SENOIA, GA – Chris Madden wheeled his way to victory at Senoia Raceway for the 4th annual Billy Clanton Classic. The Gray Court, SC driver collected his second World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series win of the season.
“Man, what an awesome place and what an awesome race to come and win,” said Madden. “Me and Shane [Clanton] are like best friends out on this tour and he has been so kind to me, him and his family. I just want to thank him from the bottom of our hearts for this race. It means a lot to me.”
The fourth annual Billy Clanton Classic honors Shane Clanton’s late father Billy Clanton and his contributions to racing. The Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame Association was in attendance at Senoia in support of Billy who was inducted in 2015. The Association presented a special trophy in Victory Lane in respect to the event, a black-metal hand painted pedal car with the No. 25 on the side and the past event winners on the hood (Shane 2015, 2016 and Sheppard 2017).
Madden and his No. 44 Barry Wright Race Cars House Car team swept the night by setting fast time, claiming his heat win, drawing the pole position and leading all 50 laps of a thrilling feature on Senoia’s “gray gumbo” 3/8-mile bullring.
“We were trying to hit our corners at the right time,” said Madden. “We were just a little bit snug there and went a little bit too far on my adjustment tonight. We had a great race car. I want to thank all of these guys and all of my sponsors who are supporting me… I want to thank Barry [Wright] after Lavonia we got back to the shop at like 4 in the morning and Barry stayed out there. He went to bed at 10 o’clock so he was working on the car all night and all morning. You won’t find many people his age putting in the effort that he does to make this thing go fast.”
Madden held off charges from a heated battle for second between Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton, Brandon Overton. On lap 21, Michael Page inserted himself into the mix for a podium position from a 14th starting spot in the feature. Just five laps later, Page completed the pass by Marlar for second. Page worked relentlessly to reel in race long leader Madden but was never able to pull the trigger to make the pass.
“I thought I was going to catch him there for a minute but then every time that I did, I would just miss it a little bit, was just a little bit off… We are going to get us [a World of Outlaws win] it’s just going to take a little time. We are knocking on the door.”
Dale McDowell also made an impressive run to the podium from 17th. With less than five laps to go in the 50-lap event, Marlar surrendered the final podium position to McDowell.
“I was just talking about how racy this place was and I guess how I should’ve qualified better,” said McDowell. “Hats off to all the guys who get the track ready. It was a lot of fun I just wish we had some more laps so we could’ve raced with those guys.”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series heads to Fayetteville Speedway for the inaugural First in Flight 100 on May 11-12 paying $25,001-to-win and $2,000-to-start. This is the biggest payout for an event in the tracks 50-year history.
Craftsman Club Feature (50 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden [$10,000]; 2. 18x-Michael Page [$5,000]; 3. 17M-Dale McDowell [$3,000]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar [$2,500]; 5. 116-Brandon Overton [$2,000]; 6. 9-Devin Moran [$1,700]; 7. 25-Shane Clanton [$1,400]; 8. 18c-Chase Junghans [$1,300]; 9. 7-Rick Eckert [$1,200]; 10. B1-Brent Larson [$1,100]; 11. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$1,050]; 12. 22-Chris Ferguson [$1,000]; 13. 14m-Morgan Bagley [$950]; 14. 9c-Jason Croft [$900]; 15. 54-David Breazeale [$850]; 16. 53-Ray Cook [$800]; 17. 15-Mason Massey [$770]; 18. C8-Timothy Culp [$750]; 19. 24-Zach Leonhardi [$730]; 20. 84-Austin Smith [$700]; 21. 6-Blake Spencer [$700]; 22. 58-Donald McIntosh [$700]; 23. 22r-Will Roland [$700]; 24. 91-Tyler Erb [$700]
Hard Charger Award: 17M-Dale McDowell [+14]
Qualifying Flight-A: 1. 157-Mike Marlar, 13.671; 2. 25-Shane Clanton, 13.677; 3. 58-Donald McIntosh, 13.736; 4. 18x-Michael Page, 13.826; 5. C8-Timothy Culp, 13.867; 6. 7-Rick Eckert, 13.943; 7. 17M-Dale McDowell, 13.965; 8. 9-Devin Moran, 13.966; 9. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 13.993; 10. 91-Tyler Erb, 14.1; 11. 84-Austin Smith, 14.102; 12. 14m-Morgan Bagley, 14.168; 13. 1D-Dalton Cook, 14.279; 14. 44s-Clint Smith, 14.304; 15. 29m-Gary McPherson, 14.642; 16. 12-Ashton Winger, 14.879
Qualifying Flight-B: 1. 44-Chris Madden, 13.66; 2. 18c-Chase Junghans, 13.785; 3. 16-Austin Horton, 13.973; 4. 22-Chris Ferguson, 14.017; 5. 54-David Breazeale, 14.043; 6. 116-Brandon Overton, 14.096; 7. 24-Zach Leonhardi, 14.338; 8. 22r-Will Roland, 14.388; 9. 53-Ray Cook, 14.486; 10. 62-Cody King, 14.498; 11. 15-Mason Massey, 14.503; 12. B1-Brent Larson, 14.52; 13. 29-Shane Fulcher, 14.589; 14. 9c-Jason Croft, 14.677; 15. 99-J.R. Moseley, 14.819; 16. 6-Blake Spencer, 15.051