Chris Madden outlasts the field to claim ninth Blue-Gray 100

Chris Madden

The Blue-Gray 100 at Gaffney Speedway more often than not comes down to tire management. And as he has proven for nine times, including the past three years, nobody is better at knowing what it takes to get a race car to the finish line in that race at that track ahead of the pack than Chris Madden. The pilot known as ‘Smokey’ led all the way in the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series main event and was the only driver at the finish still riding on the same four tires he started with when the green flag waved.

The Longhorn Chassis driver from Gray Court, SC earned $20,000 from the track located in Gaffney, SC.

A total of 21 cars were signed in for competition

Qualifying Results: 1. Chris Madden(14.890), 2. Zack Mitchell, 3. Ethan Dotson, 4. Ben Watkins, 5. Jordan Koehler, 6. Gray Parton, 7. Tanner English, 8. Donald McIntosh, 9. Trent Ivey, 10. Daulton Wilson, 11. David McCoy, 12. Christian Thomas, 13. Benji Hicks, 14. Dennis Franklin, 15. Austin Kirkpatrick, 16. Adam Yarbrough, 17. Anthony Sanders, 18. David Yandle, 19. Caleb Fulp, 20. Josh Henry

Heat 1 Results: 1. Chris Madden, 2. Tanner English, 3. Jordan Koehler, 4. Trent Ivey, 5. Benji Hicks, 6. David McCoy, 7. Austin Kirkpatrick, 8. Anthony Sanders, 9. Caleb Fulp, 10. Ethan Dotson, 11. Nick Yandle

Heat 2 Results: 1. Zack Mitchell, 2. Ben Watkins, 3. Gray Parton, 4. Daulton Wilson, 5. Donald McIntosh, 6. Christian Thomas, 7. Dennis Franklin, 8. Adam Yarbrough, 9. Josh Henry, 10. David Yandle

Feature Re-cap: The start of the 100-lap feature saw Madden bolt to the early lead with Mitchell, Watkins, English and Parton trailing. Wilson took fifth away from Parton on the second circuit and the front runners would remain in that order for the next several laps even after traffic became a factor. 

The race’s first caution did not come until lap 35 when Parton slowed with a flat tire. Following the restart, the top-5 in the running order remained the same but McIntosh, Hicks and Ivey engaged in a fierce fight for positions 6-8.

The next yellow flag waved on lap 66 when Franklin slowed with a flat. Under that caution period, Watkins, English and Wilson played the strategy of changing tires in hopes that they would be able to quickly climb back through the field with a fresh right rear tire.

A string of cautions for flat tires between laps 81 and 96 left Madden, Watkins, Mitchell and Hicks to battle it out over the final four laps. Madden would then hold off those challenges to score the win.

Feature Results: 1. Chris Madden, 2. Ben Watkins, 3. Zack Mitchell, 4. Benji Hicks, 5. Daulton Wilson, 6. Dennis Franklin, 7. Anthony Sanders, 8. Jordan Koehler, 9. Josh Henry, 10. Donald McIntosh, 11. Trent Ivey, 12. David McCoy, 13. Christian Thomas, 14. Tanner English, 15. Gray Parton, 16. David Yandle, 17. Caleb Fulp, 18. Adam Yarbrough

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