By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (May 6) — With Volunteer Speedway and Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, Va., teaming-up for a two-night battle along the Interstate 81 corridor in the Volunteer State and the Commonwealth of Virginia, presenting “Border Wars – Mountain Mayhem Shootout” for Super Late Models paying $5,000-to-win each round, Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., gunned the field down Friday at “The Gap” to put himself in position to collect a $1,500 bonus if he wins Saturday night at Wythe Raceway, thus earning $11,500 total for winning at both tracks.
An impressive 30-car field of Super Late Model competitors (representing eight states: South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas) were present for qualifying, and a tacky, hooked-up racing surface was prepared to produce fast times. Madden put a buzz in the crowd on a chilly night in East Tennessee as he toured the high banks at 12.222-seconds (118.404 mph) to earn the pole position for the 50-lap main event, with Jonathan Davenport second quickest at 12.255 to secure the outside front row starting berth.
Behind Madden and Davenport on the clocks were Mike Marlar at 12.292, grandson of NASCAR multi-team owner Richard Childress Ty Dillon at 12.293, and Steve Smith at 12.311. One of the fastest fields at “The Gap” in quite awhile saw the last-place starting car of two-time Volunteer Speedway champion Mark Douglas in the lineup with a time of 12.835.
At the waving of green flag Madden and Davenport blasted door-to-door down the front straightaway into the first turn, with Madden jumping into the lead and Marlar settling into second followed by Davenport, Ty Dillon and Smith. John Blankenship got around Smith for fifth on lap 3 racing off the fourth turn.
With Madden setting sail out front, Davenport was working on Marlar for the runner-up spot and finally wrestled the position away racing off turn four on lap 8. Both Blankenship and Smith got around Ty Dillon on lap 9 between turns three and four, with the current Automobile Racing Club of America points leader and winner three weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway Dillon dropping back to sixth in the running order.
With race leader Madden closing on the rear of the field by lap 14, Davenport pulled to the rear bumper ready to challenge for the point. Racing into the first turn on lap 26, with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Austin Dillon directly in front of Madden, racing off (turn) two Madden went to the inside of Dillon while Davenport carried momentum off the high-side to pull outside of Dillon down the backstretch – making it three-wide. Entering the third turn Davenport grabbed the lead and Madden began pursuit trying to grab the lead once again.
With Davenport showing the way out front negotiating lapped traffic, Madden was riding in Davenport’s rearview mirror waiting for the opportune moment to make his move. Getting a strong run on the bottom off the fourth turn on lap 30, Madden raced down the front straightaway into the first turn and pulled alongside Davenport. Exiting turn two, Madden pulled ahead of Davenport to take a lead he would never relinquish.
Caution waved on lap 35 when the third-running Marlar came to a stop high in turn two with a broken j-bar and driveshaft, bringing a disappointing end to a strong run for Marlar.
Madden was all alone out front for the Delaware Double-File Restart, with Davenport and Blankenship side-by-side behind him. As the field raced past the flagstand into the first turn, Davenport slid high and got into the outside guardrail between turns one and two, with his ride sustaining damage to the rear to force him off the pace where he slowly coasted around the track and into the pits for the remainder of the race.
With both Davenport and Marlar parked in the pits, the 35-year-old Madden, driving the Century Plastics Inc./Hamrick’s of Gaffney/KC Transport/Cushman Paint & Body/Freeman Plumbing/Henderson Amusement/Swiftco/Xtreme Customs & Cycles/Time Out Family Restaurant/Allstar Performance/ASI Racewear/Hoosier Racing Tires/Cornett Racing Engines/No. 44 Bloomquist Race Car, rolled to the $5,000 victory over Blankenship, with Smith turning in a fine performance to finish third followed by Ray Cook and Steve Casebolt.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Chad Ogle, Jimmy Owens, Ty Dillon, Eric Wells and Tommy Kerr.
“We had a really great race car tonight, this place was really hooked up and fast,” said Madden following his $5,000 victory in the pits. “These Bloomquist Race Cars are really good here. Scott’s (Bloomquist) got a lot of laps around Volunteer Speedway and he’s really helped us with set-up advice. Jonathan (Davenport) and I really had a good battle going on, it was a heckuva race and I want to thank him for racing me clean. He and I really put on a good show for the fans.”
Making his first-ever start at Volunteer Speedway, teenager Mack McCarter grabbed the early lead over pole-sitter Dale Ball, Jerry Broyles, Weston Gantte and Jake Eaton in the Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Model feature. McCarter rode out front until getting sideways racing off fourth turn on lap 8 when a tire started going flat, with Ball and comrades-in-arms all shooting past.
After assuming the lead Ball, from Johnson City, driving the Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson of Johnson City/Luke’s Pizza of Johnson City/Alan Poyner Enterprises/Mainline Communications/Jim Schweitzer Inc./Twin D Auto & Truck Sales of Johnson City/Tri-City Rubber & Gasket Co./Advance Auto Parts/Envy Suspension/Warrior Race Cars/No. 2 Chevrolet Impala, rode his mount to second victory of the season. Ball was trailed at the finish by Broyles, Andy Ogle, Gantte and Eaton.
R.J. Mayes of Rogersville jumped into the lead over Jamie Whitt at the start of 20-lap “Gunslingers of Kingsport” Hobby Stock feature and proceeded to lead flag-to-flag to capture the victory. Whitt and Dustin Shaver battled hard for the runner-up position, and the duo got together racing off the fourth turn and almost wrecked with a couple laps remaining, thus allowing Devin Helton, Dale Reed, Jesse Helton and Robbie Woods to get past and record top five finishes.
Brian Ellis of Unicoi held off a hard-charging Jesse Wilder to win the Road Warrior feature, with Robert Barndt, Chris Nailon and Kyle Hunter chasing them to the checkers.
SUPER LATE MODEL $5,000-TO-WIN “BORDER WARS – MOUNTAIN MAYHEM SHOOTOUT”
Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown
1. (1) Chris Madden #44-Gray Court, SC
2. (6) John Blankenship #23-Williamson, WV
3. (5) Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN
4. (10) Ray Cook #53-Brasstown, NC
5. (16) Steve Casebolt #c9-Bloomington, IN
6. (7) Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN
7. (10) Jimmy Owens #20-Newport, TN
8. (4) Ty Dillon #41-Lewisville, NC
9. (17) Eric Wells #18-Hazard, KY
10. (23) Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN
11. (8) Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN
12. (15) Chris Brown #21-Cleveland, TX
13. (12) Brian Reese #33-Sharpsburg, GA
14. (22) Austin Dillon #3-Lewisville, NC
15. (2) Jonathan Davenport #49-Blairsville, GA
16. (3) Mike Marlar #36-Winfield, TN
17. (19) Randy Weaver #5-Crossville, TN
18. (11) Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN
19. (14) Mike Gault #17-Gaffney, SC
20. (20) Scott Creel #31-Franklinton, LA
21. (18) Mark Vineyard #4-Powell, TN
22. (21) Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN
23. (13) Zack Mitchell #57-Enoree, SC
24. (24) Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN
B-MAIN (12 Laps – Top 6 Finishers Transfer)
1. Randy Weaver #5-Crossville, TN
2. Scott Creel #31-Franklinton, LA
3. Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN
4. Austin Dillon #3-Lewisville, NC
5. Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN
6. Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN
7. Chris Ferguson #22-Mount Holly, NC
8. Jeff Maupin #25-Greeneville, TN
9. David Taylor #14-Fayetteville, NC
10. Donald Bradsher #93-Burlington, NC
11. John Tweed #5-Greeneville, TN
12. Jeff Chanler #11c-Minden, LA
PRO (CRATE) LATE MODEL (25 laps)
1) Dale Ball #2; 2) Jerry Broyles #72; 3) Andy Ogle #68; 4) Weston Gantte #14; 5) Jake Eaton #29; 6) Jordan Dill #22; 7) Bobby Mays #19; 8) Forrest Trent #4Q; 9) Tim Byrd #24; 10) Ricky Moore #75; 11) Tim Maupin #2T; 12) Richard Adkins #73; 13) Tyler Dixon #00; 14) Mike Smith #4; 15) Hugh Scalf #56; 16) Zack Mitchell #57; 17) Vic Chandler #88; 18) James Cole #5c; 19) Mack McCarter #71c; 20) Todd Brooks #T1 – Did Not Start: Keith Helton #5
“GUNSLINGERS OF KINGSPORT” HOBBY STOCK (20-laps)
1) R.J. Mayes #6m; 2) Devin Helton #17; 3) Dale Reed #52; 4) Jesse Helton #28; 5) Robbie Woods #2; 6) Shannon Davidson #4; 7) Jamie Whitt #1; 8) Ricky Gosnell #15; 9) Dustin Shaver #7; 10) Kaleb Trent #34; 11) Danny Helton #88
ROAD WARRIOR (10 laps)
1) Brian Ellis #48; 2) Jesse Wilder #79; 3) Robert Barndt #14; 4) Chris Nailon #54; 5) Kyle Hunter #7-11
Volunteer Speedway (Recording Only): (423) 235-5020 www.VolunteerSpeedway.com
Track Office – Weekdays Only 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: (423) 378-5942
Phyllis Loven (Track Owner): (423) 676-9081
Robert Walden – Media/Public Relations: (423) 928-9644