Madden first to capture fourth Blue-Gray 100
GAFFNEY, S.C (Nov. 24) — Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., became the first four-time winner Sunday of Cherokee Speedway's Blue-Gray 100, earning $10,000 for the finale on the Southern All Star Racing Series.
Madden returned to the 4/10-mile oval Sunday to complete a race halted by rain after five laps a week earlier with Madden up front. That’s where he ended up at the conclusion of Sunday afternoon’s makeup race after his 44th — fitting for the driver of the No. 44 — career series victory. | Video | Slideshow
“Last weekend, after leaving here, we were definitely the dominant car when we left here, and we went home and tuned a little bit more,” Madden said. “Actually I think I tuned a little bit too much. We should’ve been a little bit faster than what we was. … Overall we were good enough to keep a distance that I wanted to keep on them guys and not set a blazing pace. It’s hard to make 100 laps around this place sometimes — it’s hard on tires.”
Despite a tight-handling car, Madden took the checkers 95 laps later ahead of Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who is still getting comfortable in a Barry Wright Race Car he’ll drive next season, while Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., finished third in the traditional late-season event’s 23rd running. O’Neal took the second spot from Davenport on a lap-63 restart.
Fast qualifier Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., and Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga., rounded out the top five finishers. Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., nosed into third on a mid-race restart, but he ended up 10th.
Notes: Madden’s Bloomquist Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine with sponsorship from Century Plastics, Hamricks of Gaffney, Cushman Paint and Body, Henderson Amusement, Hoosier and Ohlins Shocks. … Madden finished the season with 13 victories and 28 top-five finishes in 44 starts. … He won five of the last 10 races he entered. … Third-place finisher Jonathan Davenport piloted the Rocket Chassis he’s fielded in recent weeks. … Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., who had already locked up his first series championship, didn’t return to complete the event after spending the weekend competing in his Crate Late Model at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. … Bret Holmes was the Cruise with the Champions-DirtonDirt.com Rookie of the Year. ... The makeup event was scheduled to include the remainder of the Late Model feature, a Crate Sportsman event and practice for four-cylinders. … Crate sportsman driver Dustin Sweatt of Lancaster, S.C., was taken to a Spartanburg, S.C., hospital after suffering serious neck injuries when his race car flipped exiting turn two. … Cherokee Speedway’s season concludes Nov. 29-Dec. 1 with the World Crown Four-Cylinder Nationals.
Blue-Gray 100: (1) Chris Madden, (2) Don O’Neal, (3) Jonathan Davenport, (4) Chris Ferguson, (5) Casey Roberts, (6) Steve Shaver, (7) Dennis Franklin, (8) Johnny Pursley, (9) Bret Holmes, (10) Ross Bailes, (11) Kevin Wilson, (12) Zack Mitchell, (13) Doug Davis, (14) Jared Landers, (15) Jeff Smith, (16) Brett Hamm, (17) Dale McDowell, (18) Scott Bloomquist, (19) Steve Francis, (20) Tyler Castle, (21) Riley Hickman, (22) Dale Hammond. Fast qualifier (among 23 cars): Ferguson. Heat race winners: Madden, Roberts.