In June of 2019 things might have looked pretty bleak for Dirt Late Model racer Chris Madden from the eyes of some. But despite the fact that he and the Skyline Motorsports team he had joined with earlier in the year had parted ways, the Gray Court, SC driver still believed in himself and his abilities. Instead of disaster for the racing star, the second half of the season proved to be the high point in a career that has featured many wins and championships.
One month following his separation from Skyline, Madden found himself partnered with Scott Bloomquist Racing serving initially as a crew chief for Bloomquist and ultimately as the driver of his own Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car in an effort that would lead to a total of ten wins including crown jewel victories in the USA Nationals, the North-South 100, and the Topless 100.
Bloomquist, along with business partner Cody Sommer, hammered out the plan that led to Madden’s success following the time when the Hall of Fame driver was still hampered by injuries suffered in a March motorcycle accident.
“You know, it’s always possible,” Madden said of his recent success in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “I don’t ever count anything out. I guess if I don’t think I can get ’em then I don’t need to be here doing it. It’s definitely been a blessing for sure to put the team together that we’ve put together with Scott and Cody.”
Earlier in his career Madden had driven Bloomquist Race Cars but circumstances had led him in different directions over the past few seasons. Following a one year stint as the driver of the Barry Wright Race Cars house car that resulted in a third place finish in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series standings in 2018, Madden paired with Skyline Motorsports for another run at that series title in 2019. But that deal fell through just two months into the season.
Now, Madden is pleased to be back in the cars built out of the Mooresburg, Tenn. shops. And if not for a golf cart accident prior to the running of this year’s Dirt Million that left him with a damaged eye socket, Madden believes the reunification might have gone even better.
“It’s pretty awesome for us to get back together as teammates and to be able to pull off the wins we’ve put together,” Madden declared of his reunification with Bloomquist. “It’s definitely been fun and I think there could have been some more wins if I hadn’t got hurt. We got hurt and that kind of put us down for a little while but overall we’ve still been very competitive. We went to Charlotte and got a win there and had a chance at getting another one but got into a little incident there that kind of hurt us. I’m just really pleased with how our performance has been and how our team has performed. The guys we’ve put in position and the job they’ve done for us, I just couldn’t ask for more right now.”
While Madden and Bloomquist are competitors on the track, the 44-year-old driver says their relationship off the track has continued to grow. The five-time Southern Nationals champion points out that the two stars ability to communicate has been key to this year’s achievements.
“Me and Scott have had a relationship for 20+ years so it’s not like anything new,” Madden explained. “We’ve just been building on it day in and day out and it’s just getting better and better. We were great friends before and we haven’t done anything to each other to hurt our relationship so it hasn’t been hard to make it happen. It feels like I never missed a beat.
“We help each other and work great as a team together and that’s what counts the most,” he continued. “We need to continue to help each other and not ever let the competitiveness get in the way in the pits at race tracks. We have to make sure we keep our heads together and make it our goal for one of us winning the race every night.”
Madden keeps the car he races at his own shop in Gaffney, SC where he and crew members perform maintenance and keep it ready for the next event. Should anything major be needed, it can be taken back to Bloomquist’s shop for more extensive repairs.
And if all goes to plan, that arrangement seems likely to continue into the future.
“Right now, we’re just trying to get everything worked out and our heads together for 2020,” Madden said. “I would be looking out for something to be posted pretty soon. I don’t see much changing and we’re just going to be better and better.”
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