. B1-Brent Larson, 00:15.957[19]; 22. 44L-Dylan Lewis, 00:16.058[10]; 23. 3S-Brian Shirley, 00:16.087[20]; 24. 15-Donny Schatz[3]

Slick Woody’s Qualifying Group B 2 Laps | 00:00:55.000 – 1. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 00:14.985[15]; 2. 7-Ricky Weiss, 00:15.076[14]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr, 00:15.117[9]; 4. 10-Garrett Smith, 00:15.185[8]; 5. 23B-John Blankenship, 00:15.186[3]; 6. 11-Austin Kirkpatrick, 00:15.202[24]; 7. 1G-Ryan King, 00:15.211[22]; 8. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 00:15.279[12]; 9. 116-Randy Weaver, 00:15.340[10]; 10. 42-Cla Knight, 00:15.345[13]; 11. 14-Josh Richards, 00:15.356[6]; 12. 20H-Bryson Harper, 00:15.513[19]; 13. K7-Gary Dillon, 00:15.544[2]; 14. 93-Pancho Lawler, 00:15.635[16]; 15. 119-Bryan Bernheisel, 00:15.664[1]; 16. 6-Blake Spencer, 00:15.672[5]; 17. 7R-Ross Robinson, 00:15.696[17]; 18. 0H-Nick Hoffman, 00:15.722[20]; 19. 111-Steven Roberts, 00:15.735[23]; 20. 06-Mike Lupfer, 00:15.895[21]; 21. 55-Benji Hicks, 00:16.027[7]; 22. 07-Brian Ledbetter, 00:16.112[4]; 23. 23-Derek Rogers, 00:16.401[11]; 24. 354-Chris Nash, 00:16.659[18]