It did not take long for Chris Madden to find victory lane after teaming up with Tyler Millwood for the Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals race on Friday, July 10, 2020. Madden, of Gray Court, South Carolina, capitalized on his first time out with Millwood Motorsports.
Ross Bailes jumped out to an early lead in the 53 lap race. Madden, worked his way from his fifth starting position to second place by lap two in the Millwood Motorsports, Millwood Plumbing, Machine Construction Company, Drydene, On-Time Hauling, Penske Shocks, and Competition Race Equipment-sponsored Clements Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis.
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A quick caution flag came out when David Payne, in a new chassis, was involved in a rollover crash. The yellow turned into a red flag while the crew worked to help Payne and Mark Whitener, who was also involved in the melee. Neither driver was injured.
The race resumed with Madden mounting an attack on Bailes for the lead lap after lap. Making a run on lap nine, Madden passed for the lead, then used a caution-free remainder of the race to pull away from the field.
Late in the race, Dale McDowell moved into second and began to reel in Madden as the leader encountered lap traffic. McDowell made the late-race charge to pull even with Madden and challenge for the lead on several corners.
Madden held off those challenges to take the win and round 1 of the Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals. McDowell was not the only driver making a hard charge to the front as Cory Hedgecock went from ninth to finish on the podium in third. Brandon Overton went from 17th to finish fourth. Polesitter Bailes held off Chris Ferguson for fifth.
Race Results: Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels. Smoky Mountain Speedway-Maryville, Tennessee. July 10, 2020
Heat One: Ross Bailes, Chris Madden, Cory Hedgecock, Kyle Hardy, Tommy Kerr, Derek Ellis, Cody King, Chuck Southard, Brandon Overton (DNS)
Heat Two: Dale McDowell, Michael Chilton, Donald McIntosh, Mark Whitener, Robby Moses, Jadon Frame, Trent Ivey, Craig Greer.
Heat Three: Chris Ferguson, David Payne, Dakotah Knuckles, John Baker, Camaron Marlar, Dusty Carver, Steve Smith, Joe Denby, G.R. Smith.
Heat Four: Tyler Millwood, Vic Hill, Ryan King, Jake Knowles, Pearson Lee Williams, Ryan Crane, Jeff Neubert, David Crabtree, Brian Nuttall Jr.
Consolation Race One: Brandon Overton, Tommy Kerr, Robby Moses, Jadon Frame, Cody King, Derek Ellis, Trent Ivey, Craig Greer.
Consolation Race Two: Camaron Marlar, Pearson Lee Williams, Dusty Carver, Ryan Crane, Joe Denby, Jeff Neubert, Steve Smith.
Feature: 1. Chris Madden # 44, 2. Dale McDowell # 17m, 3. Cory Hedgecock # 23, 4. Brandon Overton # 76, 5. Ross Bailes # 58, 6. Chris Ferguson # 22, 7. Mark Whitener # 5, 8. Tyler Millwood # 31, 9. Vic Hill # 1, 10. Donald McIntosh # 7m, 11. John Baker # 14, 12. Tommy Kerr # 4t, 13. Pearson Lee Williams # 2, 14. GR Smith # 89, 15. Ryan King # 1g, 16. Kyle Hardy # 79, 17. Jake Knowles # 66, 18. Cameron Marlar # 57, 19. Dakotah Knuckles # 21k, 20. Craig Greer # 7g, 21. David Payne # 8, 22. Michael Chilton # 97, 23. Trent Ivey # 88.
DNQ: Steve Smith (3), David Crabtree (C5), Dusty Carver (9), Ryan Crane (10), Brian Nuttal, Jr. (16), Robby Moses (21), Joe Denby (27), Jadon Frame (27), Cody King (62), Jeff Neubert (86), Derek Ellis (99), Chuck Southard (108)
In the supporting classes, Kyle Courtney picked up his second straight limited late model win on Friday. Courtney got the initial lead over Cory Hedgecock. In the closing laps of the race, Hedgecock remained glued to the back bumper of Courtney, but could not find a way around to grab the lead. Austin Neely finished third, Chase King was second, and Bobby Giffin rounded out the top 5.
Limited Late Model Feature: 1. Kyle Courtney # 171, 2. Cory Hedgecock # 14, 3. Austin Neely # 3, 4. Chase King # 44, 5. Bobby Giffin # 97, 6. Aaron Guinn # 97, 7. Tod Hernandez # T6, 8. Mike Price # 77, 9. Levi Hicks # 4h, 10. Tyler Price # 7, 11. Ruben Mayfield # 00, 12. Blake Foster # 12.
Jed Emert took the checkers in the sportsman late model feature. Emert led the whole race and was unchallenged during the 20-lap race. Jake Whitehead was second, Brandon Miller, Bryan Cooper, and Brad Seagle rounded out the top 5.
Sportsman Late Model Feature: 1. Jed Emert # 98, 2. Jake Whitehead # 116, 3. Brandon Miller # 89, 4. Bryan Cooper # 15, 5. Brad Seagle # 31, 6. Sonny Huskey # 6, 7. Kip Sawyer # 44, 8. Chris Johnston # C9, 9. Walls Ray # 16r, 10. Dereck Blair # 28, 11. Joe Bray # 76, 12. Adam Mitchell # 50, 13. Robbie Chancellor # 31, 14. Chad McLemore # EZ1.
DID NOT START: Jason Wyres (18)