EASTABOGA, AL (June 14, 2008) – They call Talladega Short Track “The Hornet’s Nest” and for good reason; Chris Madden of Gray Court, SC raced to his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory on Saturday Night in a an absolute barnburner as the 33-year-old driver became the 15th different LOLMDS winner in 20 races. Madden took the lead on lap 13 and fended off several challengers for the top spot as he took home the $10,000 before the cameras of SPEED Channel. Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC finished second; followed by Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, GA; Randy Weaver of Crossville, TN; and 24th starting Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN.
The 50 lap event would see Weaver and Madden start on the front row, with Rickey Mobley was the honorary starter for the race. The hair raising start saw Weaver and Madden grab the top two spots with one lap on the scoresheets. Weaver began to open up a three-car length lead, but with five laps in the books, Madden was starting to come to life as he went to the top side of the track allowing him to rapidly close in on Weaver.
Terry Casey would bring out the first caution on lap eight coming to a halt in turn number two; the second caution would soon follow as eight laps went on the scoreboard. On the restart Weaver was on the point with Madden and Clanton lined up side-by-side.
Weaver would hold his grip on the lead of the race, with Madden and Clanton going door-to-door in the race for second place. Madden blew by Weaver on the high side on lap 13 taking over the lead of the race. The hard fought battle up front continued to excite the fans as Clanton and Weaver would battle for second, and with Cook following suit close behind.
Weaver and Clanton continued their tremendous race for second, and on the 25th lap, Clanton was barely able hold the spot over Weaver as the multi-groove track was living up to its billing. Madden began to enter some lapped traffic by lap 28 and that allowed Clanton some time to track him down.
With 20 laps remaining Clanton was all over Madden with Weaver, Cook and Tony Knowles still in the hunt. Knowles was beginning to get some heavy pressure from Billy Drake, and would lose his spot on lap 40 to the Bloomington, IL driver. The third and final caution would then wave with eight laps to go setting up an exciting finish.
Clanton went back to the highside for the final restart, but he would slip off the turn four embankment with five laps to go, seeing his chance to steal the win from Madden, but it would cost him two spots in the running order. The torrid battle for second would continue behind Madden as the white flag was displayed.
Cook was able to pass Weaver for the second spot with four to go, but Madden had just enough of a lead and sailed to his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win. Cook in the Fairway Ford/Grover Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Fusion placed second in the hard-fought event, with Clanton in the Ronnie Dobbins/SAE Parts/Rocket GTO recovering to finish third, Weaver in the D&R Racing/5150 Race Trailers/GRT Monte Carlo with his best LOLMDS series finish of the year placing fourth, followed by Owens who made a remarkable comeback from near disastrous night as he quietly drove up through the field to finish fifth.
It was emotional win for the two-time O’Reilly Southern All-Stars Champion, not only getting that elusive first ever LOLMDS win, but that his wife was on hand for the event . “My wife just lost her father a few weeks back and it’s been really hard for us, you know tomorrow being Father’s Day and all so I’m just glad we were able to win it for her. I ‘d like to thank Vic Hill of Vic Hill Racing Engines and Scott Bloomquist for their part in this win, Jimmy (Owens) won here last year so I’m happy we can win two in a row for Bloomquist Race Cars here at Talladega.
Madden’s #44 Bloomquist race Cars Monte Carlo SS is sponsored by Cushman Paint and Body/Century Plastics Inc./Swiftco/Freeman Plumbing Company/Henderson Amusement/Xtreme Custom Cycles/VP Racing Fuels and Hamrick’s Clothing.
Completing the top ten were Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Drake, Tony Knowles, Danny Peoples and Terry Smith.
In preliminary LOLMDS action Shane Clanton topped the 50 car field in the PRC Time Trials with a fast lap of 14.122 seconds. Heat race winners were Shane Clanton, Randy Weaver, Steve Casebolt and Chris Madden. Terry Smith and Scott James took B-Main wins.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back on the track next Friday Night, June 20th with the Ninth Annual Grassy Smith Memorial at Cherokee Super Speedway in Gaffney, SC followed by a Saturday Night, June 21st visit to Fayetteville Motor Speedway in Fayetteville, NC.
For the latest information on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, check out www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary Saturday Night, June 14, 2008 Talladega Short Track—Talladega, AL
PRC Fast Time: Shane Clanton/14.123 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Shane Clanton, Tony Knowles, Wayne Chinn, Ross Martin, Terry Smith, John Mason, James Cline, Tim Roszell, Jimmy Owens, Carlton Freeman, Justin McRee, Bubba Lackey, Shon Flanary
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Randy Weaver, Billy Drake, Danny Peoples, Clint Smith, Dan Schlieper, Tim Busha, Billy Ogle Jr., Rick Rickman, Jason Fitzgerald, Jimmy Hudgins, Brandon McCallum – DNS, Skip Freeman – DNS, Stacy Holmes – DNS
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Steve Casebolt, Ray Cook, Justin Rattliff, Terry Casey, Josh Adkins, Freddy Smith, Ronnie Johnson, Rod Carroll, Vic Hill, Ted Lackey, Chris Oliver, Chris Jones
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Chris Madden, Earl Pearson Jr., Brandon Kinzer, Bart Hartman, Terrance Nowell, Scott James, John Gill, Dingus Griffin, Anthony Burroughs, Chris Thomas, Eddie Blackman, Virgil Taylor
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Terry Smith, Dan Schlieper, John Mason, Tim Busha, James Cline, Billy Ogle Jr., Jason Fitzgerald, Jimmy Owens, Shon Flanary, Tim Roszell, Brandon McCallum, Rick Rickman, Bubba Lackey, Justin McRee, Carlton Freeman, Jimmy Hudgins – DNS, Stacy Holmes – DNS, Skip Freeman – DNS
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Scott James, Ronnie Johnson, Vic Hill, Freddy Smith, Josh Adkins, John Gill, Virgil Taylor, Dingus Griffin, Anthony Burroughs, Chris Thomas, Eddie Blackman, Terrance Nowell, Rod Carroll, Ted Lackey – DNS, Chris Oliver – DNS, Chris Jones – DNS
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Feature Finish (50 Laps): Chris Madden, Ray Cook, Shane Clanton, Randy Weaver, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Drake, Tony Knowles, Danny Peoples, Terry Smith, Clint Smith, Brandon Kinzer, Wayne Chinn, Tim Busha, Scott James, Steve Casebolt, Vic Hill, Ronnie Johnson, Freddy Smith, Bart Hartman, John Mason, Dan Schlieper, Ross Martin, Justin Rattliff, Terry Casey
Entries: 50 Caution Flags: 3 Lap Leaders: Randy Weaver 1-12, Chris Madden 13-50Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Freddy Smith, Jimmy OwensTalladega Short Track Provisional: Tim Busha PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Started 24th and finished 5th-advanced 19 positions) Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Ray Cook K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Billy Drake Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Tony Knowles ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Billy Drake Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Ritchie Davis (Ray Cook) Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Racing Engine Time of the Race: 25 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 2970
2) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 2965
3) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 2735
4) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 2720
5) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 2555
6) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 2545
7) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 2375
8) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 2325
9) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 2215
10) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 2155
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 2325
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 2215
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 745
4) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 425
5) Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 245