By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
James Davison came to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, setting his eyes on capturing a win after a crash last year, where he lead 11 of the first 20 laps, took him out of the running. This time around, Davison scored a track-best eighth in Saturday’s Johnsonville 180, but not the way he wanted his result to be due to late circumstances.
Davison, who turns 32 on Tuesday, put on a valiant effort throughout the 45-lap contest, but he didn’t lead until the 38th lap when he got by Justin Allgaier.
The Cole Trickle inspired pink No. 18 Tilson Forest Hearing/Cruz Toyota Camry put on a nice lead over the series regular, but one costly mistake where he went wide gave the lead back to Allgaier.
In the closing laps, Davison and Marks were over a second behind the leader, and cutting a few tenths off the lead. However, with three laps to go, Justin Marks found an opening in Turn 8, but made contact with the Australian, resulting in a synchronizing spin, and it eliminated both driver’s chances of dethroning Allgaier.
While both drivers were able to get their cars going, and finished inside the top-10, Davison said on Twitter he has no hard feelings towards Marks:
Gave it my damn best shot today. Started wheel hoping on the run to the finish, just couldn’t keep up the pace needed to hold the lead. Went down fighting with @JustinMarksDG. No hard feelings there, he had to try get by me to have a shot at it.. https://t.co/LrH70R28lm
— James Davison (@JD33Davison) August 26, 2018
Saturday’s result marked Davison’s second career top-10 in four Xfinity Series starts, and the highest finishing foreign driver as Great Britain’s Katherine Legge finished 14th and Canada’s Alex Labbe scored 16th.
For the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team, it’s their 19th top-10 after 23 races, ending a two-race skid highlighted by an early crash from Kyle Busch last Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.