Dixie Star: Madden Runs Away With Victory In ‘Rumble On The River V’ At Virginia Motor Speedway

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

JAMAICA, VA – April 18, 2009 – Chris Madden won one for Old Dixie on Saturday night at Virginia Motor Speedway. 

With Civil War reenactors dressed in Union and Confederate uniforms on hand to salute the evening’s star driver in a special Victory Lane themed to the historic area surrounding the track, Gaffney, S.C.’s Madden pleased the Southern soldiers by dominating the 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Rumble on the River V’ event.

Madden, 33, ran away with the A-Main after outdueling Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., to assume command for good on lap 12. He was never seriously challenged in a race that was slowed by just a single caution flag, on lap 15 for the turn-four spin of Gettysburg, Pa.’s Jeremy Miller, who won last year’s WoO LMS show at VMS.

The post-race celebration was certainly a unique experience for Madden, who registered his fifth career win in WoO LMS competition. He had a Confederate hat placed on his head as he was interviewed by tour announcer Rick Eshelman, and the soldiers feted him with a flurry of loud, smoky gunfire from their Civil War-era pistols.

“That was pretty cool,” Madden said of the Victory Lane festivities. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. That kind of stuff makes winning a race even more fun.”

Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., hustled Dale Beitler’s Reliable Painting/Valvoline Rocket from the eighth starting spot to second place in 13 laps and chased Madden for the remainder of the distance, but he was 5.549 seconds behind the winner’s Century Plastics Bloomquist Chassis machine at the checkered flag. The 2007 WoO LMS champion spent the race’s closing circuits fighting off the Fusion Energy Rocket driven by defending tour titlist Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who regained the points lead with a third-place run after starting seventh.

Ricky Elliott of Seaford, Del., made a strong advance from the 12th starting spot to finish fourth in the Charles Jarvis-owned Rocket, earning him the $500 WoO LMS Bonus Bucks cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hadn’t previously won a tour event and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings. Fifth place was claimed by Davenport, who started from the pole position in the D&L Rumley Rocket and led laps 1-3, 5-9 and 11 during his early battle with Madden.

The $10,100 triumph made Madden the seventh different winner in eight WoO LMS A-Mains this season. It also gave him a win in each of his last two appearances at VMS, following his score in a co-sanctioned MACS/Carolina Clash event on Aug. 9, 2008.

“We’ve had a lot of success here,” said Madden, whose ’08 victory at VMS came in a special ‘topless’ race. “This place doesn’t have the banking that Gaffney (South Carolina’s Cherokee SuperSpeedway) used to have, but it has some similarities to that place. There’s some driving I learned at Gaffney that I use here, and it’s working for me.”

Madden, who started third, demonstrated his complete mastery of Bill Sawyer’s pristine half-mile oval once he wrestled the lead from Davenport.

“We had a great race,” Madden said of his early battle with Davenport. “I got ahead of him at the (start/finish) line a couple times (laps four and 10), but he kept getting back by me because I was having to check up pretty hard in the middle and couldn’t leave the corner like I wanted to.

“I felt like I had a better car, so I think it was just a matter of me getting to the clean air. Once I cleared him and we got to clean air, we were great. Scott (Bloomquist) has built a helluva race car when it comes to speed and driving straight and fast and that got us the win tonight.”

Francis, 41, had no answer for Madden’s speed. He closed within a few car lengths of Madden shortly after the halfway mark, but his car’s handling was too tight and he gradually lost ground while negotiating thick lapped traffic as the race wound down.

Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., finished sixth after battling with Davenport in the closing laps. Austin Hubbard, a 17-year-old from Seaford, Del., with extensive experience at VMS, scored a career-best WoO LMS finish of seventh, followed by Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., who entered the event as the tour points leader but exited trailing Lanigan by four points; Jamie Lathroum of Mechanicsville, Md.; and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.

Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who lost the WoO LMS points lead the previous night at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway, ceded more ground with a subpar outing. A heat-race tangle forced him to use a provisional to start the A-Main and he struggled to a 13th-place finish.

A field of 46 cars assembled for the event – the largest turnout ever for a WoO LMS show at VMS.

Twenty-four hours after scratching from Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway’s WoO LMS program due to a broken rocker-arm during practice, Davenport came back strong by recording the fastest lap in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials. His circuit of 17.416 seconds earned him a $50 bonus.

Heat winners were Davenport, Francis, Madden and Dennis Franklin of Cowpens, S.C. Franklin went on to draw the sixth starting spot for the A-Main, but he had to relinquish the position and take the green flag from the rear because he had to park his Barry Wright house car with terminal engine problems and jump in Scott Neighbors’s machine.

The evening’s B-Mains were captured by Roland Mann of Chaptico, Md., and D.J. Myers of Greencastle, Pa.

All of the action was captured by cameras from the SPEED cable network, which will broadcast the ‘Rumble on the River V’ on Fri., May 8, at 8 p.m. ET.

The WoO LMS will be off for one weekend before resuming on May 1-2 with the ‘Buckeye 100’ at K-C Raceway in Alma, Ohio. Time trials and heat races are scheduled for Fri., May 1, and last-chance races and the $20,000-to-win Buckeye 100 will be contested on Sat., May 2.

For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Rumble on the River V’ at Virginia Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (3) Chris Madden/50 $10,100
2. (8) Steve Francis/50 $5,650
3. (7) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,600
4. (12) Ricky Elliott/50 $3,000
5. (1) Jonathan Davenport/50 $2,050
6. (10) Shannon Babb/50 $2,200
7. (5) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,400
8. (4) Shane Clanton/50 $1,800
9. (2) Jamie Lathroum/50 $1,200
10. (15) Clint Smith/50 $1,700
11. (16) Brady Smith/50 $1,550
12. (9) Rick Eckert/50 $1,500
13. (23) Josh Richards/49 $1,450
14. (18) D.J. Myers/49 $900
15. (19) Doug Horton/49 $850
16. (13) Chub Frank/49 $1,300
17. (21) Tim Fuller/49 $1,270
18. (20) Daryl Hills/49 $750
19. (11) Ronnie DeHaven Jr./49 $730
20. (24) Vic Coffey/49 $1,200
21. (17) Roland Mann/47 $700
22. (6) Dennis Franklin/26 $700
23. (22) Dale McDowell/25 $700
24. (14) Jeremy Miller $700

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

NOTE: Dennis Franklin parked his No. 2F due to engine problems after winning a heat and started at the rear of the field in Scott Neighbor’s No. 5

Time of Race: 18 Mins., 31.194 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 5.549 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 1 (Lap 15)
Lap Leaders: Davenport (1-3); Madden (4); Davenport (5-9); Madden (10); Davenport (11); Madden (12-50)
Provisional Starters: Richards, Coffey
Rookie of the Race: Russell King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Ricky Elliott ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Jamie Owens (Madden)

Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):

1. 6d-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 17.416
2. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 17.422
3. 44M-Chris Madden/Gaffney, SC 17.606
4. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 17.673
5. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.726
6. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.756
7. 1D-Ronnie DeHaven Jr./Winchester, VA 17.802
8. 2F-Dennis Franklin/Cowpens, SC 17.802
9. 6L-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 17.803
10. 24M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 17.804
11. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 17.829
12. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 17.848
13. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.906
14. 55-Roland Mann/Chapitco, MD 17.932
15. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 17.947
16. 45-Ricky Elliott/Seaford, DE 17.952
17. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 17.969
18. 88-Keith Jackson/Odenton, MD 17.976
19. 7H-Daryl Hills/Great Mills, MD 17.980
20. 17-Nick Dickson/Lewistown, PA 17.983
21. 0-Ray Tucker/Greensboro, NC 18.000
22. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 18.005
23. 70J-D.J. Myers/Greencastle, PA 18.007
24. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 18.010
25. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 18.016
26. 07-David Williams/Charlotte Hall, MD 18.030
27. 21-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 18.056
28. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 18.071
29. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 18.079
30. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 18.102
31. 8-Jeff Pilkerton/Loveville, MD 18.167
32. 49-Mark Pettyjohn/Milton, DE 18.183
33. 00H-Chuck Harper/Beverly, WV 18.243
34. 46-Doug Horton/Bruceton Mills, WV 18.269
35. 87-Walker Arthur/Forest, VA 18.277
36. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 18.308
37. 56K-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 18.314
38. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 18.325
39. 47-Matt Quade/Mechanicsville, MD 18.473
40. 44G-Dean Guy/Clements, MD 18.527
41. 5-Scott Neighbors/Spring Lake, NC 18.685
42. 72*-Jared Teegarden/Chesterfield, VA 18.860
43. 18H-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 18.963
44. 56$-Chas Shellenberger/Winfield, PA 19.047
45. 00-Tom Cohick/Gloucester, VA 19.138
46. 09-Brad Rigdon/Chesapeake, VA 19.909

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Davenport, Lathroum, Eckert, Frank, Tucker, Coffey, Fuller, King, Harper, Neighbors, Cohick, Richards

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, Lanigan, Babb, J. Miller, Mann, Horton, Robinson, Teegarden, Williams, Rigdon, Jackson, Bland

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Madden, Clanton, DeHaven, C. Smith, Myers, Hills, Lux, Pilkerton, Arthur, Hapka (DNS) Quade

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Franklin, Hubbard, Elliott, B. Smith, McDowell, Reddick, Dickson, Guy, M. Pettyjohn, K. Pettyjohn, Shellenberger

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Mann, Horton, Fuller, Williams, King, Bland, Harper, Tucker, Rigdon, Coffey, Neighbors, Cohick, Richards, Robinson (DNS) Teegarden, Jackson

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Myers, Hills, McDowell, Lux, K. Pettyjohn, Arthur, Reddick, Pilkerton, M. Pettyjohn, Shellenberger, Hapka, Dickson, Guy, Quade

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:

* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Russell King, Kenny Pettyjohn
* Armor All (case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Chris Madden
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Ricky Elliott
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Chris Madden
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Clint Smith
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Chris Madden
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Roland Mann, D.J. Myers
* Fusion Energy ($50 cash award to Heat 2 winner w/decal): Steve Francis
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Jonathan Davenport
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Chris Madden
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Jonathan Davenport
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Doug Horton
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Chris Madden
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Ray Tucker
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Chris Madden

2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of April 18 – 8 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):

1. Darrell Lanigan 0-4-7-$47,850-1039 (-0)
2. Shane Clanton 1-1-7-$34,510-1035 (-4)
3. Josh Richards 1-5-6 -$38,700-1015 (-24)
4. Steve Francis 2-5-5-$39,280-999 (-40)
5. Shannon Babb 1-3-5-$35,980-995 (-44)
6. Rick Eckert 0-2-4-$16,895-983 (-56)
7. Chub Frank 0-1-5-$16,650-967 (-72)
8. Tim Fuller 0-0-2-$13,780-951 (-88)
9. Brady Smith 0-2-3-$16,275-944 (-95)
10. Clint Smith 0-0-3-$13,170-925 (-114)
11. Vic Coffey 0-0-0-$7,730-794 (-245)
12. Jordan Bland 0-0-0-$7,080-758 (-281)
13. Russell King 0-0-0-$6,790-725 (-314)
14. Dustin Hapka 0-0-0-$3,980-690 (-349)
15. Brent Robinson 0-0-0-$2,740-684 (-355)
16. Tyler Reddick 0-0-0-$2,225-627 (-412)
17. Chris Madden 1-3-3-$20,000-615 (-424)
18. Chas Shellenberger 0-0-0-$1,145-600 (-439)
19. Dale McDowell 0-1-2-$10,700-575 (-464)
20. Austin Hubbard 0-0-1-$4,535-475 (-564)

LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.

To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.

Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.