Madden Hangs On For $20,050 Victory In Inaugural ‘Outlaw Sizzler 101’ At Tazewell Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
TAZEWELL, TN – July 3, 2011 – Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., never relinquished the lead en route to winning Sunday night’s inaugural ‘Outlaw Sizzler 101’ at Tazewell Speedway, but his march to the $20,050 victory was far from uneventful.
In fact, for most of the extra-distance World of Outlaws Late Model Series event Madden stressed over a mechanical malady that threatened to cost him a sorely-needed big-money triumph in front of an overflow crowd.
Madden, 36, ultimately overcame the trouble and survived a couple close calls while negotiating lapped traffic to become the eighth different winner in 15 A-Mains on the 2011 WoO LMS. It was his seventh career win on the national tour and fourth in a 100-lapper; only Madden’s chassis builder, 2004 WoO LMS champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., has won more 100-lap events on the circuit (six).
“We fought the whole race with a fuel-pressure problem,” said Madden, who started from the outside pole in his Team Zero by Bloomquist car. “We don’t know what it was, but obviously you could tell on restarts I couldn’t take off. I was just trying to ride in the middle of the racetrack and hope I could keep those guys behind me. After I could make it through the first corner it would pick up fuel and I could hold my own then.”
Madden’s restart troubles were most evident after the event’s ninth and final caution flag, on lap 98. He stumbled dramatically on the restart, allowing Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., who started from the pole position and ran second behind Madden from the initial green flag, to pull alongside the pacesetter heading toward turn one.
But Madden managed to slide in front of Jacobsen’s Team Zero machine between turns one and two, keeping the top spot and leaving Jacobsen scrambling to maintain control of his car. Jacobsen was overtaken for second by Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., before he could recover.
Davenport went on to finish in the runner-up spot driving the Barry Wright house car, 0.551 of a second behind Madden at the checkered flag. Jacobsen settled for a career-best WoO LMS finish of third, followed by WoO LMS points leader Rick Eckert of York, Pa., in a Team Zero car and 2006 tour champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., in a Victory Circle Chassis.
“I thought the race might be three laps too long,” Madden said when asked about the final restart. “I got off to a real slow start and Jacobsen got next to me, but it just happened that I had four tires in the rubber and he had two (rounding turns one and two) so I got enough traction to stay in front.”
That wasn’t the only close call for Madden. He was fortunate to remain in the lead on lap 34 when he got into the back of Powell, Tenn.’s Steve Smith while attempting to lap the veteran racer, sending Smith into a slide-for-life just past the start/finish line and causing Madden to lose momentum long enough for Jacobsen to surge ahead. A caution flag was thrown for Smith, however, before a lap could be completed, keeping Madden in front.
Madden didn’t express any worry about tire wear, which proved to be excessive for most combatants in the richest race ever contested on the high-banked, one-third-mile. Nearly a dozen drivers were victims of flat tires during the race’s final 28 laps, including WoO LMS regulars Shane Clanton (lap 72 while fourth), Clint Smith (lap 72/sixth), Austin Hubbard (lap 72 after inheriting sixth), Vic Coffey (lap 80/11th), Darrell Lanigan (lap 83/fourth), Ron Davies (lap 88/seventh) and Josh Richards (lap 98 after falling from fourth to seventh in seven laps).
“My (Cornett-powered) car was perfect,” said Madden, whose previous 100-lap WoO LMS victories came at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. (2006), Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn. (2007) and Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Va. (2010). “That thing went around there like it was on a string and I never slid a tire once, so I really wasn’t concerned about the tires.”
The 27-year-old Davenport, meanwhile, had tire conservation on his mind as he calmly navigated to a second-place finish worth $10,050.
“I just used as much as I needed to,” said Davenport, who set fast time and won a heat race on Saturday night and started third in the ‘Sizzler 101.’ “We got to about 30 or 40 (laps) to go and I knew there was no way I could pass those guys (Madden and Jacobsen), so I just made sure I had enough to make it to the end.
“We’re happy,” he added after taking advantage of Jacobsen’s lap-98 slide to steal second place. “We came out here, didn’t tear nothing up and were one of the fastest cars every time we went on the racetrack, so all in all it was a good weekend for us.”
Jacobsen, who followed the WoO LMS fulltime in 2006, wasn’t disappointed after falling short.
“I thought we had a really good car tonight and it was competitive enough to win the race,” said Jacobsen. “I thought there were a couple times in lapped traffic where I could’ve made a run at (the lead), but track position meant a lot and the right opportunity never presented itself.”
Eckert enjoyed a quiet-but-solid run to fourth place. He started 11th and moved forward by benefitting from others’ misfortune – the kind of drive that is needed to win a championship.
With Richards running into trouble in the final laps and finishing 16th after making a pit stop, Eckert stretched his WoO LMS points lead to 40 markers over the two-time defending champ.
“About lap 30 (the track) started rubbering up – and I knew 70 more laps in the rubber is a long time around here,” said Eckert, who is the only driver to start every WoO LMS A-Main since 2004 but has never won the title. “I’ve been around for awhile so I just understood that I needed to take care of my tires and I just eased up. I ran myself a decent pace not near anybody so I didn’t get collected – and then they all just started blowing out tires and we kept moving up.
“Sometimes you gotta slow down to end up better, and that’s what we did tonight. We didn’t have a very good car, but we ended up with a fourth-place finish. If we keep doing stuff like that we’ll be in good shape.”
McCreadie, who started alongside Eckert in 12th place, also benefitted from the rash of flat tires to crack the top-five. He also moved up to third in the WoO LMS points standings, overtaking Lanigan, who finished 14th after pitting to change a flat right-rear tire.
Clanton made the biggest rally of the drivers who pitted for flats, reaching sixth place at the finish. Tommy Kerr of Maryville, Tenn., finished seventh, followed by Clint Smith (after pitting), Mark Vineyard of Powell, Tenn., and 17th-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa.
Despite high speeds and close-quarters racing, the only significant accident of the ‘Sizzler’ came on lap 98 when several cars stacked up on the backstretch as Richards slowed with a flat tire. Davies got the worst of the incident, sustaining a busted radiator after running into the back of Lanigan’s car.
Steve Smith won the 15-lap B-Main that kicked off Saturday evening’s program, which was run under hot summer conditions.
The WoO LMS now is pointed toward the annual ‘Wild West Tour,’ a four-race swing that features events on July 12 at Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway; July 13 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.; July 15 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D.; and July 19 at Gillette (Wyo.) Thunder Speedway.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Outlaw Sizzler 101’ at Tazewell Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Chris Madden/101 $20,050
2. (3) Jonathan Davenport/101 $10,050
3. (1) Eric Jacobsen/101 $6,500
4. (11) Rick Eckert/101 $5,725
5. (12) Tim McCreadie/101 $4,650
6. (4) Shane Clanton/101 $3,550
7. (13) Tommy Kerr/101 $2,750
8. (5) Clint Smith/101 $3,050
9. (18) Mark Vineyard/101 $2,300
10. (17) Chub Frank/101 $2,650
11. (9) Austin Hubbard/101 $2,550
12. (20) Tim Fuller/101 $2,350
13. (16) Jeff Neubert/101 $1,750
14. (6) Darrell Lanigan/101 $2,300
15. (15) Vic Coffey/101 $2,150
16. (7) Josh Richards/101 $2,230
17. (10) Ron Davies/97 $2,360
18. (8) Vic Hill/91 $1,540
19. (19) Steve Smith/33 $1,520
20. (23) John Lobb/30 $1,500
21. (21) Pat Doar/26 $2,050
22. (22) Ross White/20 $1,500
23. (14) Jeff Wolfenbarger/10 $1,525
24. (24) Terry Wolfenbarger/2 $1,500
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 49 Mins., 00.345 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.551 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 9 (Laps 22, 34, 72, 78, 80, 83, 88, 91, 98)
Lap Leaders: Madden (1-101)
Provisional Starters: Lobb, T. Wolfenbarger
Rookie of the Race: Davies ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Jacobsen ($500)
B-Main No. 1 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): 1. Steve Smith, 2. Tim Fuller, 3. Pat Doar, 4. Ross White, 5. Travis Fultz, 6. Jason Trammell, 7. Chad Ogle, 8. John Lobb, 9. Terry Wolfenbarger (DNS) Billy Ogle Jr., Bryan Hendrix, Mike Weeks
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 apparel certificate to 22nd fastest qualifier): Steve Smith
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Mark Vineyard
Comp Cams ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Comp Cams (certificate to 10th place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Steve Smith
JE Pistons ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 11th-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Austin Hubbard
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 21st-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Pat Doar
MSD Ignition ($75 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
MDS Ignition ($25 cash to last-place in A-Main or next lowest w/decal): Jeff Wolfenbarger
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Chris Madden
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal):Chris Madden
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
R2C Performance ($100 certificate to highest-finishing driver w/decal or $100 cash if race winner is using R2C filter and decal is displayed): Chris Madden (certificate)
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 7th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to winner or Heat 1 or next highest w/decal): Jonathan Davenport
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jason Trammell
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jeff Neubert
Wrisco Aluminum (Three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim McCreadie
2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 3 – 15 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Rick Eckert 2214
2. Josh Richards 2174 (-40)
3. Tim McCreadie 2088 (-126)
4. Darrell Lanigan 2076 (-138)
5. Austin Hubbard 2034 (-180)
6. Clint Smith 2026 (-188)
7. Chub Frank 2020 (-194)
8. Shane Clanton 2008 (-206)
9. Tim Fuller 1908 (-306)
10. Vic Coffey 1860 (-354)
11. Pat Doar 1814 (-400)
12. Ron Davies 1688 (-526)
13. John Lobb 1638 (-576)
14. Jill George 1426 (-788)
15. Jonathan Davenport 1288 (-926)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.