OGILVIE, MN – Chris Madden repeated his 2017 success at Ogilvie Raceway on Saturday as he collected his fifth World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series victory of 2018.
The route back to Victory Lane for Madden and his Barry Wright Race Cars [BWRC] wasn’t an easy one. The team was forced to unload their backup car on July 6 at Dubuque Speedway after a multi-car tangle in the heat race. Entering four events since then, the team continued their search for faults in the car which simply just wasn’t performing to their recent standard.
In the past four races in the backup BWRC No. 44, Madden collected a pair of seventh place finishes, a third and a 15th. Whereas in their primary car, Madden had only four finishes outside of the top-five of 20 races entered.
So, enough was enough. It was time to get back on the team’s hot streak and back into the primary car. At Ogilvie Raceway, the BWRC team went back to the basics and got to work to get the BWRC house car back in pristine condition to compete with the best Late Model drivers in the nation. Their hard labor paid off – $10,000 to be exact.
“No, [the trip] won’t be bad at all,” Madden said in Victory Lane of the teams 18-hour drive back to Gray Court, SC. “These guys can get some rest and I’ll try to drive as far as I can tonight. I can’t wait to get home to see my wife, my kid and my family.”
Madden charged to the lead from a fifth place start on lap 10 and never looked back. Not even a single caution on lap 13 (for Tyler Erb who punted a tire barrier onto the track in turn-one) could pose a threat to the strength in Madden’s ride.
“It was actually fun,” said Madden of the 50-lap shootout. “Great racetrack and this is an awesome place here. You can race all over this thing. Those guys back there (crew guys) made it to where I could win tonight.”
Madden’s biggest hindrance was lapped traffic which allowed a hard charging Brandon Sheppard to gain ground on his lead.
“I thought I was [hung up in lapped traffic] there but my car was really good enough to where I could move around more than actually what I was,” added Madden. “I should have actually moved around a little earlier on some of those cars. I let Brandon catch up with me there a time or two, just kind of not doing what I needed to be doing. We got the job done tonight.”
Sheppard finished second in the feature to continue the hot streak for the Rocket1 Racing team finishing fourth or better for the past six events. Sheppard followed Madden’s lead on lap 9 driving up to the top line rather than staying on the bottom of the track like in previous circuits. The topside momentum slingshot the pair ahead of pole-sitter and race leader at the time, Rick Eckert.
“We would have liked to get the win tonight, but everybody would have I guess,” chuckled Sheppard. “It’s a really big confidence booster knowing we can keep this thing up in the top-three. We have a really good piece, I just made a few wrong moves there that probably lost me that race. Good job to Chris, he did a really good job. The track was awesome tonight and I have to thank all of the fans for coming out tonight… Hopefully we put on a good show.”
Eckert’s third-place run was his best of the 2018 season thus far. The veteran World of Outlaws driver has come close to cracking into the podium on four separate occasions but had fallen short by one position.
“We are definitely building,” said Eckert. “We can see [the leaders] now but we just have to figure out how to keep them behind us. I have to thank [my crew]. Those guys worked hard with me today changing motors and stuff. I have to thank the fans for coming out this is an awesome racetrack. We could run the inside or up against the outside wall, so hats off to the track crew.”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to action on July 24 at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA.
Abbreviated Results from Ogilvie Raceway:
Sears Craftsman Feature (50 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden [$10,000]; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$5,000]; 3. 7-Rick Eckert [$3,000]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar [$2,500]; 5. 25-Shane Clanton [$2,000]; 6. 7W-Ricky Weiss [$1,700]; 7. 28-Jimmy Mars [$1,400]; 8. 18c-Chase Junghans [$1,300]; 9. 54-David Breazeale [$1,200]; 10. 11-Pat Doar [$1,100]; 11. B1-Brent Larson [$1,050]; 12. 9-Devin Moran [$1,000]; 13. 77-Jordan Yaggy [$950]; 14. 91-Tyler Erb [$900]; 15. 71-Rick Hanestad [$850]; 16. 71jr-Buddy Hanestad [$800]; 17. 21x-Joel Collins [$770]; 18. 20-Rodney Sanders [$750]; 19. 42s-Don Shaw [$730]; 20. 6m-Jeff Massingill [$700]; 21. 90-Lance Matthees [$700]
Hard Charger Award: B1-Brent Larson[+6]