Madden Wires Mountain Moonshine Classic Field at Smoky Mountain

MARYVILLE, TN (June 18, 2022) – Chris Madden survived a late-race scare en route a $50,000 victory on Saturday night in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned, Mountain Moonshine Classic Presented by Lazydays RV.

Madden made heavy contact with the fourth turn wall which allowed Jonathan Davenport to close the gap heading into the final lap. However, Madden held on for the win despite severe damage to the right rear of his No. 44 entry - crossing the finish line .355 seconds ahead of the three-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion. Brandon Overton took third at the stripe with Ricky Thornton Jr. and Mike Marlar rounding out the top-five finishers. 

Madden bolted from the pole position to grab the lead at the start of the 60-lap event. Davenport moved around Carson Ferguson on the second lap to take over the second position. Madden then began to put some distance between himself and the other contenders in lapped traffic. With 22 laps complete Davenport started to gain on Madden as he fought heavier lapped traffic before the second caution of the race flew just one lap later.  

As the race continued, Madden still held the point, fighting off challenges from Davenport and Brandon Overton. As Madden approached the back of the field in the closing laps he made hard contact with the turn four wall while battling through lapped traffic. Madden held off a final bid from Davenport to claim the victory – the richest overall purse in the history of Smoky Mountain Speedway.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the second night in a row and for the 15th time in his career, Madden said: “I caught Terbo [Tyler Erb] there and I thought going down the back straightaway he was going to commit to the bottom, so I committed to the top and tried to get up beside him. He made a lane change suddenly and I was running way faster than him. We had to get on the binders hard and I got loose, I just backed it in the fence. You know when you have JD and Overton chasing you then you’ve got it hit every mark and you had better not miss a mark if you do then they will get by you.”

“You know we have had a great race car all year long,” Madden added. “This Rocket has been extremely good to us. It’s just amazing to come back to Smoky Mountain and win in front of such a big crowd. There’s always a big crowd here and a bunch of great people here with Roger [Sellers] and his crew. I appreciate you guys for putting on these big races in this part of the country for us.” 

Davenport, who won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “Historic 100” just two weeks ago, fell short of victory this time around, but still collected $20,000 for second. “You just never know when something is going to happen when you are leading you could cut a tire or something. I was hoping it would stay green once we got into heavy lapped traffic there so I could sneak around him. It’s really a technical place to get around. He [Madden] just had a little bit better race car than I did. Congratulations to him and his guys. I wasn’t going to run him dirty. I got beside him one time and that’s about all I could do.”

Overton rounded out the podium for the night claiming the third spot, earning $10,000. “It was about track position. We didn’t do a good enough job to win our heat race, so we had to start seventh. I was passing them, and I was still trying to take care of my tires. I knew there were two good cars in front of me and I was hoping they would race it out a little bit and maybe I would have had something left over to get them. I could make up a little time getting into one on the bottom, but they had enough grip to lead me off the corner. But we’ll take it.”

The winner’s Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Drydene, Franklin Enterprises, Henderson Amusement, Millwood Plumbing, VP Fuels, Worley Monuments, DirtCar Lift, Davis Diesel Service, and Swift Springs.

Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Zack Mitchell, Carson Ferguson, Brandon Sheppard, and Ricky Weiss.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 
Race Summary 
Mountain Moonshine Classic presented by Lazydays RV
Saturday, June 18th, 2022
Smoky Mountain Speedway – Maryville, TN

Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4Transfer): 1. 44M-Chris Madden[1]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[4]; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[3]; 4. 17M-Dale McDowell[2]; 5. 51-Mack McCarter[6]; 6. 23B-John Blankenship[8]; 7. 2S-Stormy Scott[7]; 8. 109-Eli Beets[5]; 9. 89-Ashton Winger[10]; 10. 3-Austin Neely[11]; 11. 17SS-Brenden Smith[9]; 12. (DNS) 24 D-Michael Brown

Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[2]; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard[3]; 4. 7W-Ricky Weiss[7]; 5. 40B-Kyle Bronson[4]; 6. 71-Hudson O'Neal[5]; 7. 17-Cameron Weaver[6]; 8. 99-Camaron Marlar[11]; 9. 21M-Robby Moses[8]; 10. 20H-Bryson Harper[9]; 11. 11-Spencer Hughes[10]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 93-Carson Ferguson[2]; 2. 57-Zack Mitchell[3]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[4]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens[1]; 5. 83-Jensen Ford[8]; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson[5]; 7. 18D-Daulton Wilson[7]; 8. 7-Ross Robinson[11]; 9. 16-Ben Watkins[6]; 10. 9C-Dusty Carver[9]; 11. (DNS) 16S-Sam Seawright

Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 1V-Vic Hill[2]; 3. 0-Scott Bloomquist[4]; 4. 79-Ross Bailes[3]; 5. 88-Trent Ivey[7]; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb[6]; 7. 23-Cory Hedgecock[10]; 8. 8-Kyle Strickler[5]; 9. 10-Garrett Smith[8]; 10. (DNS) 118-Matt Henderson; 11. (DNS) 22-Lynn Leach

Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[2]; 2. 23B-John Blankenship[3]; 3. 51-Mack McCarter[1]; 4. 71-Hudson O'Neal[4]; 5. 2S-Stormy Scott[5]; 6. 17-Cameron Weaver[6]; 7. 99-Camaron Marlar[8]; 8. 109-Eli Beets[7]; 9. 20H-Bryson Harper[12]; 10. 11-Spencer Hughes[14]; 11. 89-Ashton Winger[9]; 12. 17SS-Brenden Smith[13]; 13. 3-Austin Neely[11]; 14. 21M-Robby Moses[10]; 15. (DNS) 24 D-Michael Brown

UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 83-Jensen Ford[1]; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 3. 88-Trent Ivey[2]; 4. 7-Ross Robinson[7]; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson[5]; 6. 10-Garrett Smith[10]; 7. 1T-Tyler Erb[4]; 8. 8-Kyle Strickler[8]; 9. 16-Ben Watkins[9]; 10. 9C-Dusty Carver[11]; 11. 23-Cory Hedgecock[6]; 12. (DNS) 118-Matt Henderson; 13. (DNS) 16S-Sam Seawright; 14. (DNS) 22-Lynn Leach

Mountain Moonshine Classic Presented by Lazydays RV Feature Finish (60 Laps):

Race Statistics
Entrants: 45
Lap Leaders: Chris Madden (Laps 1-60)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Chris Madden
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: Chris Madden
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Chris Madden
Margin of Victory: 0.354 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Daulton Wilson (Lap 1); Spencer Hughes (Lap 23)
Series Provisionals: Tyler Erb; Hudson O’Neal
Series Emergency Provisionals: Ashton Winger; Spencer Hughes; Ross Robinson; Daulton Wilson
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton
Penske Shocks Top-5: Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Mike Marlar
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Hudson O’Neal (Advanced 8 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon Sheppard
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Chris Madden (60 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Garrett Alberson
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Chris Madden (Lap 1 – 17.816 seconds)
Feature Tough Break of the Race: Ashton Winger
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Ricky Arnold (Chris Madden)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Durham Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Hudson O’Neal (17.3743 seconds)
Time of Race: 25 minutes 33 seconds

Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:

Madden and Owens Take Prelim Wins Friday Night at Smoky Mountain Speedway

Maryville, TN (June 17, 2022) – Chris Madden and Jimmy Owens each captured a 30-lap preliminary win on Friday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Madden went to Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the first time this season and for the 14th in his career, winning the first 30-lap main event of the evening. Madden was in control for most of the race, but a caution with two laps to go allowed a hard-charging Mike Marlar one last chance at the veteran South Carolina racer. Madden pulled away in the green-white-checkered finish to become the 12th different winner this year in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Marlar came home in second followed by Dale McDowell, Brandon Overton, and Earl Pearson Jr.

For the 47-year-old racer it was his 13th career win at Smoky Mountain Speedway, earning him a good starting spot in one of the heat races for Saturday night’s Mountain Moonshine Classic paying $50,000 to win. “Marlar was there, Dale was third and Brandon was up to fourth; I knew those guys would be coming at me. I wasn’t worried about the caution coming out, I was worried about hitting Spencer (Hughes). I don’t know what happened to him I was coming up on him in a hurry and he just stopped in the top lane there and I about hit him.”

“I need to work on my balance a little bit. I am not where I want to be. But I’ve got a good race car right now. I needed to make just a couple of more adjustments tonight, hopefully we can make the right ones tomorrow and we can pick up the big money tomorrow.”

Marlar, who was the fastest qualifier among the 45 entries crossed the line 0.616 seconds behind Madden at the checkers. “Chris is always tough here. He and I have come down to the end a bunch here so hopefully tomorrow night I can get him there. He (Madden) had a little better straightaway traction than I did. I think I could center the corner better than him. I have got to get my straightaway traction better. I had a good car; it was a fun race. I was doing better without that caution. Man, it's such a tough field here you better have your stuff right.”

McDowell came from sixth to claim the final podium spot in third. “We got a little bit behind in qualifying, so Shane (McDowell) threw some stuff at it and helped it, hopefully we can take notes from tonight. On the long runs we were pretty decent, hopefully we can this thing even better for tomorrow night.”

Madden’s Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Drydene, Franklin Enterprises, Henderson Amusement, Millwood Plumbing, VP Fuels, Davis Diesel Service, Swift Springs, DirtCar Lift, and Worley Monuments.

Completing the top ten in first feature were Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Thornton Jr., Kyle Bronson, Eli Beets, and Hudson O’Neal.

Owens’ win was more dramatic as the four-time series Champion had to hold off both Jonathan Davenport and super late model rookie Carson Ferguson for the win in the second 30-lapper. Trailing the top three at the finish were Vic Hill and Zack Mitchell.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 80th time in his career and for the third time this season, Owens led all 30 laps for the victory. “You have to get to the lead and in front of that 49 car, he’s been super tough here lately. Ferguson got up in there and was battling with us, he kind of snuck up on me there. But man, it was some fun racing. I was glad we could get this Ramirez Motorsports home in front tonight. We had a really good hot rod tonight. We’re pretty good at this place. We have had our fair-share of wins and losses here. Our team has had their head down, but we keep digging and digging. We keep getting a little better every week it seems like. Tomorrow’s a different day, we got us a good-starting spot in one of the heat races so we will go from there.”

Davenport finished second in the final rundown of the final 30-lapper of the night. “This is a brand-new car. It’s the first time on the track for it, so we have to learn what it likes. I got really tight right there. That’s normally not what I am here. So, we are definitely going in the right direction. That’s the first time I could even see a leader here in a long time, I am normally not very good here. Congrats to Jimmy on the win and it was fun racing with Ferguson there. He’s going to be pretty good at it, he’s getting better each week and has a bright future ahead of him.”

Ferguson, a cousin to Show-Me 100 winner Chris Ferguson, had his best finish of his career in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition. “You grow up watching those two (Owens and Davenport) race, to just be on the same track with them is a privilege and having a good enough car to make me look good behind the wheel.”

The winner’s Ramirez Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and sponsored by Reece Monument Company, Tim Short Auto Group, Boomtest Well Service, Georgia Arms, Red Line Oil, Midwest Sheet Metal, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Bilstein Shocks.

Completing the top ten in the evening nightcap was Ross Bailes, Tim McCreadie, Scott Bloomquist, Garrett Albertson, and Kyle Strickler.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 
Race Summary 
Mountain Moonshine Classic presented by Lazydays RV
Friday, June 17th, 2022
Smoky Mountain Speedway – Maryville, TN

Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Mike Marlar/ 15.404 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Ross Bailes / 15.601 seconds

Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4Transfer): 1. 44M-Chris Madden[2]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 3. 71-Hudson O'Neal[3]; 4. 76-Brandon Overton[5]; 5. 3-Austin Neely[4]; 6. 17SS-Brenden Smith[6]; 7. 51-Mack McCarter[8]; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes[7]; 9. 89-Ashton Winger[11]; 10. 17-Cameron Weaver[10]; 11. 20H-Bryson Harper[12]; 12. 99-Camaron Marlar[9]

Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4Transfer): Jr[8]; 6. 109-Eli Beets[1]; 7. 24 D-Michael Brown[5]; 8. 2S-Stormy Scott[10]; 9. 7W-Ricky Weiss[11]; 10. 23B-John Blankenship[7]; 11. 21M-Robby Moses[9]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie[4]; 3. 93-Carson Ferguson[5]; 4. 79-Ross Bailes[1]; 5. 1V-Vic Hill[3]; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb[8]; 7. 88-Trent Ivey[6]; 8. 7-Ross Robinson[9]; 9. 16-Ben Watkins[7]; 10. 22-Lynn Leach[11]; 11. 118-Matt Henderson[10]

Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Scott Bloomquist[11]; 7. 18D-Daulton Wilson[7]; 8. 83-Jensen Ford[4]; 9. 10-Garrett Smith[6]; 10. 9C-Dusty Carver[10]; 11. 23-Cory Hedgecock[8]

Mountain Moonshine Classic Presented by Lazydays RV – Group A Feature Finish (30 Laps):