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LOCUST GROVE, Ark. (August 17, 2019) - Chris Madden is undoubtably the hottest driver in dirt late model racing after winning his third consecutive crown jewel event in as many weeks on Saturday night.
The 44-year-old South Carolina native stormed to his first career COMP Cams Topless 100 - Presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions at Batesville Motor Speedway. Madden earned $40,000 for his effort and became the fifteenth different driver to win the annual crown jewel event sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series.
Madden led the first 33 laps of the race until his Team Zero teammate Scott Bloomquist took over the top spot. Bloomquist, who was seeking his sixth career victory in the August race, led until Madden regained the point on lap 76. From there, Madden held off both Brandon Overton and Bloomquist for the win. Josh Richards finished in fourth, followed by a hard-charging Shannon Babb who took fifth after starting in sixteenth.
Madden and Bloomquist went back-and-forth for the lead several times early in the race after starting on the front row together. Overton would later make his presence known in the fight for the top spot.
Overton, who started tenth on the grid, charged to second just two laps shy of the halfway mark. At halfway, it was Bloomquist, Overton and Madden running in tight quarters. Bloomquist slipped in turn four on lap 76 and allowed Madden to take over the lead for good. Overton never gave up, challenging Madden for the remainder of the race but ultimately settling for a runner-up finish.
The Topless 100 marked Madden's thirteenth-career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory. "We got to heavy traffic with 15 laps to go. I tried to back up off of the traffic. I got by a couple of guys I thought I could and there were ones I didn't think I could get around so easily. I got off of that bottom there one lap and I could see Brandon was there, so I quickly got back down there."
"I got back on the bottom just in time," Madden added. "I tried not to get loose going into the corner and I wanted to set a pace to finish it off. I had no intention of pitting for tires. I took it easy for a long time. Brandon just slipped up enough to give us the advantage. What an awesome race car I have here with Cody Sommer and Scott. I just see big things happening with this team."
Overton, in the Rum Runner Racing entry, earned $20,000 for his second-place finish. "Chris showed me the top down there and I got beside Scott. Then I slipped a little and Chris got around both of us. Hats off to those guys they have been running really well. Stuff is falling their way. That was a heck of a race out there. Thanks to Joey Coulter for giving me the chance to drive his car. Thanks to my crew chief Harold Holly, and all of my crew as well."
Bloomquist who was looking to make it back-to-back wins took the third finishing position and took home $10,000 for his efforts. "We were running the bottom and that was the place to be. We had dropped back to fourth and then we got back by Richards there. If you were outside you were hung out to dry. I felt pretty good tonight. I was a little sore at the end. I had a tough time getting out of the car. We are getting stronger race-by-race."
The winner's Scott Bloomquist Racing, Bloomquist Race Cars Chassis is powered by a Custom Race Engine and is sponsored by: Great America Steak Company, STEEL-IT, Lucas Oil Products, Sorbera Chiropractic, Crossfit by Overton, Petroff Towing, Millwood Plumbing, Henderson Amusement, Sweet Manufacturing, VP Fuels and Penske Racing Shocks.
Completing the top ten were Jonathan Davenport, Timothy Culp, Devin Moran, Mike Marlar and Hudson O'Neal.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
LOCUST GROVE, Ark. (August 16, 2019) - On a historic night for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the tour's all-time winningest driver Scott Bloomquist won his first series event since July 2018.
The 55-year-old Hall-of-Fame driver captured the 30-lap feature on the eve of the 27th Annual COMP Cams Topless 100 - Presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions on Friday night.
The 600th event in the series history saw a battle for the lead between Bloomquist and his Team Zero teammate Chris Madden go down to the finish as Bloomquist held off Madden. Madden entered the race with a three-race LOLMDS win streak. With their 1-2 finish on Friday night, Madden and Bloomquist will make up the front row for the $40,000-to-win crown jewel event on Saturday night.
Bloomquist; who missed over three months of racing earlier this season due to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident back; won for his all-time series leading 94th time. Claim the victory over Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Shanon Buckingham, and Mike Marlar.
Bloomquist started on the pole alongside Madden and held the lead from the start, but he and Madden raced side-by-side for a several of laps after a lap 8 caution flag for Josh Richards' flat tire. Bloomquist never relinquished his lead from then on. After a caution with nine laps to go, he sprinted to a healthy lead for the rest of the event.
Bloomquist is the only driver to win the Topless 100 five times and will be gunning for his sixth victory in the event. Madden; who has won two straight crown jewel events over the last two weeks; will be seeking his first Topless 100 win on Saturday Night. His best finish in the annual August race was a 4th place finish in 2013.
It was an emotional victory for Bloomquist who earned the 604th victory of his career, which began in 1980. "There was a whole lot that went through my mind after the accident happened," said Bloomquist. "The doctors don't want to tell you anything positive to give you false hope. They told me you better just focus on getting better and not racing anymore this year or anytime soon. Finally, they told me it would be 12 weeks to stay off of my leg and then they told me the bones were healed and I asked them, what can keep me from racing? They said they didn't think I could handle the pain and I said, well then I am going to race."
"The car got bent in June and we didn't know it," Bloomquist added. "We took it to get it jigged. We put a new clip on it this week. I said well hopefully I can give Chris some competition. We ran pretty good tonight and we are looking forward to tomorrow. I was struggling there for a while when I came back. I thought it was the car and now we have the car fixed. It was never a cake-walk out there," said Bloomquist who has now won a race every year since the series inception.
Madden now has three wins and two runner-up finishes in the last five LOLMDS events. He joined Bloomquist on the podium for the second night in a row. "We had a good race car tonight. I was trying to set a healthy pace and not overwork myself. I thought I might have something at the end for him [Bloomquist], we went door-to-door for a while. We had a right-rear tire going down at the end and we were just trying to hang on for second."
Davenport will also be seeking his first career Topless 100 on Saturday night. His best career finish in the event is a third-place finish in 2014. "We have to have a good showing here. Steve Martin with Nutrien Ag Solutions is here, and this is Lance Landers' home-track. We got a little better than last night. We didn't qualify as good tonight, then we ran second in our heat. We started eighth and passed some cars tonight. We slowed up a little bit at the end. We might have been too conservative with our tires tonight."
The winner's Bloomquist Race Cars Chassis is powered by a Custom Race Engine and sponsored by: Great America Steak America, STEEL-IT, Lucas Oil Products, Petroff Towing, Sorbera Chiropractic, Crossfit by Overton, Sweet Manufacturing, VP Fuels, and Penske Shocks.
Completing the top ten were Michael Norris, Stormy Scott, Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, and Shannon Babb.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series