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Poll Position presented by Keyser

Top 25: Madden back in the No. 1 position

July 12, 2022, 11:19 am
By Todd Turner
DirtonDirt.com managing editor
Chris Madden (heathlawsonphotos.com)
Chris Madden (heathlawsonphotos.com)

After a preliminary victory at Deer Creek Speedway and a near-miss in the NAPA Auto Parts Gopher State 50 finale, Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., returned to the No. 1 position in DirtonDirt.com's weekly power rankings.

In the top spot for the 19th time in his career, Madden finished second at Saturday's Gopher 50 finale in Spring Valley, Minn., falling just shy of a $50,000 payday and $25,000 bonus to leap former No. 1 Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., in the balloting presented by Keyser Manufacturing.

Davenport, the other Deer Creek preliminary winner and ninth-place finisher in the finale, dropped to No. 2 in the rankings just ahead of Gopher 50 winner Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., whose $50,000 payday was his richest of the season as he moved up two spots to No. 3.

Madden collected eight first-place votes while Davenport and Overton garnered one apiece.

New Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., Deer Creek's third-place finisher, maintained the fourth spot in the rankings while Rocket Chassis house car Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., dropped two spots to No. 5 after giving up the tour lead to McCreadie.

There was very little movement among the rest of the Top 25 with Tanner English of Benton, Ky., making the biggest jump to No. 20, up from the 25th spot following his $10,000 DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory at Highland (Ill.) Speedway.

Monday's XR Super Series event at Stuart (Iowa) International Speedway wasn't completed in time be considered by voters.

Voting is done by a 10-member committee made up of staffers and contributors to determine the Top 25 power rankings: Richard Allen, Jeff Broeg, Kelley Carlton, Ryan Delph, Robert Holman, Derek Kessinger, Kevin Kovac, Kyle McFadden, Mike Ruefer and Kyle Symons. Results are compiled and tabulated by Todd Turner, who serves as a voting alternate.

Rankings are tentatively scheduled for every Tuesday through mid-November, weather permitting.

1. Chris Madden, Gray Court, S.C.

Comment: After preliminary victory and near-miss at Gopher 50, he's running at Stuart, Iowa, with plans for Silver Dollar Nationals to complete his July slate. Series points: 1st (XRSS). Previous ranking: 2nd (+1)

2. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga.

Comment: After winning prelim feature at Deer Creek, decision to chase bonus from sixth row in finale backfires. Stuart and I-80 on his schedule. Series points: 2nd (XRSS). Previous ranking: 1st (-1)

3. Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga.

Comment: Races to richest victory of the season with $50,000 Gopher 50 and is running Stuart before heading back to Southeast base. Series points: 8th (XRSS). Previous ranking: 5th (+2)

4. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

Comment: Gopher's third-place finisher has busy stretch upcoming from Stuart to I-70 to Tri-City and Lucas Oil Speedway heading toward Silver Dollar Nationals. Series points: 1st (Lucas Oil). Previous ranking: 4th (nc)

5. Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill.

Comment: After collision in Gopher prelim, Rocket team regroups in Shinnston, W.Va., to build new car with plans to debut it at I-70 Motorsports Park. Series points: 2nd (Lucas Oil); 1st (Castrol). Previous ranking: 3rd (-2)

6. Mike Marlar, Winfield, Tenn.

Comment: On a stretch of nine consecutive top-five finishes, including his pair of preliminary victories at Lernerville's Firecracker 100. Series points: 3rd (Castrol). Previous ranking: 7th (+1)

7. Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, Ill.

Comment: Winner of three of his last four race heading to Stuart, Iowa, with a return to WoO action upcoming in the upper Midwest starting in Grand Forks, N.D. Series points: 1st (WoO); 9th (Summer Nationals). Previous ranking: 6th (-1)

8. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.

Comment: Looking to regain footing after his late June-early July hot streak cools at Deer Creek with a busy stretch of racing coming up. Series points: 3rd (Lucas Oil); 5th (Castrol). Previous ranking: 9th (+1)

9. Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, Ill.

Comment: Hustles to victory at Tri-State Speedway on Summer Nationals as he rules tour. Drops in on Stuart before continuing Hell Tour chase. Series points: 1st (Summer Nationals); 7th (Castrol). Previous ranking: 8th (-1)

10. Devin Moran, Dresden, Ohio

Comment: After runner-up finishes at Atomic and Brushcreek (where he gave winner Zack Dohm all he wanted), he'll drop in on Summer Nationals events from Wednesday-Monday. Series points: None. Previous ranking: 11th (+1)

11. Tyler Erb, New Waverly, Texas

Comment: Drops in on XRSS action at Stuart before continuing a busy stretch of Lucas Oil action in Missouri and Illinois. Series points: 4th (Lucas Oil); 4th (Castrol). Previous ranking: 10th (-1)

12. Hudson O’Neal, Martinsville, Ind.

Comment: Muscles feeling it after running Gopher 50 without power steering. Davenport winner will try to continue upward trend in Lucas Oil Series points. Series points: 5th (Lucas Oil); 2nd (Castrol). Previous ranking: 13th (+1)

13. Chris Ferguson, Mount Holly, N.C.

Comment: Originally planning to follow XR Super Series, he skips trip to Stuart, Iowa, with next outing planned for Screven's Schaeffer's Southern Nationals event. Series points: 3rd (XRSS). Previous ranking: 12th (-1)

14. Gregg Satterlee, Indiana, Pa.

Comment: Upcoming schedule uncertain for six-time winner in 2022 whose last victory came in Bedford's Milt Miller Tribute. Series points: 2nd (ULMS). Previous ranking: 14th (nc)

15. Max Blair, Centerville, Pa.

Comment: After a busy June and Fourth of July weekend, he's recharging for WoO races coming up at River Cities, I-94 and Red Cedar before heading to Silver Dollar Nationals. Series points: 2nd (WoO). Previous ranking: 15th (nc)

16. Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, Ga.

Comment: Ending a nearly month-long break, the Hall of Famer will open Schaeffer's Southern Nationals at Beckley, Wythe and Volunteer. Series points: 6th (XRSS). Previous ranking: 16th (nc)

17. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn.

Comment: Lengthy Midwestern trip continues at Stuart, Iowa, before seven nights of Lucas Oil action sandwiching a WoO stop at Red Cedar. Series points: 7th (XRSS). Previous ranking: 18th (+1)

18. Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.

Comment: On a stretch of five straight races without a top-five finish, Papich Racing drivers returns to action at I-70 Motorsports Park. Series points: 6th (Lucas Oil). Previous ranking: 17th (-1)

19. Ricky Weiss, Headingley, Manitoba

Comment: Returns to familiar territory in upper Midwest on upcoming WoO swing at River Cities, I-94 and Red Cedar. Series points: 10th (XRSS). Previous ranking: 19th (nc)

20. Tanner English, Benton, Ky.

Comment: Picks up $10,000 Summer Nationals victory at Highland before turning to upper Midwest's WoO swing. Series points: 3rd (WoO). Previous ranking: 25th (+5)

21. Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga.

Comment: Battling in XR Super Series at Stuart before WoO action continues at River Cities in Grand Forks, N.D., where he won in 2017. Series points: 11th (WoO); 6th (XRSS). Previous ranking: 21st (nc)

22. Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

Comment: His Late Model has been idle since June 3 during a busy stretch of the season for the multidiscipline star and reigning NASCAR Cup champ. Series points: 13th (Castrol). Previous ranking: 20th (-2)

23. Carson Ferguson, Lincolnton, N.C.

Comment: Schaeffer's Spring Nationals champ a likely candidate to compete on Ray Cook's upcoming Schaeffer's Southern Nationals. Series points: None. Previous ranking: Unranked

T24. Josh Rice, Verona, Ky.

Comment: After winning at Atomic and finishing third at Brushcreek, he's got Schaeffer's Southern Nationals opener at Beckley on his schedule. Series points: None. Previous ranking: T23rd (-1)

T24. Brian Shirley, Chatham, Ill.

Comment: Abandoning the Summer Nationals after winning three series races, he heads to Stuart, Iowa, with upcoming events uncertain. Series points: 2nd (Summer Nationals). Previous ranking: 22nd (-2)

Dropped out: Zack Mitchell

DirtonDirt Top 25

Pos. Driver (Pts.) (1st place)
1. Chris Madden (245) (8)
2. Jonathan Davenport (237) (1)
3. Brandon Overton (228) (1)
4. Tim McCreadie (219)
5. Brandon Sheppard (212)
6. Mike Marlar (200)
7. Dennis Erb Jr. (190)
8. Ricky Thornton Jr. (168)
9. Bobby Pierce (165)
10. Devin Moran (159)
11. Tyler Erb (151)
12. Hudson O'Neal (133)
13. Chris Ferguson (113)
14. Gregg Satterlee (105)
15. Max Blair (103)
16. Dale McDowell (85)
17. Jimmy Owens (81)
18. Earl Pearson Jr. (75)
19. Ricky Weiss (69)
20. Tanner English (46)
21. Shane Clanton (39)
22. Kyle Larson (37)
23. Carson Ferguson (34)
T24. Josh Rice (30)
T24. Brian Shirley (30)
Others receiving votes: Jason Feger (21), Zack Mitchell (21), Shannon Babb (14), Ashton Winger (10), Payton Freeman (7), Ryan Unzicker (7), Daulton Wilson (6), Zack Dohm (3), Garrett Alberson (2), Ryan Gustin (2), Chad Simpson (2), Jared Miley (1).

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