Chris Madden already has the upper hand on his fellow World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model competitors.
When the Series returns to Smoky Mountain Speedway on March 3-4 for the Tennessee Tipoff, the Gray Court, SC driver enters as the points leader—14 points ahead of Brian Shirley.
It’s a strong start toward a potential World of Outlaws title after a 15-win season in 2022, including a pair of triumphs at Smoky Mountain.
Entering his third year with crew members Steven Eldridge and Ricky Arnold by his side, Madden has the confidence to win his first title. However, with Hoosier’s new National Late Model Tire, they’re still trying to find one thing—balance.
“We got to get our balance to these new tires,” Madden said. “It’s a little bit different there, I feel like. We just have to get us a little baseline balance here, and we’ll be just fine.”
One of the perks for Madden on the 53-race World of Outlaws schedule is the location of the season’s first four weekends.
With Volusia Speedway Park in the rear-view mirror, he can focus on Smoky Mountain and Boyd’s Speedway. Both facilities have red clay surfaces, a surface where he’s excelled. But while both tracks are in his wheelhouse, he said he feels he can unload anywhere in the country with a chance to win.
“It’s tough anywhere you go now,” Madden said. “We do have some experience at those places, and I’ve had a lot of success there. But we’ve had a lot of success outside of our local racing.
“We’ve had a lot of success out in the past years being on the Outlaw tour, so like I said. We just get us a little baseline here, and we’ll be fine. And we’re looking forward to the season.”
“Smokey’s” success at Smoky Mountain has gone unmatched recently, as he hasn’t lost a national tour race he’s entered at the track since 2020.
But Madden and his competitors will face a curveball at the Maryville, TN track.
The Tennessee Tipoff will be the first race on the track’s new 3/8-mile configuration.
Madden said he’s not sure what to expect when his Rocket Chassis hits the track for the first time.
“I guess (track owner) Roger (Sellers), and them got tired of sending me home with the money,” Madden said. “I guess we’ll see what happens. It was one of my favorite racetracks. One of them at the top there, with Eldora, probably being my favorite. Smoky Mountain was right there with it.
“It’s an awesome place, awesome facility, and just a great racetrack. We have plenty of racetracks to race on, but that was one of the best big tracks that we had. We’ll see. Haven’t seen any racing on it, haven’t seen any cars. I think Devin (Moran) made some laps on it. But we’ll see what happens and just go with it.”
Madden hopes his early season consistency will give him more of an upper hand on the rest of the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models drivers when the Series travels to Smoky Mountain Speedway on March 3-4. For Tickets, CLICK HERE.
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