Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Madden Makes Haste, Defends Home Track, Wins Cherokee
GAFFNEY, SC (June 21, 2013) – Hometown driver Chris Madden led all the way on Friday night to win the Grassy Smith Memorial at Cherokee Speedway. Madden took home $10,000 for his third career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory.
Madden had tough competition early from Brent Dixon and Chris Ferguson until those two drivers experienced problems. The defending race winner, Steve Francis finished second followed by Dennis Erb Jr., Don O’Neal, and Dale McDowell.
“It feels great to win here at Cherokee, it has been a while. The car was super tonight, we had a few problems there in traffic, but overall, after that last caution, I could drive it anywhere on the track. I have a lot of friends here tonight. My wife and kids left for vacation, I will join them tomorrow,” said the winner afterwards.
Madden battled with Ferguson and Dixon for the first several circuits. Dixon got by Ferguson on lap 16 and then pursued Madden for the lead. Dixon and Ferguson were able to stay close to Madden as the race for the lead began to heat up as the trio got into lapped traffic.
Dixon nearly took the lead from Madden before a caution came out as the two split a lapped car. Madden then slipped in turn two drifting up the track on the restart and again Dixon nearly gained the lead. Dixon held second until three laps remained when he slowed suddenly bringing out the final caution of the race. Madden then cruised on for the victory after Dixon was through for the night.
“I have to thank Clements Racing Engines, Bloomquist Race Cars, Hamrick’s of Gaffney, Henderson Amusement, KC Transport and all of my other great sponsors for making this possible, the track was real good tonight it had two distinct grooves and I hope the fans enjoyed the show.”
Francis and Erb, who battled for fourth and fifth for most of the last half of the race, were the beneficiaries after Dixon left the race, but neither driver had anything for Madden in the final laps. Last year’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year, Jonathan Davenport was running third when he lost his fuel cell on lap 42 bringing out a red flag.
Completing the top ten were Jared Landers, Earl Pearson Jr., John Blankenship, Jimmy Owens and Chris Ferguson.
In preliminary action, Steve Shaver set the overall time (Group A) amongst the 27 entrants, with a lap of 15.021 seconds. Casey Roberts set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 15.073 seconds. Chris Madden, Chris Ferguson, and Brent Dixon won their respective heat races. Tim Allen won the B-Main.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will round out the weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, VA on Saturday, June 22nd. The event will feature RED BUCK Time Trials, Heat Races, B-Mains, and the 50-Lap $10,000-to-win “Blue Ridge 50”. For more information, visit www.wytheraceway.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, June 21st, 2013
15th Annual “Grassy Smith Memorial”
Cherokee Speedway – Gaffney, SC
Red Buck Fast Time Group A: Steve Shaver / 15.021 seconds
Red Buck Fast Time Group B: Casey Roberts / 15.073 seconds
Wiles Drive Shafts Heat Race #1 (10 Laps, Top 6 Transfer): Chris Madden, Dennis Franklin, Earl Pearson Jr., Dale McDowell, Craig Vosbergen, Billy Moyer Jr., Tim Allen, Kevin Wilson, Steve Shaver
Eibach Springs Heat Race #2 (10 Laps, Top 6 Transfer): Chris Ferguson, Don O'Neal, Steve Francis, Eddie Carrier Jr., Ricky Weeks, Johnny Pursley, Jimmy Owens, Jerry Lierly, Joe Ramey
Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 (10 Laps, Top 6 Transfer): Brent Dixon, Casey Roberts, Dennis Erb Jr., Jonathan Davenport, John Blankenship, Jared Landers, Zack Mitchell, Ty Dillon, Jeff Smith
CV Products B-Main #1 (12 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Tim Allen, Steve Shaver, Jeff Smith, Ty Dillon, Kevin Wilson, Joe Ramey, Jimmy Owens-DNS, Jerry Lierly-DNS, Zack Mitchell-DNS
Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. 44M-Chris Madden; 2. 15-Steve Francis; 3. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr; 4. 71-Don O'Neal; 5. 17M-Dale McDowell; 6. 5-Jared Landers; 7. 44-Earl Pearson Jr; 8. 23-John Blankenship; 9. 20-Jimmy Owens; 10. 21-Chris Ferguson; 11. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr; 12. 8-Craig Vosbergen; 13. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr; 14. 1W-Ricky Weeks; 15. 17-Tim Allen; 16. 7L-Jerry Lierly; 17. 1D-Brent Dixon; 18. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 19. 41-Ty Dillon; 20. 2-Dennis Franklin; 21. 6S-Steve Shaver; 22. 70-Jeff Smith; 23. 09-Johnny Pursley; 24. 101-Casey Roberts
Lap Leaders: Chris Madden (Laps 1 – 50)
Caution Flags: Dennis Franklin (Lap 15); Ty Dillon (Lap 41); Debris (Laps 42); Brent Dixon (Lap 47)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Jimmy Owens, Jerry Lierly
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisionals: none
RED BUCK Fast Time Provisionals: none
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Started: 23rd, Finished: 9th, Advanced: 14 positions)
Allstar Performer of the Race: Steve Francis
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Earl Pearson Jr.
JRi Shocks/Dunn Benson Ford Rookie of the Race: Billy Moyer Jr.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Kuntz Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Bloomquist Race Cars
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Heather Lyne (Dennis Erb Jr.)
HAWK Performance Fastest Lap of the Race: Chris Madden (Lap# 17;15.801 seconds)
Time of Race: 30 minutes 50 seconds
Submitted By: Jeremy Shields