Madden rallies from 10th for Cleveland victory
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (Aug. 20) — Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., overtook polesitter Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn., just past the halfway point Saturday and raced to his first Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series victory of the season.
Starting 10th, the two-time series champion earned $5,000 for his caution-free victory in the 50-lap Jean Johnson Memorial. Madden added the victory to a Schaeffer Oil Southern Nationals victory at Cleveland last month. | Video
"We had an awesome race car tonight. My guys have done a great job working on this thing," Madden said in victory lane. "I kind of screwed myself qualifying and missed my line there, overshot the bottom. But we worked on this thing and got it ready for the feature and we had an awesome race car tonight."
Fourth-starting Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., posted a second-place finish while Arp settled for third at the third-mile oval. Series points leader William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., and Johnny Chastain of Murphy, N.C., rounded out the top five.
Madden quickly headed for the front in the low groove, clicking past cars in advancing nine positions for the victory.
"We tractioned up for the feature, and man, that thing was awesome," Madden said. "The racetrack was great. Of course, you could see that — there was racing all over it."
Even a caution wouldn't have helped competitors catch the speedy winner, Ogle said.
"I felt like I wasn't good enough to pass Chris," Ogle said. "When he got by me, I was concentrating on Skip, and I kind of saw somebody out of the corner of my eye on the bottom, and I didn't know who it was until he was already by me."
Arp was running in the high groove trying to work past a lapped car when Madden slipped by on the inside and pulled away.
"I wasn't good enough to maneuver around and run the bottom," Arp said. "I felt like I just had to stay in the one groove, and I just wasn't good enough."
Notes: Madden's Bloomquist Race Car is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Century Plastics, Cushman Paint & Body and Hamrick's of Gaffney. ... The night's racing was sponsored by Budweiser. ... Madden has eight victories overall in 2011. ... His 39th career Southern All Star victory moves him within one of Dale McDowell for second on the all-time list. Ronnie Johnson is the all-time leader with 62 victories. ... Jason Welshan of Maryville, Tenn., won the caution-free Crate Late Model feature. ... After a couple of cancellations, next up for the Southern All Stars is a Sept. 17 event at Waycross (Ga.) Motor Speedway.
Jean Johnson Memorial: (1) Chris Madden, (2) Billy Ogle Jr., (3) Skip Arp, (4) William Thomas, (5) Johnny Chastain, (6) Chris Ferguson, (7) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (8) David Payne, (9) Todd Morrow, (10) Mike Marlar, (11) Brian Reese, (12) Ronnie Johnson (complete finish unavailable). Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Arp, 13.927 seconds. Consolation race winners: Tommy Kerr, Mike Hill.