SPRING VALLEY, MN (July 7, 2022) – Chris Madden snuck by Brandon Sheppard and Jonathan Davenport with five laps to go to win the 25-lap preliminary feature on Thursday night at Deer Creek Speedway. It was Madden’s first race back after winning last month’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Mountain Moonshine Classic at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Tennessee.
Madden came from the eleventh starting spot using the low line around the 3/8-mile high-banked oval. Sheppard came home in second followed by Davenport, Tim McCreadie, and Mike Marlar.
Sheppard took the lead at the start of the main event. He and Davenport ran one-two in the race trading sliders in an exciting battle for the top spot. Madden was utilizing the very bottom of the racing surface as he from third to the lead in a single lap to take the win.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the third time in 2022, Madden still showed signs of recovering from a bout with pneumonia the last few weeks. “I just figured out a good line right there where I didn’t have to stop entering to get off the corner on the bottom. My car was good enough to lay out and turn and go back to the bottom and leave the bottom as fast as the top where they were running. In one and two I think we were about even with those guys in three and four I was better.”
“I am still down on my strength. We are still working on it. I’ve got a great family at home and a great wife who took care of me while I was home,” said the 47-year-old South Carolina native who is the midst of the best season of his racing career.
Sheppard, who led more laps than anyone during the feature saw his battle with Davenport upstaged by Madden’s late race run to the front. “Our car was really good there. I felt like I was going a little bit hard there early. I think it got my tires hot there. I could take off really good on the restarts and get rolling there and after that last one me and JD started sliding each other and that was a lot of fun. Then Madden sneak attacked us there. It was a good race. We were right there with them at the end. After I started hustling there at the end, I thought I should have been doing that the whole time.”
Davenport, the 3-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion rounded out the podium in third. “He [Madden] snookered us on the bottom. I felt I had a really good car especially the longer we ran the better we got. I felt like I really got a run-on Sheppard there, so I was going to try and break his momentum and I didn’t really realize Chris was quite that close to us.”
The winner’s Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Drydene Performance Products, Henderson Amusement, Franklin Enterprises, Penske Racing Shocks, Millwood Plumbing, VP Fuels, Worley Monument, DirtCar Lift, Davis Diesel Service, and Swift Springs.
Completing the top ten were Brandon Overton, Ricky Weiss, Johnny Scott, Ricky Thornton, Jr., and Jimmy Owens.
NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 – Prelim Night 1 Feature Finish (25 Laps):
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