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Dirt Track at Charlotte

Madden repels Babb for $16,000 Lowe's victory

October 29, 2008, 9:01 pm
By Kevin Kovac
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Madden enjoys victory lane. (World of Outlaws)
Madden enjoys victory lane. (World of Outlaws)

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 29) — Chris Madden thought he could cruise to victory in Wednesday's Armour Vienna Sausage Showdown at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway dirt track. The standout driver from Gaffney, S.C., ended up in a dramatic, down-to-wire dogfight instead. | Slideshow | Postrace notebook

After seeing his once-commanding lead in the 50-lapper wiped out by several late caution flags, Madden had to hold off a stirring challenge from Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., to capture the first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series event run topless as teams shed the car's fiberglass roofs. Madden, 33, beat Babb to the finish line by a scant 0.077 of a second and pocketed $16,150, including a $6,000 bonus for winning from the sixth starting spot.

It was both Madden’s fourth career win on the WoO and at The Dirt Track, which drew a massive 81-car field for the midweek special postponed by rain Oct. 8.

Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., who started seventh, finished third in Sanford Goddard’s Warrior house car after racing in second place from lap 21 until Babb glided by on a lap-43 restart. It was the former tour regular’s second top-five finish in three 2008 WoO A-Main starts.

Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., advanced from the 12th starting spot to place fourth in his Team Zero machine, while Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., made a steady march forward from the 21st starting spot to complete the top five in the RSD Enterprises Rocket.

Madden, who started sixth but was in the lead for good by lap five after overtaking early pacesetter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., built a full straightaway edge during a green-flag stretch from laps 4-28. But five of the race’s six caution flags flew between laps 28 and 43, dulling Madden’s momentum and allowing Babb to mount a last-ditch bid.

“All those cautions killed us,” said Madden, who drove a Cornett-powered Bloomquist Race Car. “I was hoping it was gonna stay green so we could keep our comfort zone. We had really gotten away from everyone – at one point I could even see Babb (on the same straightaway). But those double-file restarts (in place for the entire distance by event rules) just kept bunching us up.”

Madden soon found himself with company on his rear bumper in the form of Babb, who came alive after the halfway point. Babb, who started 14th in NASCAR Sprint Cup star Clint Bowyer’s Rocket car, blasted around the outside of the 4/10-mile oval on a lap-42 restart to skip from fifth to third, and then he passed McDowell for second on another restart one circuit later.

“When I saw (Babb’s) number up on the (score) board, I knew he was gonna be up on the top (lane) and hammer down,” said Madden. “The racetrack was good and wide, and I knew if he running up there it was gonna be a good race.”

Babb, 34, saw his hopes of winning the Showdown for the second consecutive year fall short in heartbreaking fashion. He also lost a chance at a $24,000 payday. A Babb victory under the race’s unique bonus system — if pre-entered by Sept. 13, the winner was eligible to receive a bonus equal to $1,000 multiplied by his starting position — would have added $14,000 to the base first-place purse of $10,000.

“If we would’ve made a zig and a zag at the right time, we would’ve been alright,” said Babb. “But I can’t really complain. We had a few lucky breaks to get us up there, like having the cautions come out to stick me where I needed to be. We were a long way back there at one time, so we made up a lot of ground. There just weren’t enough laps.”

Finishing in positions 6-10 were Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who lost fifth to Clanton with five laps remaining; Davey Johnson of Latrobe,Pa., who drove the Tracy Seymour No. 17J; Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.; Mike Knight of Ripley, N.Y.; and Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville, Ky., who steered fellow Kentuckian Michael England’s second Bloomquist Race Car.

The four-day festival of speed at The Dirt Track continues on Thursday (Oct. 30) with the opening night of the Vault World Finals, which pairs the WoO with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in a spectacular doubleheader.

World of Outlaws @ Lowe's: (1) Chris Madden, (2) Shannon Babb, (3) Dale McDowell, (4) Scott Bloomquist, (5) Shane Clanton, (6) Josh Richards, (7) Davey Johnson, (8) Clint Smith, (9) Mike Knight, (10) Justin Rattliff, (11) Rick Eckert, (12) Ken Schrader, (13) Chub Frank, (14) Dan Schlieper, (15) Eddie Carrier Jr., (16) Joe Isabell Jr., (17) Donnie Moran, (18) Ricky Elliott, (19) Vic Coffey, (20) Ricky Weeks, (21) Tim Fuller, (22) Darrell Lanigan, (23) Jonathan Davenport, (24) Steve Francis, (25) Brian Shirley, (26) Eric Wells, (27) Tim Allen, (28) Jimmy Owens. Fast qualifier (among 81 cars): Richards, 14.955 seconds. Heat race winners: D. Johnson, Elliott, Lanigan, Bloomquist, McDowell, Richards. Consolation winners: Weeks, Frank, Clanton. Provisional starters: Coffey, Isabell, Allen, Owens.

Time trials

1. Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 14.955
2. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn., 14.960
3. Jeremy Miller, Gettysburg, Pa., 14.977
4. Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 15.031
5. Josh McGuire, Grayson, Ky., 15.109
6. Davey Johnson, Latrobe, Pa., 15.114
7. Shane Clanton, Locust Grove, Ga., 15.140
8. Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 15.165
9. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.183
10. Austin Dillon, Welcome, N.C., 15.204
11. Chris Madden, Gaffney, S.C., 15.215
12. Ricky Weeks, Rutherfordton, N.C., 15.235
13. Steve Shaver, Vienna, W.Va., 15.235
14. Dale McDowell, Rossville, Ga., 15.243
15. Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., 15.291
16. Mike Knight, Ripley, N.Y., 15.296
17. Eric Jacobsen, Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., 15.305
18. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga., 15.338
19. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky., 15.345
20. Clint Smith, Senoia, Ga., 15.347
21. Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., 15.349
22. Tim Fuller, Watertown, N.Y., 15.370
23. Ricky Elliott, Seaford, Del., 15.375
24. Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 15.395
25. David Gilliland, Riverside, Calif., 15.397
26. Jeep Van Wormer, Pinconning, Mich., 15.412
27. Eddie Carrier Jr., Salt Rock, W.Va., 15.420
28. G.R. Smith, Cornelius, N.C., 15.420
29. Donnie Moran, Dresden, Ohio, 15.423
30. Tim Allen, Kannapolis, N.C., 15.452
31. Tommy Kerr, Maryville, Tenn., 15.459
32. Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 15.502
33. Randy Korte, Highland, Ill., 15.515
34. Ryan Newman, Statesville, N.C., 15.518
35. Michael England, Glasgow, Ky., 15.518
36. Tim Dohm, Cross Lanes, W.Va., 15.524
37. Danny Johnson, Phelps, N.Y., 15.536
38. Jeremy Faircloth, Swainsboro, Ga., 15.536
39. Chris Ferguson, Mount Holly, N.C., 15.546
40. Brian Shirley, Chatham, Ill., 15.579
41. Ray Cook, Brasstown, N.C., 15.618
42. Justin Rattliff, Campbellsville, Ky., 15.628
43. Jackie Boggs, Grayson, Ky., 15.634
44. Joe Isabell, Pennellville, N.Y., 15.640
45. Vic Hill, Morristown, Tenn., 15.652
46. Matt Miller, Waterville, Ohio, 15.679
47. Luke Roffers, Concord, N.C., 15.692
48. Jerry Bowersock, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 15.694
49. Chad Ruhlman, Beemus Point, N.Y., 15.713
50. Jeff Smith, Gastonia, N.C., 15.725
51. Don O’Neal, Martinsville, Ind., 15.733
52. Jason Leffler, Lake Norman, N.C., 15.792
53. Dan Stone, Thompson, Pa., 15.805
54. Austin Hubbard, Seaford, Del., 15.810
55. Jim Rasey, Southington, Ohio, 15.812
56. Jordan Bland, Campbellsville, Ky., 15.814
57. Wes Burton, Kannapolis, N.C., 15.838
58. Chuck Harper, Beverly, W.Va., 15.864
59. Vic Coffey, Leicester, N.Y., 15.884
60. Duke Whiseant, Texarkana, Ark., 15.884
61. Anthony Sanders, Belmont, N.C., 15.960
62. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 16.019
63. Rick Whaley, Millsboro, Del., 16.062
64. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill., 16.138
65. Norman Short Jr., Georgetown, Del., 16.182
66. Jeff Isabell Jr., Pennellville, N.Y., 16.287
67. Jill George, Cedar Falls, IA 16.359
68. Randle Chupp, Troutman, N.C., 16.411
69. Travis Greer, Marion, Va., 16.414
70. John Winge, Ringgold, Ga., 16.427
71. Dan Schlieper, Sullivan, Wis., 16.542
72. Justin Labonte, Trinity, N.C., 16.581
73. Chesley Dixon, Swainsboro, Ga., 16.604
74. Rob McLaughlin, Stanley, N.C., 16.614
75. Jeff Isabell Sr., Pennellville, N.Y., 16.843
76. Chas Shellenberger, Winfield, Pa., 17.898
77. Curt Spalding, Hartford, Mich., 18.141
78. Wayne Chinn, Tipp City, Ohio, 18.977
79. Mike Balzano, Parkersburg, W.Va., no time
80. Ben Faircloth, Swainsboro, Ga., no time
81. Bob Gordon, Keyser, W.Va., no time
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