A $126,000 prize was in Chris Madden’s grasp. He just took the lead from Brandon Overton and looked to have Saturday’s Dirt Late Model Dream win in his sight at Eldora Speedway.
But the Gray Court, SC driver was battling “Big Sexy”, the man searching for his second “Dream” win in 36 hours.
Madden tried to hold on to the lead on the outside, but Overton was too strong on the bottom, thundering past Madden with 15 Laps to go.
Overton held on to win his second DIRTcar sanctioned Dirt Late Model Dream this week, collecting $273,000 in winnings.
Madden had to settle for second and knew Overton was better in the closing stages.
“The rubber started coming, and I couldn’t stay in the rubber,” Madden said. “He was a lot better in that stage of the race, and I couldn’t fend him off. We tried and gave it all we had but we were a second-place car [Saturday].”
Despite finishing second, Madden was still smiling after the Feature. He feels a win at Eldora Speedway is coming sooner rather than later, especially with how well he ran.
“We definitely found some things in [Friday’s] Feature and worked on it [Saturday], but I still need a little bit more,” Madden said. “I just can’t get that W at [Eldora], but I’m going to get it one day.”
“Smokey” isn’t the only one getting credit for his finish on Saturday. Madden is happy with how hard his team worked to put him in this position.
“My guys never quit, and they keep a great attitude, they just keep telling me to hang in there,” Madden said. “We just got a good chemistry going, they’re good with me and I’m good with them so we’ll just keep building.”
Madden was one of five World of Outlaws drivers to qualify for the race.
Tyler Bruening started last in his B-Feature and qualified through the B-Scramble. The Decorah, IA driver finished 11th in his first “Dream” start.
Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin, and Ricky Weiss all had trouble that ended their night early.
Madden hopes to keep his momentum rolling next weekend when The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet kick off a Northeast swing with a tripleheader through New York and Pennsylvania.
The Series visits Stateline Speedway in Busti, NY on Thursday, June 17, Thunder Mountain Speedway, in Knox Dale PA on Friday, June 18, and Selinsgrove Speedway in Selinsgrove, PA on Saturday, June 19.
Madden will continue chasing his first Series championship. He’s currently in second place—46 points behind Sheppard, who’s the reigning champion.
Another race to keep an eye on is the exciting battle for Rookie of the Year, as Bruening leads Gustin by 108 points.
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