SPRING VALLEY, Minn. — Chris Madden found his way to victory lane and claimed his second World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series win of the season during Saturday’s 38th annual Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway.
“We had a great car and I would like to thank my guys who worked hard this week to get this thing ready for me,” said Madden. “This win is for my crew member, Brian. His mom passed away earlier this week and he had to leave us.”
The 50-lap feature saw three different leaders, including Rodney Sanders, Devin Moran and Madden.
Sanders held on to the lead for the first 22 laps of the feature before being passed by rookie-of-the-year contender Moran, who had made his way to the front from fourth.
Moran held off charges from Sanders, Jimmy Mars and eventually Madden, despite multiple restarts derived from cautions. Joey Coulter suffered a left rear flat on lap 26; Eric Wells, Jason Yaggy, Chris Simpson and Nick Anvelink tangled on lap 28; and Chad Mahder got turned around in turn two on lap 39.
On lap 43, Moran and Madden ran door-to-door down the front stretch and into turn one. The close side-by-side action resulted in contact between the pair, causing Moran to get spun around in turn two and bringing out the yellow flag.
That ultimately sent the No. 9 to the tail of the 24-car field, and by the time the checkers fell, Moran had made his way to finish 17th.
“We ran the top there and got to going good and you know guys want to run the bottom and the top and I was there and I hate it for him,” said Madden.
Mars battled with Moran for most of the feature before being passed by Madden for second on lap 38.
“We were probably a third-place car there,” said Mars, who finished second in the feature. “Just kind of a bad deal there between Madden and Moran. We were going to run third and we got second I guess. We will take second and move on to the next race.”
Mike Marlar passed 19 cars to finish third.
“A wise guy told me today that I would finish on the podium and I don’t know how that happened after such a bad start,” said Marlar. “I would just like to thank this race track. This is probably the most racey track I’ve ever been to. This place is awesome and I hope [the fans] really treasure this place. This is an awesome race track.”
Brandon Sheppard and Chase Junghans completed the top five.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…