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A TRUE CHAMPION
Tait Davenport Stays on a Winning Streak While Chasing another Championship
Racing is a hobby a lot of drivers pick up from their fathers. Tait Davenport is no different. He grew up watching his dad race Super Late Models.
When asked what got him interested in racing, he simply responded, “My dad.”
Davenport’s memories of racing go back to not only watching his dad race, but also competing against him. “Sometimes we beat them and sometimes they beat us,” Davenport laughed. “… yeah, it was good to beat him.” He also credits his dad with having the biggest influence on his racing career.
Sometimes the hardest lessons you learn are the one’s that stay with you. Davenport shared what happened on the first night he ever raced Super Late Models at Dyersburg, Tennessee, “(I) went out for Hot Laps and the steering wheel wasn’t on good. It came off, and I wrecked.” Luckily Davenport was okay, but the car suffered some considerable body damage.
Davenport’s first victory came in a Super Late Model race in Clarksville, Tennessee around 1996-97. When asked how he felt when he got that first win, he laughed, “It’s been a long time ago… yeah I was happy.”
That win was the first of many in a stellar career that has spanned over a decade. Some other major victories in Davenport’s career include winning the Wayne Coakley Memorial at Nebo in 2005. He was also Paducah International Raceway’s Pro (Crate) Late Model Champion in 2008 and 2009. He also pulled double-duty in 2008 and was the UMP National Pro (Crate) Late Model Champion.
Davenport spoke of winning the National Championship, “(It was) our second job. I was definitely relieved (when I won)… glad it was over.”
Davenport still races many of the tracks he ran when he won that Championship including Lincoln Speedway, Spoon River, Soggy Bottom, Tri-City Speedway, Atwood, and Clarksville Speedway to name a few.
He ran an admirable close second to another Track Championship at Paducah International Raceway. For the 2010 season, he had five Heat wins, six Top-10 Feature finishes, five Top-Five Feature finishes, and nine Feature Wins. He is also finished fourth in National points standings. These statistics prove that a little bit of consistency along with a lot of experience do indeed go a long way.
When asked where he sees his racing career in five years, Davenport responded, “Still racing… maybe the crew chief on my son’s (Tanner’s) car.”
Along with racing for another championship of his own, Davenport is blazing the trail for the next generation of drivers. His sons, Tanner, 8-years old; Trey, nine-years old, and daughter Trinity 11-years old, may be focusing on baseball and softball right now, but Davenport shared, “They all want to race. “ They also come to the races to show their support for their dad.
A Paducah, Kentucky native, Davenport currently drives the #18 Pro (Crate) Late Model sponsored by Murtco, Inc.; Integra Shocks; Murphy Motorsports; Pugh’s Midway; Diesel Centers of America; and Smirnoff Ice.
Davenport admits, “Racing doesn’t leave much time for anything else.” But he does enjoy camping in what spare time he has.
Tait Davenport epitomizes a true champion whether he is racing for another Track Championship or another National Championship. Come to Paducah International Raceway on Friday nights and see him continue his winning streak and set a new standard for the next generation of drivers.
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