Chris Madden most comfortable when calling his own shots

Chris Madden surrounded by family and crew at 411

The year 2020 has been a chaotic for all of us but that has been especially true for Dirt Late Model standout Chris Madden. Hopes were high at the beginning of the season as the veteran driver began on the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series with sponsorship from Drydene Performance Products on his Scott Bloomquist Racing car. That was following a second half of the previous campaign that had seen him score multiple wins in some of the sport’s biggest events. Eventually, however, the team’s performance dropped causing Madden and SBR to part ways.

The Gray Court, SC racer then joined forces with Millwood Motorsports to compete as a teammate with Tyler Millwood on the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals during the summer. That pairing resulted in four feature wins and a second place finish in the overall standings behind winner Brandon Overton.

Following a brief union with Joey Coulter’s Rum Runner Racing organization, Madden now finds himself back to operating his own team. Chris Madden Racing resumed operations this past weekend with a third place finish in the WoO Late Models event at Cherokee Speedway on Friday night in Gaffney, SC followed up by a win with that same series on Saturday evening at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, TN.

“What an awesome weekend,” Madden declared in an interview with following his victory at 411. “I don’t think it could have gone any better, I mean obviously we could have won last night and had two wins. Actually, we had the speed to do it last night but it just didn’t fall our way, we started too far back. We were a little off there at the beginning but we just kept adjusting trying to find the balance of our car. We hit last night pretty good then we just came here today and tuned on it and had an awesome race car.”

The feat of running so well while joining in with a national touring series was particularly remarkable considering all of the turnover for Madden in this year.

“2020 has been upside down for me, there’s no doubting that,” Madden pointed out in his post-race interview with WoO announcer Rick Eshelman following the 411 feature. “We haven’t quit though, we stuck it out, we battled hard. My family has stuck behind me through it all and they’ve kept pushing me.”

Chris Madden in his new Rocket

CMR is employing Rocket Chassis with power supplied by Durham Race Engines in this revival. It was that brand of race car the 45-year-old drove for the Millwood team during the Southern Nationals. The driver/owner credits Steve Baker and Mark Richards of the Rocket organization for that company’s ability to meet his needs quickly.

“Steve has been great,” Madden stated. “We definitely had to get some things together in a hurry. It’s just amazing how well organized they are. All the parts and pieces they sent fit on this car perfectly. I have to thank Mark and all those guys. A lot of people have worked extremely hard to make this happen.”

Although he has experienced success driving for others, Madden’s independent nature seems to lend itself to being his own man on the race track. So is this driver better suited for determining his own destiny?

“I do agree with that, me being in control of what I do,” he insisted. “But it takes all of these guys that’s on this car to make us capable of doing this. I couldn’t do this deal without some help and I have some extremely good people who stand behind me and I appreciate them stepping up when I needed them.”

Independence aside, however, Madden was quick to thank his supporters following the race win at 411.

“There’s a lot of people in this program here that are very important to me and have helped make this deal work,” Madden said in his victory lane interview. “The Drydene guys have stuck with me through thick and thin, Derrick at Millwood Plumbing helped put this deal together, Billy Franklin for what he’s done helping me got my team going, Jamie with Henderson Amusement has been with me forever, Steve Baker and Mark Richards at Rocket Chassis, Penske Racing Shocks, Durham Race Engines, VP Racing Fuels, Hoosier Racing Tire, this wouldn’t be possible without our supporters.”

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