LOCUST GROVE, Ark. (Aug. 17) — The only thing hotter than a midday August sun at Batesville Motor Speedway this weekend was Gray Court, S.C.’s Chris Madden. Madden continued his torrid summer hot streak with his third straight crown jewel victory Saturday, winning the 27th annual Topless 100 at the 3/8-mile Mooney Starr-owned oval just west of Batesville.
Madden started from the pole in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned crown jewel event and led laps 1-33 before giving way to teammate and car owner Scott Bloomquist, who led laps 34-74. But as Bloomquist, of Mooresburg, Tenn., was being hounded by second-running Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., while they approached traffic, Madden passed them both, going from third to first on lap 75 for a lead he’d never give back.
After moving alongside Overton on the outside a lap earlier, Madden was able to slip by on the inside when Overton washed up the track in turn two. He then drove by Bloomquist on the inside in turn four on the same lap as the leader slid high. Madden then withstood a pair of late cautions on his way to his first career Topless 100 victory and a $40,000 payday.
Madden won by 0.702 seconds ahead of Overton, while Bloomquist settled for third. Seventh-starting Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who ran as high as third after getting by Bloomquist momentarily, finished fourth, while two-time Topless 100 winner Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., charged from 16th to complete the top five.
“We took it easy for a long time and we just set ourself up in position right there,” said Madden. “We run the outside quite a few times. We made a run at it down there and didn’t make it happen and then Brandon tried to make a run at (Bloomquist) and slipped and that give me the advantage to get back by him.”
Madden has won five of his last six starts while banking a cool $158,000. He finished second behind Bloomquist on Friday in the lone race he hasn’t won during that 15-day stretch. After bolting into the lead on the opening lap Saturday, Madden looked as though he’d easily cruise to another victory. But Bloomquist wrestled the lead away on lap 34 and showed the way over the next 41 laps.
“I went through a stage there … I was really good at the drop of the green. Then I went through a stage there where the balance really wasn’t where I needed it to be,” said Madden. “Before you know it, the racetrack kinda changed again and I was able to maneuver around a little better than those guys. I was able to step out in (turns) three and four on the outside. I showed Brandon the outside there and he moved up and tried to do it on Scott (but) he was a little free and wasn’t able to do it. That put me in position to get back in position to be able to get the lead and I was able to get by Scott there.”
After that, it was just a matter of staying in the preferred groove.
“With 15 (laps) to go we caught the back of the traffic. I tried to back up off of the traffic,” Madden said. “I got by a couple of the guys that I could get by and then the ones that I knew I really wasn’t going to get by I tried ‘em one time and Brandon got a run on me and I was able to get back to the bottom just in time. I just tried to back off of ‘em and get enough clean air on my car to make sure I didn’t get loose entering the corner and just set a pace and finished it off.”
The race was slowed by seven cautions, primarily for flat tires. The only wreck was on the first lap when a pileup in turn one collected Hudson O’Neal, Brian Rickman, Kyle Beard and Billy Moyer Jr. before the second lap could be completed. Madden said he preferred the green flag runs, especially late in the race when tire wear can often play a factor.
“I didn’t want to see a lot of restarts because you use more tire on a restart than you do just circling the racetrack,” Madden said. “Our car was very, very well-balanced at the end of it, so I really wasn’t worried about tire (wear).”
None of the top five finishers and only a handful of the drivers finishing inside the top 10 pitted for tires. Overton, making his first career Topless 100 start, was among those who managed their tires to perfection. He felt like he had a car capable of winning and was more than happy to be the one to break up the Team Zero stranglehold that the two Scott Bloomquist Racing drivers held all weekend.
“I slipped up a little bit and Chris just passed us both,” said Overton. “He just put himself in the right position. Hat’s off to them guys, you know, they’ve been running really good. Stuff’s falling their way, you know. But that was a hell of a race for it to be rubbered up. Really I think what kinda cost us is when I showed Scott the nose out here on the outside of (turns) three and four. The next time he got over there, I guess he didn’t know that I’d kinda slid up a little bit and he went to block me and Chris snuck by both of us.
“Chris was in the right spot at the right time. Any of the top three here could have won. For racing in the rubber, it was pretty damn good I thought.”
Bloomquist felt the track changing as well, but after getting by Madden for the lead on lap 34 and pacing the next 41 laps, he simply slid up the track at the wrong time. When Bloomquist left the door open, Madden darted through.
“We’d been running the bottom and the track really rubbered up on the bottom and that was the place to be,” Bloomquist said. “I’d run outside, like when I got by Chris. The outside was rubbering in (turns) three and four good enough. You know that’s how I got back by Richards there for third. But (turns) one and two, if you stayed outside there you were hung out to dry and I was outside of a lapped car and just had to stay outside in that corner.
“I got in there and just the car turned loose and that just left us wide open. I thought maybe … I needed to give it a shot and I saw his frontend once outside of me and I thought, he better go ahead and get outside and get by this lapped car. You know, we just didn’t get it done and (Madden) did a good job.”
Notes: The win was Madden’s 13th career Lucas Oil Series victory and fourth in his last five starts. … Seventeen of the 26 starters finished the race, with 16 completing all 100 laps. … Two-time Topless 100 winner Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., started fifth and ran inside the top five early, but slowly faded. On lap 58 he pitted and crew members checked under the hood in hope of diagnosing an engine miss. He returned to the track, but retired after completing only 71 laps, finishing 21st. … Third-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., slipped back to ninth before eventually working his way back to sixth. .. Johnny Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., had a top-10 run come to an end when he dropped out on lap 93 due to rearend failure. … Billy Moyer Jr. pitted multiple times with his crew making a left front shock adjustment during one of the stops. He called it quits after completing 41 laps.
27th annual Comp Cams Topless 100
1. Chris Madden (0M), Gray Court, S.C., Bloomquist, $40,000
2. Brandon Overton (2), Evans, Ga., Rocket, $20,000
3. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Bloomquist, $10,000
4. Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., Rocket, $5,000
5. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., Rocket, $4,000
6. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., Longhorn, $3,750
7. Timothy Culp (8c), Prattsville, Ark., Rocket, $3,500
8. Devin Moran (1), Dresden, Ohio, Rocket, $3,000
9. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., Rocket, $2,800
10. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., Longhorn, $2,700
11. Shanon Buckingham (50), Morristown, Tenn., Longhorn, $2,500
12. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., Longhorn, $2,400
13. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverley, Texas, Rocket, $2,350
14. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., Rocket, $2,300
15. Michael Norris (5), Sarver, Pa., Rocket, $2,250
16. Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., Black Diamond, $2,200
17. Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark., Rocket, $2,150
18. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., Bloomquist, $2,125
19. Neil Baggett (21xxx), Columbus, Miss., Rocket, $2,100
20. Kyle Beard (86), Truman, Ark., Black Diamond, $2,075
21. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Rocket, $2,050
22. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., Black Diamond, $2,025
23. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., Bloomquist, $2,000
24. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., Longhorn, $2,000
25. Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., Longhorn, $2,000
26. Brian Rickman (90), Columbus, Miss., Rocket, $2,000
Lap leaders: Madden 1-33, 75-100; Bloomquist 34-74
Preliminary feature winners (among 47 cars): Madden, Bloomquist
Consolation winners: Culp, Erb
Provisional starters: S. Scott, Baggett, Beard, Rickman
Lap 100: Chris Madden wins the 27th annual Topless 100, with Overton second and Bloomquist third.
Lap 91: Earl Pearson Jr. slows to bring out the yellow. Madden leads Overton, Bloomquist, Richards and Babb. Madden had pulled out to a 0.723-second advantage.
Lap 90: Caution waves for Neil Baggett. Madden leads Overton, Bloomquist, Richards, Babb, Davenport, Culp, Moran, Marlar and Johnny Scott.
Lap 80: Madden leads Overton and Bloomquist.
Lap 75: Madden from third to first.
Lap 66: Bloomquist leads by 1.102 seconds. The groove has shifted to the bottom. Johnny Scott back up to ninth.
Lap 58: Owens pits during the caution, giving up sixth. The crew looks under the hood.
Lap 58: Stormy Scott slows to bring out the caution. Overton stalking Bloomquist, who leads by 0.458 seconds. Madden is third, with Richards fourth and Babb fifth.
Lap 51: Bloomquist leads by 0.983 seconds. Overton up to second.
Lap 45: Bloomquist leads Madden, Overton, Owens, Richards, Pearson, Babb, Culp, Davenport and Buckingham.
Lap 45: Stormy Scott slows to bring out the caution. Scott, Tim McCreadie, Tyler Erb, Kyle Bronson and Michael Norris among drivers pitting.
Lap 40: Bloomquist’s lead grows to 2.666 seconds over Madden, with Overton up to third.
Lap 34: The hot pit area is busy as Jackson, Billy Moyer Jr. and Mike Marlar are all in for tires and/or adjustments.
Lap 34: Bloomquist takes the lead from Madden with an outside pass; the caution waves for Tony Jackson Jr. before lap 35 goes on the board.
Lap 26: Jimmy Owens steps to outside, taking third from Davenport.
Lap 25: Brian Rickman slows to bring out the caution as Madden leads Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens and Overton. Billy Moyer Jr. pits for fresh right rear rubber under the caution.
Lap 16: Madden slips through traffic with Bloomquist in tow. Davenport lurking in third.
Lap 10: Madden leads Bloomquist by 0.870 seconds. Brandon Overton has joined the top five.
Lap one: Pulling ahead as they race down the backstretch, Chris Madden leads lap one. A pileup in turn on collects Hudson O’Neal, Brian Rickman, Kyle Beard, Billy Moyer Jr. and others before the second lap could be completed.
10:17: Drivers are buckled in; command given to fire their engines.
10 p.m.: Cars begin rolling to the front stretch for staging. Drivers are exiting their cars for introductions.
Comp Cams Topless 100 lineup
Row 1: Chris Madden, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Mike Marlar
Row 3: Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 4: Josh Richards, Michael Norris
Row 5: Devin Moran, Brandon Overton
Row 6: Shanon Buckingham, Hudson O’Neal
Row 7: Tony Jackson Jr., Jack Sullivan
Row 8: Tim McCreadie, Shannon Babb
Row 9: Timothy Culp, Tyler Erb
Row 10: Johnny Scott, Billy Moyer
Row 11: Kyle Bronson, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 12: Stormy Scott, Neil Baggett
Row 13: Kyle Beard, Brian Rickman
Timothy Culp of Prattsville, Ark., and Tyler Erb of New Waverley, Texas, picked up consolation victories to join the feature lineup on the ninth row. Both drivers were in line for provisionals — Erb through the Lucas Oil Series and Culp via the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series — but raced their way in instead. … Provisional starters include Stormy Scott (Lucas Oil), Kyle Beard (Comp Cams), Brian Rickman (Comp Cams) and Neil Baggett (prelim points). … With Kyle Bronson, Rickman and Scott gaining entry into the main event, that brings the total of first-time starters to eight. … Scott Bloomquist’s crew had a little work to do following hot laps after he slid across a rough patch in turn two and his car skated up the track, with the right rear corner catching the wall. The damage, only cosmetic, was limited to the right rear deck, right side of the spoiler and the right side spoiler fin. … Former Topless 100 winners Wendell Wallace and Jared Landers failed to make the feature. … Wallace, the 1998 Topless 100 winner, looked to be on his way to winning his heat on Friday when a flat tire resulted in a spin and contact with the backstretch wall. With significant damage to his GRT house car, Wallace scratched from the rest of the weekend. … After missing Thursday’s prelims, Landers, the 2010 winner, started 14th in his consolation race on Saturday and finished seventh. … With his second-place consolation finish, Billy Moyer becomes the fifth former winner to make the show.
Polesitter Billy Moyer pulled ahead of Tyler Erb on the opening lap and led the first 12 laps until Erb slid ahead and led the final three laps to win the caution-free second consolation. The two made slight contact on the front stretch as Moyer crossed over and pulled even, but Erb eased away in turn two and held on to win. Moyer was second, well ahead of Billy Moyer Jr., who secured the final transfer spot.
Finish (top three transfer): Tyler Erb, Billy Moyer, Billy Moyer Jr., Mason Oberkramer, Austin Rettig, Robert Baker, Jared Landers, Brian Rickman, Zach McMillan, David Payne, Kyle Beard, Jon Mitchell.
Timothy Culp took the lead from Johnny Scott on lap six when Scott smacked the turn two wall and went on to win the first consolation race. Scott lost just one spot, however, and held on to finish second. Kyle Bronson grabbed the third and final transfer spot from Neil Baggett following a restart with two laps remaining. Baggett fired a slider to retake the spot in turn two, but Bronson powered back ahead. Baggett slipped up the track in turn two on the second lap, letting both Johnny Scott and Stormy Scott dart by. The caution came out on lap three for second-running Stormy Scott, who ran off the track in turn four. The second caution waved for a botched restart. Hunter Rasdon slowed with a flat left rear tire on lap 13 to draw the race’s third caution.
Finish (top three transfer): Timothy Culp, Johnny Scott, Kyle Bronson, B.J. Robinson, Morgan Bagley, Neil Baggett, Stormy Scott, Chad Mallett, Jake Davis, Reid Millard, Hunter Rasdon.
A sweltering Saturday, with temperatures peaking at 96 degrees by mid-afternoon, greeted drivers and fans at Batesville Motor Speedway. Most stayed tucked away in the shade or their campers (if possible) until around 5 p.m. … Following Scott Bloomquist’s prelim win on Friday, a race that was only 30 laps, the 55-year-old superstar was noticeably in a bit of pain. His outlook on wheeling around Batesville Motor Speedway for a full 100 laps? “We made it through Florence and wasn’t too bad after that,” he said. “Which, it was slow and fairly slick. That rough spot in this track here, it’ll play a toll on me. But I’m confident I can make the 100 laps and be strong at the end.” … Bloomquist, whose 2017 Topless 100 win was his record fifth, can become the event’s first back-to-back winner with a victory today. … Chris Madden’s win streak may have come to an end Friday, but he can still stretch his streak of crown jewel victories to three straight with a Topless 100 victory. “I’ll be content just staying in the top three or four for halfway at least,” Madden said. “I doubt you’ll seen many cautions near the end of this race, so you just need to make sure by halfway you’re in a position to win it.” … Seven former winners attempted to qualify for this year’s race, with four — Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie and Shannon Babb — making their way into the program through the Thursday-Friday prelims. … Four-time Topless 100 winner Billy Moyer of Batesville made the short drive back to his shop on Friday night to get a better look at his new Black Diamond Chassis after he spun and was subsequently tagged by Raymond Merrill in the feature. Moyer was reportedly nursing a sore thumb (one he injured several years ago) as well, but returned today, where he’ll start third in the second consolation. … There are five drivers locked into the top 16 making their first career Topless 100 start: Michal Norris, Devin Moran, Brandon Overton, Shanon Buckingham and Tony Jackson Jr. … Track promoter Mooney Starr announced the dates for the 28th annual Topless 100, setting the crown jewel event for Aug. 20-22, 2020. … Reed Millard of Jefferson City, Mo., has joined Saturday’s program, pushing the weekend car count to 47. He’ll start last in the first consolation race. … Hot laps got underway just after 8 p.m.
(15 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Stormy Scott, Neil Baggett
Row 2: Timothy Culp, Johnny Scott
Row 3: Kyle Bronson, B.J. Robinson
Row 4: Logan Martin, Morgan Bagley
Row 5: Hunter Rasdon, Gavin Landers
Row 6: Chad Mallett, Nathan Brown
Row 7: Wendell Wallace, Brad Couch
Row 8: Jake Davis, Reed Millard
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Tyler Erb
Row 2: Billy Moyer Jr., Mason Oberkramer
Row 3: Austin Rettig, Robert Baker
Row 4: Brian Rickman, Raymond Merrill
Row 5: Jon Mitchell, Zach McMillan
Row 6: David Payne, Robbie Stuart
Row 7: Kyle Beard, Jared Landers
Row 8: Scott Crigler
1. Chris Madden - 500
2. Scott Bloomquist - 480
3. Jonathan Davenport - 425
4. Mike Marlar - 405
5. Jimmy Owens - 395
6. Earl Pearson Jr. - 375
7. Josh Richards - 365
8. Michael Norris - 350
9. Devin Moran - 350
10. Brandon Overton - 345
11. Shanon Buckingham - 320
12. Hudson O’Neal - 315
13. Tony Jackson Jr. - 315
14. Jack Sullivan - 310
15. Tim McCreadie - 310
16. Shannon Babb - 305
17. Stormy Scott - 295
18. Billy Moyer - 295
19. Neil Baggett - 290
20. Tyler Erb - 285
21. Timothy Culp - 285
22. Billy Moyer Jr. - 265
23. Johnny Scott - 260
24. Mason Oberkramer - 255
25. Kyle Bronson - 245
26. Austin Rettig - 240
27. B.J. Robinson - 240
28. Robert Baker - 225
29. Logan Martin - 225
30. Brian Rickman - 225
31. Morgan Bagley - 220
32. Raymond Merrill - 210
33. Hunter Rasdon - 210
34. Jon Mitchell - 205
35. Gavin Landers - 195
36. Zach McMillan - 190
37. Chad Mallett - 185
38. David Payne - 180
39. Nathan Brown - 180
40. Robbie Stuart - 175
41. Wendell Wallace - 155
42. Kyle Beard - 155
43. Brad Couch - 150
44. Jared Landers - 135
45. Jake Davis - 125
46. Scott Crigler - 100
47. Reed Millard - 0
Action concludes Saturday at Batesville Motor Speedway as the 3/8-mile oval hosts the 27th annual Comp Cams Topless 100 presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions. All eyes are on Scott Bloomquist racing teammates as drivers Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., and Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., swept the 30-lap preliminary features.
Bloomquist chases his sixth career Topless 100 victory and will start on the outside front row alongside Madden, the polesitter who is looking for his third straight crown jewel triumph and first career Topless 100 win. Series leader Jonathan Davenport has had a solid weekend and will start third as he looks to improve on his best career Topless 100 finish of third in 2014. Also looking for his first Topless 100 trophy, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., starts fourth. He finished second in 2015.
The first eight rows of Saturday’s feature lineup were set via points that drivers accumulated through two rounds of 30-lap preliminary features. Rows 9-11 will be set through a pair of consolation races, with row 12 reserved for Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series provisionals and for 13 for two Comp Cams Super Dirt Series provisionals.
Friday’s action also includes a $1,000-to-win program for IMCA open-wheel modifieds on the undercard.
3 p.m. - Pit gates open
4 p.m. - Grandstand gates open
6:30-7:15 p.m. - Lucas Oil Series driver autograph session
7:30 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
8 p.m. - Competition
- Hot laps
- Late Model consolations (15 laps)
- Topless 100
- Complete show for modifieds