The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series made its way to the Rome Speedway on Sunday night to contest the second leg of a Peach State double header weekend. When the dust had settled it was Chris Madden who came away from the Georgia track with the winner’s trophy and a check valued at $10,000. The Gray Court, SC driver, who is a regular on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, became the 20th different winner on the LOLMDS in 2018.
Earl Pearson, Jr. led the way in Group A qualifying and overall as he turned a lap in 13.127 seconds around the half-mile clay oval to better the efforts of Madden, Michael Page and Casey Roberts.
Scott Bloomquist proved to be the fastest in Group B time-trials with a lap of 13.442 seconds to beat out Dennis Erb, Jr., Brandon Overton and Jimmy Owens.
Pearson earned the pole for the feature by winning the first heat race of the night ahead of Shane Clanton, Darrell Lanigan and Page while Madden captured the second preliminary over Roberts, Jonathan Davenport and Gregg Satterlee.
Bloomquist would start from the outside of the front row in the main event after scoring the win in the third heat by beating Tyler Millwood, Tim McCreadie and Overton to the finish line just before Owens took the final heat of the night ahead of Josh Richards, Erb and Dale McDowell.
Jason Hiett and Don O’Neal won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting grid.
At the start of the 50-lap feature it was Bloomquist who fired into the early lead with Pearson, Erb, Millwood and Madden following. Madden wasted little time in making his move forward as he passed by Millwood to take fourth on the second circuit. Just one lap later Owens began to look like a serious threat for the win as he swung to the high side of the track to grab second away from Pearson.
In the meantime, Bloomquist slipped away to a lead of ten car lengths over the pack as they continued to battle behind him.
A lap 8 caution flag waved when Clanton slowed on the track. It would be the first of nine yellow flags with the majority of those related to flat tires.
On the ensuing restart Madden powered his way around Owens on the outside to take the runner-up position. Then on lap 9 the No. 44 car would go to the lead as Madden roared around Bloomquist with another outside pass.
Over the next several laps cautions for flat tires and other issues would make up much of the story. Owens, Pearson, Satterlee, Zeigler, Bloomquist, Richards, Overton and O’Neal would all be impacted by one issue or another during the course of the feature.
During the closing laps it was McCreadie who would emerge as the biggest threat to Madden’s supremacy. The New York native dove below Madden’s car on multiple occasions over the final ten laps but was never able to complete the pass.
After the final caution on lap 48, Madden won the dash to the finish to claim the victory.
Feature Finish: !. Chris Madden, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Jonathan Davenport, 4. Tyler Millwood, 5. Dale McDowell, 6. Michael Page, 7. Jason Hiett, 8. Dennis Erb, Jr., 9. Clint Smith, 10. Gregg Satterlee, 11. Scott Bloomquist, 12. Bobby Pierce, 13. Darrell Lanigan, 14. Shane Clanton, 15. Brandon Overton, 16. Earl Pearson, Jr., 17. Josh Richards, 18. John Henderson, 19. Justin Shipley, 20. Kyle Bronson, 21. Don O’Neal, 22. Jimmy Owens, 23. Mason Zeigler, 24. Casey Roberts