*Turn 2 Blog is a regular feature on InsideDirtRacing.com. Here, site operators Michael Moats and Richard Allen take turns offering their thoughts on the dirt racing topics of the day from east Tennessee and beyond.
Richard: On Tuesday morning the news came down that Chris Madden would no longer campaign in the Barry Wright Race Cars that he has driven over the past couple of seasons. Instead he will compete next season in Capital Race Cars owned by Iowa’s Greg Bruening. Once again, the Gray Court, SC racer will compete for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship that has eluded him over the past two seasons.
It had not been a particularly well kept secret that Madden would be going in a somewhat different direction in 2019 and now that news is official.
To me, this announcement seems to make sense on a number of levels.
First, Madden has come close to claiming the WoO title and this opportunity gives him a chance to continue that quest. It has been speculated that Barry Wright might not want to travel as much as is needed to race on a national tour so the driver had to find another situation. And more, the resources appear to be in place for another run with Capital and Clements Racing Engines on board for the challenge of a full season.
Second, Capital needed another top driver to provide the feedback necessary to compete at a high level over the long haul of a racing season. Former WoO champion Shane Clanton has carried the banner for the Georgia-based chassis brand with a variety of drivers moving in and out of those cars. This move will provide Capital with a championship level pilot who can offer solid information that can be shared among the teams in the same way the Rocket Chassis and Longhorn Chassis teams operate.
And finally, Madden and Clanton already have a good relationship with each other so there should not be much of a learning period required. And with Capital boss Marshall Green also out on the road leading a team for driver Tyler Breuning, the organization should see significant benefits right away.
Do you see this as a good move for all involved?
Michael: I see this as a good move for Capital. As you said, this gives them another top-level driver to provide feedback on their cars. Madden has had success in nearly every chassis he has run and I see this situation as no different. He should give some feedback the program has been missing.
As for Madden, he’s one of those drivers that could run almost anything and be successful in it. I see no difference in him being in a Capital. It should be a win-win situation for both Madden and Capital.
Richard: Agreed. Madden is very likely to be competitive right away. And it has to be considered that he’s not exactly coming into a brand new situation. Capital has had success in the past and Clanton seemed to end the 2018 season on a little bit of an upswing. And at the time when Madden joined Barry Wright those cars weren’t exactly a hot item so, as you say, he has the ability to raise up what ever equipment he sits in.
The unification with Madden and the Breuning team would seem to offer hope that those cars could rise up and challenge the other brands.
Now that this move is officially done there may be more announcements to come very soon. There are many rumors out there regarding the statuses of several drivers and teams.
Is there any particular piece of information you are most interested in hearing of?
Michael: Well, I have two that I am interested in. The first is who will get the Dunn-Benson Motorsports ride. There have been several names associated with that ride, but nothing has been announced by Dunn-Benson or the drivers rumored for that ride. I suppose we’ll hear something by the time the PRI show comes around.
The other is where will Don O’Neal be. The strongest rumor is he will be driving the MasterSbilt house car next season. The other is he will stay with Clint Bowyer Racing. Nothing official has come from CBR on 2019, even the not-so-secret news that Josh Richards will be replacing Darrell Lanigan.
The one item of local interest is who will be the driver in 2019 of the Blount Motorsports ride. Donald McIntosh will be driving for them this weekend in the Leftover at 411 Motor Speedway. Many seem to think it’s his for 2019. The team had a strong interest in a couple of other drivers last year when Casey Roberts eventually got the ride. It will be interesting to see if McIntosh gets it or one of the other “finalists” from last year.
Richard: I too am interested in seeing who takes over for Bobby Pierce in the Dunn Benson car as well as whether or not Pierce remains on the Lucas Oil tour or if he and his family opt to return to a regional schedule. But I would say my most keen interest is on Clint Bowyer Racing because there are so many questions there regarding Josh Richards. Will that organization stay as a two car team or cut back to one car? And what crew members they will have once all the moves come down?
Like you, I see the Blount Motorsports situation as an intriguing one. I’m not sure why things didn’t quite work out there for Casey Roberts but that team has always provided one of the top regional rides in the country. Apparently the fit just wasn’t right for Roberts, who is a very talented driver.
One thing is for sure, there is a lot of news still to come. It will make for an interesting next month or so.
Short-track racing fans:
Please consider reading –> Brandon Setzer making his own way in short-track racing or Matt Craig enjoying racing life as PASS South champion