Dave Mader III has accomplished a lot during a long and storied career, but the 60-year-old champion managed to add another notch in the record book with a victory in the Faith Chapel Funeral Home Super Stock 50 lap race at Five Flags Speedway Friday night.
"I'm the first driver to win the Snowball in three classes," a jubilant Mader told Speed51.com moments after climbing from his car with a hearty fistpump. "I've won the Sunday race [1978 Snowball] and the Saturday race [Pro Late Model]. But this is my first win in this class. This is just real special."
Mader's slick looking Super Stock was clearly the class of the field from the very start of the day. While other teams worked hard on adjusting their cars during practice, Mader stayed in his street clothes and took in the competition. When it came time to qualify, Mader simply strapped in and obliterated the old track record with a 17.616 second lap.
The race itself, however, would prove to be Mader's toughest challenge. Despite starting on the pole and quickly pulling a big lead early, Mader saw both Patrick Thomas and Corbitt Moseley mount significant challenges for the lead. Thomas would squirrel by just past the halfway point with a bold move through traffic. And then Moseley would take advantage on a restart later when Mader bobbled in turn one.
But in both cases Mader quickly found his way back to the point, aided by his closest rivals taking themselves out as the race wore down. Thomas slammed the wall racing Moseley hard for second and dropped out of the event. A few laps later, while running second, Moseley was disqualified from the event after a number of disagreements with track officials about race procedures.
From there, Mader simply cruised to a half-second victory on Dustin Knowles, who kept Mader honest until the checkered flag flew.
"I had to dig, dig way there in the pocket. I knew I wasn't in a good position there a few times," Mader reflected. "Just trying to be a little too careful in traffic. But I commend those guys. The fans came here to see a race and boy, that's what they got. The 26 [Moseley] and 25 [Thomas] ran me hard, but we had a lot of fun. I hope it was a good show."
Colin Allman, Todd Jones, and Joe Bethea rounded out the top-five.
-- Story by Tim Quievryn // Speed51.com Southeast Editor // @thethirdturn
-- Photos by Bruce Nuttleman // Speed51.com Photos