Sarver, PA – Chris Madden collected his third World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series win of the 2018 season during the first of three nights for the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway. With this victory, Madden slightly widens his lead over Mike Marlar by 8 points and 36 points over Brandon Sheppard in the point standings. Headed into the event, Madden and Marlar were separated by a slim two points, which is just a one position difference in the feature.
Marlar led the first 10 laps of the main event but never widened his lead more than half of a second over an elbows-up Madden. On lap 10, coming out of turns three and four, Madden threw a slide job positioning himself in front of Marlar who nearly fell off of the cushion. Madden commanded the lead on lap 11 of the 30-lap event never to surrender the top spot again.
“It was a lot of fun. Me and Mikey raced hard for about the first ten laps or so. He ran a little bit different tire combination. I think we did the right one tonight,” said Madden in Victory Lane. “My car was great. My guys worked hard this weekend while I took a little vacation with my family. I came back to everything perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I want to let those guys know down there that I really appreciate it.”
Following Marlar’s shift up the banking, Sheppard and Shane Clanton began to seriously challenge him for the second spot. The New Berlin, IL driver of the Rocket1 Racing machine capitalized on the mistake, leaving Marlar and Clanton to run door-to-door while he shifted his focus to the race leader. Despite a late race charge with two laps to go, Sheppard finished 0.381 seconds short of victory.
“I definitely feel like we are headed in the right direction for sure,” said Sheppard. “We hung with Madden the whole time there so I think we had a really good car tonight… As long as we’re up here on the podium that’s all that matters to us… We know that as long as we stay out front the wins will come eventually.”
Marlar settled for a third-place finish after collecting the PFC Brakes Fast Time Award, claiming his heat win and starting on the pole of the 30-lap shootout.
“This is a bucket list thing for me to run with the World of Outlaws,” said Marlar. “I’ve never got to run a tour with a national touring series, and finally after all of the time I’ve raced, I finally have the opportunity to come out here and race night in and night out. Wherever those points fall, they fall, but we’re going to do the best we can do every day.”
Clanton, who was battling up front the entire feature, retired on lap 24 as he was chasing down Marlar. He swiftly pulled into the pits with axle damage.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to action on Friday at Lernerville Speedway for the second night of the Firecracker 100. Join us in Sarver, PA for two more nights of shootouts or watch the action from the comfort of your home on dirtvision.com.
Abbreviated Results from Lernerville Speedway
Sears Craftsman Feature (30 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden [$6,000]; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$3,000]; 3. 157-Mike Marlar [$2,000]; 4. 0-Scott Bloomquist [$1,750]; 5. 9-Devin Moran [$1,500]; 6. 72n-Mike Norris [$1,400]; 7. 17M-Dale McDowell [$1,300]; 8. 22-Chris Ferguson [$1,200]; 9. 10-Jared Miley [$1,100]; 10. 14-Darrell Lanigan [$1,000]; 11. 18c-Chase Junghans [$900]; 12. 1x-Chub Frank [$850]; 13. 22s-Gregg Satterlee [$800]; 14. 91-Tyler Erb [$775]; 15. 14m-Morgan Bagley [$750]; 16. 72-Jason Covert [$700]; 17. 7-Rick Eckert [$660]; 18. 4-Alex Ferree [$640]; 19. 89-Justin Williams [$620]; 20. B1-Brent Larson [$600]; 21. 94-Charles Powell [$600]; 22. 25-Shane Clanton [$600]; 23. 54-David Breazeale [$600]; 24. 1C-Mike Pegher [$600]
-World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series (WoOLMS.com) Press Release
-Photo credit: Dustin Jarrett