Chris Madden poses in victory lane with his wife and team members after winning the Battle at the Border opener at Sharon Speedway.
What won the race: Breaking through for his first World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series victory of the season, Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., raced off the outside pole to lead the entire distance in Thursday night's 25-lap opener of the Battle at the Border at Sharon Speedway. The tour's points leader crossed the finish line 2.570 seconds ahead of Bobby Pierce to pocket the $6,000 top prize.
Quotable: "It's the best it’s been all year," Madden said of his car. "We've just haven't been able to put a finger on it and find it, but we've worked extremely hard, changed quite a few things, and I think we're at least in the ballpark now. We have something we can work with. I'm just happy to have a balance I can feel and work off of again."
Key notes: Madden registered his 34th career WoO triumph but first since Feb. 19, 2022, at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park. … Pierce, who wasn’t able to seriously challenge Madden after reaching second on a lap-13 restart, drove his backup car after mechanical trouble during hot laps forced him to park his primary mount. …Mike Marlar slipped past Brandon Sheppard for third heading to the white flag and claimed the final podium finishing position. The Tennessee star was the only non-WoO driver in the top 10. … Nick Hoffman finished fifth two days after earning his first-ever WoO victory at Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y. … Racing one week after turning 18, Drake Troutman was running fourth after starting on the pole when his outside bid to overtake Pierce off turn four on lap 13 resulted in homestretch contact between the pair. Moments later Troutman was swept up in a simultaneous turn-one tangle involving the lapped Todd Cooney and Breyton Santee that also collected fifth-running Gregg Satterlee and brought out the race’s lone caution flag; Troutman retired with a broken lower control arm while Santee and Satterlee were also eliminated. … The Battle at the Border continues Friday with another 25-lap, $6,000-to-win feature leading into Saturday’s finale highlighted by a 60-lap A-main paying $25,000-to-win.
On the move: Tanner English of Benton, Ky., started 16th and finished eighth.
Winner's sponsors: The Chris Madden Racing Rocket Chassis is powered by an Andy Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Drydene Performance Products, Franklin Enterprises, Henderson Amusement, Millwood Plumbing, Classic Trucking, White Oak Mountain Wedding Venue, Davis Diesel Service, Worley Monument, VP Racing Fuels, Penske Racing Shocks, Swift Springs, Earnhardt Technologies Group and Hoosier Racing Tire.
Points chase: After Sharon Thursday: 1. Chris Madden (1,634); 2. Ryan Gustin (1,594); T3. Nick Hoffman (1,590); T3. Kyle Bronson (1,590); 5. Bobby Pierce (1,578); 6. Brandon Sheppard (1,574); 7. Brian Shirley (1,566); 8. Tanner English (1,532); 9. Gordy Gundaker (1,482); 10. Dennis Erb Jr. (1,466); 11. Shane Clanton (1,456); 12. Brent Larson (1,420).
Current weather: Few Clouds, 52°F
Car count: 40
Fast qualifier: Mike Marlar
Time: 16.866 seconds
Polesitter: Drake Troutman
Heat race winners: Mike Marlar, Gregg Satterlee, Chris Madden, Drake Troutman
Consolation race winners: Chub Frank, Johnny Scott
Provisional starters: Gordy Gundaker, Brent Larson, Todd Cooney, Dustin Walker
Next series race: May 26, Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) $6,000