Chris Madden Dominates Opening Night Of Sharon’s WoO Late Model Battle At The Border
Story By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – HARTFORD, OH – Chris Madden has been consistent with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series all season. But in 2023, a victory had eluded the Gray Court, SC driver.
That changed Thursday night at Sharon Speedway as Madden dominated the 25-lap Feature to score his first Series win of the season.
“Smokey” stormed by Drake Troutman on the opening lap, taking the lead in Turn 1 and quickly pulling away.
From there, some lap traffic and the race’s only caution didn’t faze the Series points leader as he cruised to the $6,000 win.
Madden said it was the best his Rocket Chassis had felt all season.
“It’s the best it’s been all year,” Madden said. “We’ve just haven’t been able to put a finger on it and find it, but we’ve worked extremely hard, changed quite a few things, and I think we’re at least in the ballpark now. We have something we can work with.
“I’m just happy to have a balance I can feel and work off of again.”
The win is Madden’s 34th career World of Outlaws triumph, moving him to seventh on the all-time wins list.
He stated he’s grateful for everyone who’s stuck by him, despite struggling early in the year.
“I just want to thank my sponsors and my guys for not giving up on me,” Madden said. “This is a tough, humbling sport. Everybody’s got to be tough, and your skin’s got to be thick to do this. You got to have good guys and good sponsors that stick with you through the toughness. We’re just thankful to have those.”
Madden’s win extends his points lead to 40 points over Ryan Gustin, who finished ninth.
Bobby Pierce finished second, his third straight World of Outlaws top five, after electing to go to his backup car shortly before Hot Laps.
The Oakwood, IL driver set fast time in Group B of Low-E Insulation Qualifying but finished second to Madden in the Heat Race.
Pierce said he felt it might’ve been a different outcome in the Feature if he had won his heat.
“I think we could’ve possibly got the job done tonight if we would’ve beaten Madden in that Heat Race,” Pierce said. “We had a really good battle in the Heat Race, and for him to be the one who won the race, I guess it’s not too bad. That says we weren’t a bad second place.”
Mike Marlar, the 2018 Series champion, crossed the line third.
The Winfield, TN driver said his tire choice and the race’s only caution, involving Gregg Satterlee, Breyton Santee, and Troutman, kept Marlar from rising further.
“I was a touch harder on tires than any of the guys around me,” Marlar said. “I got into second, and then when I got into traffic, my tires started working, and I moved out into the middle of the track. I was making some gain on [Madden], and then we had that caution, and it kind of reset everything in a short race.
“I lost two spots, and then after a few laps, my tires came back alive again, and I got one of them back. It’s just one of them deals when everyone is so close in competition. A lot of times, tire choice can make a big difference.”
Four-time Series champion Brandon Sheppard finished fourth, and Germfree Lab Rookie of the Year leader Nick Hoffman rounded out the top five.
The World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models return to Sharon Speedway on Friday, May 26 for night two of the Battle at the Border. Drivers will return for another 25-lap Feature paying $6,000-to-win.
CASE Construction Equipment Feature (25 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce; 3. 157-Mike Marlar; 4. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 5. 9-Nick Hoffman; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley; 7. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 8. 96V-Tanner English; 9. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 10. 25-Shane Clanton; 11. B1-Brent Larson; 12. 1C-Alex Ferree; 13. 1*-Chub Frank; 14. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 15. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 16. 2S-Stormy Scott; 17. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 18. 0-Rick Eckert; 19. 36-Logan Martin; 20. 27W-Eric Wilson; 21. 97-Cade Dillard; 22. 30-Todd Cooney; 23. 14W-Dustin Walker; 24. 7T-Drake Troutman; 25. 22-Gregg Satterlee; 26. 9S-Breyton Santee FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Brent Larson [+13]