PORT ROYAL, Pa. — One of the keys to finding victory lane during a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series race is taking advantage when the opportunity comes.
Chris Madden seized his moment Saturday night during the Billy Vacek Memorial at Port Royal Speedway to claim his second win in a row at the Pennsylvania track.
With 22 laps to go, race leader Brandon Overton made a mistake in traffic, allowing “Smokey” to dive underneath him and steal the lead.
Prior to that, Overton had opened a full straightaway lead over Madden 15 laps into the race before he caught the back of the field. That’s when Madden started to reel him in and plan his attack.
“Leading in lapped traffic is tough when it’s one lane,” Madden said. “[Overton] took a shot at a lap car and tried to move to the outside of it in [turn] one and two, and I was able to fill the hole.”
After Madden made his move around Overton, “Big Sexy” wasn’t ready to relinquish the lead just yet. The two raced side-by-side into turn three and Overton tried to dive under the Drydene No. 44 of Madden but couldn’t make the move stick. He ended up sideways in the corner, costing him a shot at victory lane.
“I was just trying too hard,” said Overton, who finished fourth. “As long as [the lap cars] entered wider than me I’d be fine, but one time they entered a little lower and a little slower. I had to get on the brakes, and I shattered the tires and slid up the hill.
“I was too close to [the lap cars]; I probably shouldn’t have been that close to them. I probably should’ve just laid back a couple of car-lengths.”
Madden’s win completes a weekend sweep at “The Speed Palace” that sees him walk away with more than $25,000 in winnings. It’s also his third straight win, and fourth of 2021, bringing “Smokey” to 32 career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings wins overall.
Rick Eckert finished second. He didn’t think he had anything for Madden toward the end.
“Even if I got to [Madden], passing him was a different story,” Eckert said. “The only chance I had was if a lap car messed him up.”
Port Royal regular Dan Stone crossed the line third.
“We hurt the motor in our good car awhile back, and we’ve been waiting on it to come back,” Stone said. “This is a 2017 car, and the motor was probably built in 2008, but you didn’t need a lot of motor because it was pretty slick.”
Feature (50 Laps)-1. 44-Chris Madden [$15,000]; 2. 0E-Rick Eckert [$7,000]; 3. 2-Dan Stone [$4,500]; 4. 76-Brandon Overton [$3,500]; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin [$3,000]; 6. 7R-Ross Robinson [$2,800]; 7. 16-Tyler Bruening [$2,600]; 8. 22-Chris Ferguson [$2,500]; 9. 66C-Matt Cosner [$2,400]; 10. 22S-Gregg Satterlee [$2,300]; 11. 4-Gary Stuhler [$1,800]; 12. 7-Ricky Weiss [$1,600]; 13. 97-Cade Dillard [$1,400]; 14. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$1,300]; 15. 45-Kyle Hardy [$1,200]; 16. 8-Kyle Strickler [$1,100]; 17. 28-Dennis Erb [$1,050]; 18. 9-Hayes Mattern [$1,000]; 19. B1-Brent Larson [$1,000]; 20. 43A-Tyler Bare [$1,000]; 21. 99B-Boom Briggs [$1,000]; 22. 48-Colton Flinner [$1,000]; 23. 24-Dylan Yoder [$1,000]; 24. D19-Dillon Stake [$1,000]; 25. 55L-Donald Lingo [$1,000] Hard Charger: 97-Cade Dillard[+10]