Chris Madden Goes the Distance in $17,017 NDRL Bama Bash Victory
Phenix City, Alabama (March 1, 2014) Gray Court, South Carolina native Chris “Smokey” Madden muscled his way by early race leader Jonathan Davenport and then kept his tires under him to capture the checkers in the National Dirt Racing League (NDRL) sanctioned 17th Annual Bama Bash at East Alabama Motor Speedway. Madden, who won his heat in Friday’s preliminary action, fell to second near the race’s midpoint but re-inherited the lead when local driver Terrance Nowell’s machine rolled to a stop during a lap 55 caution period. The win was Madden’s first career NDRL victory and his second overall win of 2014. “We got going there and just wanted to try and set a pace to conserve our tires and try to make it 75 laps. We just kind of waited to see what kind of pace Jonathan (Davenport) set. We got a chance there to get the lead and took it. Then we just held on to the end.” Madden said after the points opener for the NDRL.
In Friday’s preliminary action it was Davenport setting the pace in Keyser Manufacturing Time Trials as he topped all 38 drivers that entered the event. Davenport’s 14.949 second lap made him the only driver to dip below the 15 second mark on East Alabama’s high banked 3/8ths of a mile. Madden, Steve Francis and NDRL Rookie of the Year candidate Kent Robinson were all fastest in their qualifying / heat race groups and all 4 drivers went on to win their respective heat races. Davenport looked poised to sweep the weekend when he redrew the pole for the 75-lap feature event.
Saturday’s B-Mains saw Dennis Erb of Carpentersville, Illinois pick up the win in the Hoosier Race Tires B-Main #1 and West Virginia’s Mike Benedum take the checkers in VP Race Fuels B-Main #2. Mason Zeigler and Terrance Nowell followed Erb to earn transfer finishes, while Clint Smith and Tim Fuller transferred from the second B-Main. Provisional starts went to Tony Jackson, Jr., William Thomas and Max Blair.
A botched attempt at a start saw Steve Francis go spinning, collecting several drivers including Bloomquist, Blankenship, McCreadie and Jimmy Mars. Mars sustained heavy front end damage and was forced to retire for the night in the Jason Krohn back-up machine. All other drivers were able to continue. It didn’t take long for the yellow flag to appear again when with just one lap completed Jackson and Fuller tangled on the front straightaway. Jackson went pitside but Fuller was able to continue from the tail of the field for the restart.
Up front Davenport was in control of the field as he restarted as the event’s leader. Madden moved by Francis on the restart and began to give chase to the 6 Longhorn Chassis. Madden was able to draw back to Davenport within the first 8 laps. Behind the lead duo Shane Clanton began to make his presence known as he worked his way up to third from his 10th starting spot, bypassing Robinson for the spot. Clanton wasn’t finished flexing his muscle as he caught Madden and then pulled even with him. Clanton hounded Madden over the next 3 laps pulling even no less than 3 times. But Clanton found himself being challenged by a resurgent Robinson. 2 laps later Robinson covered the spot as Clanton began to struggle suddenly, Clanton retired to the pits shortly after.
Up front Madden who had once again began to pressure for the lead muscled his way by Davenport exiting turn 4. Davenport slipped back to 4th behind the now 2nd running Scott Bloomquist and Tim McCreadie. However McCreadie would draw the yellow flag as his machine rolled to a stop in turn 4 after losing a right rear tire. Under the yellow as McCreadie was changing his flat tire Bloomquist gave up the runner-up spot to pit for tires. This allowed Davenport to resume the 2nd position.
The restart changed the complexion of the event yet again as Clint Smith, who had pitted for tires early, grabbed 2nd at the drop of the green and then made a strong move to the inside of Madden for the lead entering turn one. Smith pulled alongside Madden but the leader slammed the door down the back straightaway. Smith kept up the challenge for several laps until another yellow slowed the action again.
Seemingly from out of nowhere, the 21st starting Terrance Nowell emerged as the fastest car on the track. Nowell systematically moved by Smith and Davenport in one fail swoop to take 2nd. Nowell, a Phenix City native, then rolled by Madden to take the lead. Nowell drove away over the next several laps until yet another yellow slowed the pace when Chris Ferguson blew a right rear tire. As Nowell was pacing the field under the yellow his car suddenly slowed and rolled to a stop in turn 3. Nowell had to pit because of apparent fuel pressure problems.
Nowell’s misfortune once again handed the lead back to Madden. Over the final stages several drivers lost right rear tires. Only Madden, Davenport and Don O’Neal had not yet had to pit for a tire. As the front duo took the white flag it was obvious that Davenport was trying to mount a last ditch charge for the lead. Exiting turn 4 headed to the checkers Davenport made slight contact with Madden as he tried to move to his outside. Both drivers straightened out and Madden beat Davenport to the line by just a car length.
NDRL ‘Kings of Dirt’ Super Late Models – Results
17th Annual Bama Bash – East Alabama Motor Speedway
February 28 – March 1, 2014
Fast Qualifier: Jonathan Davenport 14.949 seconds
Finish – Start – Car # - Name – Hometown - Purse
1. (3) 44 Chris Madden – Gray Court, SC - $17, 017
2. (1) 6 Jonathan Davenport – Blairsville, GA - $8,000
3. (20) 44 Clint Smith – Senoia, GA - $4,000
4. (8) 0 Scott Bloomquist – Mooresburg, TN - $2,000
5. (7) 5 Don O'Neal – Martinsville, IN - $1,900
6. (13) 53 Ray Cook – Brasstown, NC - $1,800
7. (14) 33T Tom Maddox – Centre, AL - $1,700
8. (17) 28 Dennis Erb Jr. – Carpentersville, IL - $1,600
9. (11) 57J Bub McCool – Vicksburg, MS - $1,500
10. (9) 21 Billy Moyer – Batesville, AR - $1,400
11. (5) 22 Chris Ferguson – Mt. Holly, NC - $1,300
12. (25) 111 Max Blair – Centerville, PA - $1,200
13. (4) 7R Kent Robinson – Bloomington, IN - $1,100
14. (22) 19 Tim Fuller – Watertown, NY - $1,000
15. (12) 23 John Blankenship – Williamson, WV - $1,000
16. (15) 21JR Billy Moyer Jr. – Batesville, AR - $1,000
17. (19) 25z Mason Zeigler – Chalk Hill, PA - $1,000
18. (21) 55 Terrance Nowell – Phenix City, AL - $1,000
19. (18) 25 Mike Benedum – Bristol, WV - $1,000
20. (6) 39 Tim McCreadie – Watertown, NY - $1,000
21. (2) 15 Steve Francis – Ashland, KY - $1,000
22. (10) 25 Shane Clanton – Zebulon, GA - $1,000
23. (24) 19 William Thomas – Phenix City, AL - $1,000
24. (23) 56 Tony Jackson Jr. – Lebanon, MO - $1,000
25. (16) 28 Jimmy Mars – Menominie, WI - $1,000
DNQ: Eric Cooley, Joe Armistead, Jr., Lavon Sparks, JR Moseley, Jason Krohn, Ricky Culpepper, Mario Gresham, Billy Ogle, Jr., Chase Junghans, Mike McConnell, Brandon Overton, Jim Manka and Cale Simons
Heat 1: Chris Madden, Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer, Ray Cook, Terrance Nowell, Mason Zeigler, Lavon Sparks, Brandon Overton, Chanse Junghans, Mike McConnell
Heat 2: Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie, Shane Clanton, Tom Maddox, Dennis Erb Jr., Joe Armistead Jr., Max Blair, Cale Simons, Jim Manka
Heat 3: Steve Francis, Chris Ferguson, Bub McCool, Billy Moyer Jr., Bily Ogle Jr., Mike Benedum, Tim Fuller, Mario Gresham, J.R. Moseley, Ricky Culpepper
Heat 4: Kent Robinson, Don O’Neal, John Blankenship, Jimmy Mars, Clint Smith, Tony Jackson Jr., Eric Cooley, Jason Krohn, William Thomas
2014 NDRL ‘Kings of Dirt’ Point Standings
As of March 1, 2014
1. 44 Chris Madden 200
2. 6 Jonathan Davenport 196
3. 44 Clint Smith 194
4. 0 Scott Bloomquist 192
5. 5 Don O’Neal 190
6. 53 Ray Cook 188
7. 33T Tom Maddox 186
8. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. 184
9. 57J Bub McCool 182
10. 21 Billy Moyer 180
11. 22 Chris Ferguson 178
12. 111 Max Blair 176
13. 7R Kent Robinson 174
14. 19 Tim Fuller 172
15. 23 John Blankenship 170
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