One of the keys to finding Victory Lane during a World of Outlaws Late Model race is taking advantage when the opportunity comes.

Chris Madden seized his moment Saturday night during the Billy Vacek Memorial at Port Royal Speedway to claim his second win in a row at the Pennsylvania track.

With 22 laps to go, race leader Brandon Overton made a mistake in traffic, allowing “Smokey” to dive underneath him and steal the lead.

Madden and Overton Battle for the lead
Chris Madden dove under Brandon Overton to take the lead/Jacy Norgaard

Prior to that, Overton had opened a full straightaway lead over Madden 15 laps into the race before he caught the back of the field. That’s when Madden started to reel him in and plan his attack.

“Leading in lap traffic is tough when it’s one lane,” Madden said. “[Overton] took a shot at a lap car and tried to move to the outside of it in [Turn] 1 and 2, and I was able to fill the hole.”

After Madden made his move around Overton, “Big Sexy” wasn’t ready to relinquish the lead just yet. The two raced side-by-side into Turn 3 and Overton tried to dive under the Drydene #44 of Madden but couldn’t make the move stick. He ended up sideways in the corner, costing him a shot at Victory Lane.

The Evans, GA driver finished fourth; frustrated about what happened.

“I was just trying too hard,” Overton said. “As long as [the lap cars] entered wider than me I’d be fine, but one time they entered a little lower and a little slower. I had to get on the brakes, and I shattered the tires and slid up the hill.

“I was too close to [the lap cars]; I probably shouldn’t have been that close to them. I probably should’ve just laid back a couple of car-lengths.”

Madden takes a picture with the Vacek Family
Chris Madden poses in Victory with the family of Billy Vacek/Jacy Norgaard Photo

Madden’s win completes a weekend sweep at “The Speed Palace” that sees him walk away with more than $25,000 in winnings. It’s also his third straight win, and fourth of 2021, bringing “Smokey” to 32 career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings wins overall.

Rick Eckert, the 2011 Series champion and York, PA campaigner, finished second. He didn’t think he had anything for Madden toward the end.

“Even if I got to [Madden], passing him was a different story,” Eckert said. “The only chance I had was if a lap car messed him up.”

Port Royal regular Dan Stone crossed the line third. It’s a momentum booster for the Thompson, PA driver who had a backup car and motor.

“We hurt the motor in our good car awhile back, and we’ve been waiting on it to come back,” Stone said. “This is a 2017 car, and the motor was probably built in 2008, but you didn’t need a lot of motor because it was pretty slick.”

Rookie of the Year contender Ryan Gustin rounded out the top five and was the top rookie of the race. The leading rookie contender, Tyler Bruening finished seventh. Kyle Strickler, who joined Scott Bloomquist Racing for the weekend, finished 16th in his second run with the team. He’s also contending for rookie of the year honors.

Three-time and defending champion Brandon Sheppard finished 14th. His point lead is now down to 26 points over Madden.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet travel to the Hoosier State, stopping at Circle City Raceway, June 4, and Plymouth Speedway, June 5

If you can’t make it either night watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.

Morton Buildings Feature (50 Laps)-1. 44-Chris Madden [2][$15,000]; 2. 0E-Rick Eckert [3][$7,000]; 3. 2-Dan Stone [4][$4,500]; 4. 76-Brandon Overton [1][$3,500]; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin [7][$3,000]; 6. 7R-Ross Robinson [10][$2,800]; 7. 16-Tyler Bruening [9][$2,600]; 8. 22-Chris Ferguson [8][$2,500]; 9. 66C-Matt Cosner [5][$2,400]; 10. 22S-Gregg Satterlee [14][$2,300]; 11. 4-Gary Stuhler [16][$1,800]; 12. 7-Ricky Weiss [12][$1,600]; 13. 97-Cade Dillard [23][$1,400]; 14. 1-Brandon Sheppard [13][$1,300]; 15. 45-Kyle Hardy [11][$1,200]; 16. 8-Kyle Strickler [24][$1,100]; 17. 28-Dennis Erb [15][$1,050]; 18. 9-Hayes Mattern [20][$1,000]; 19. B1-Brent Larson [17][$1,000]; 20. 43A-Tyler Bare [18][$1,000]; 21. 99B-Boom Briggs [22][$1,000]; 22. 48-Colton Flinner [25][$1,000]; 23. 24-Dylan Yoder [21][$1,000]; 24. D19-Dillon Stake [19][$1,000]; 25. 55L-Donald Lingo [6][$1,000] Hard Charger: 97-Cade Dillard[+10]

Qualifying Flight-A –1. 76-Brandon Overton, 20.848; 2. 45-Kyle Hardy, 20.972; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 21.207; 4. 2-Dan Stone, 21.213; 5. 16-Tyler Bruening, 21.254; 6. 55L-Donald Lingo, 21.302; 7. 22-Chris Ferguson, 21.325; 8. 25Z-Mason Zeigler, 21.328; 9. 24-Dylan Yoder, 21.441; 10. 28-Dennis Erb, 21.634; 11. B1-Brent Larson, 21.662; 12. 171-Jimmy Bernheisel, 21.667; 13. 48-Colton Flinner, 21.684; 14. 1K-Pancho Lawler, 21.686; 15. 112-Chad Julius, 21.708; 16. 3-Tim Wilson, 21.818; 17. 15-Scott Flickinger, 21.901; 18. D19-Dillon Stake, 21.994; 19. 22B-Brett Schadel, 22.114; 20. C33-Chris Casner, 22.332

Qualifying Flight-B-1. 44-Chris Madden, 20.715; 2. 66C-Matt Cosner, 21.312; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 21.356; 4. 0E-Rick Eckert, 21.41; 5. 7R-Ross Robinson, 21.462; 6. 33-Trent Brenneman, 21.472; 7. 43A-Tyler Bare, 21.521; 8. 4-Gary Stuhler, 21.566; 9. 72-Jason Covert, 21.608; 10. 9-Hayes Mattern, 21.674; 11. 22S-Gregg Satterlee, 21.693; 12. 7-Ricky Weiss, 21.718; 13. 8-Kyle Strickler, 21.735; 14. 99B-Boom Briggs, 21.833; 15. 97-Cade Dillard, 21.842; 16. 76H-Andrew Haus, 21.921; 17. 6-Jamie Lathroum, 21.988; 18. 2J-Jeff Rine, 22.045; 19. 32J-Shaun Jones, 22.115; DNS. 11-Jason Schmidt, NT