MADDEN GOES FLAG TO FLAG AT CHEROKEE

                                               Dale Wilkerson          April 200

The Cherokee Speedway had a full night of racing last Saturday, which included a showdown in the Crate Late Models and a 40-lap O’Reilly Southern All Stars east event for the Super Late Models.

            Defending series champion Casey Roberts busted off a new track record in qualifying. Roberts lap of 14.813 seconds which established a brand new track record lowering the 14.829 mark previously set by Dennis Franklin last year in qualifying for March Madness 2008.

            Chris Ferguson, who qualified fourth, was on pace to beat Roberts new mark, when both his transmission and rear end broke going into turn three.

            Ferguson’s crew made a call to Doug Sanders, who was not competing Saturday night, to see if they could borrow the needed parts to make the feature. Sanders got a few folks together and they pounced on his car to remove the parts, while back at the track, Ferguson’s crew received help from several teams to strip the broken parts of his car. The repairs were made and Ferguson made the grid for the main event.

             Chris Madden battled past Roberts to take the lead. Ferguson cleared Roberts to grab second and at one point nosed ahead of Madden before lap 20. Roberts worked his way around Ferguson and was slowly closing in on Madden when he was tagged by a slower car driven by Zach Cox. Roberts slammed the outside wall ending his night.

               Madden got a good restart while behind him, Davenport, Ferguson, and Franklin gave chase. Ferguson worked on Davenport for several laps before pulling past him on the inside.

            Madden completed the race, picking up the flag-to-flag victory with Ferguson, Davenport, Franklin and Ricky Weeks rounding out the top five. Cherokee Speedway regulars, John Pursley and Billy Thompson, who drives for Mike Duvall, came home sixth and seventh respectfully.

            In the heat races for the Crate feature, race fans got what they wanted as Pursley and Davenport won the heats setting up the front row show everyone wanted to see.

            This two battled fiercely with Davenport pulling clear of Pursley and driving on to the win.

            The Limited Sportsman race was perhaps the race of the night as eventual winner Scott Tessner battled with Josh Wilkerson. Wilkerson pulled to the inside several times but Tessner used the high line to pull ahead lap after lap.

            Over at the Greenville Pickens Speedway, the Camping World East season opener started much like the season opener for the late models a few weeks ago, a huge pile up on lap one.

            After the track was cleared, Brian Ickler went on to lead 149 of the 150 laps to capture the win.

            This Friday night, the Anderson Motor Speedway will host the Upstate 100 for Late Models. Defending Champion Randy will be looking to defend his title. All regular classes will also be in action, with this being a double points event. The green flag is scheduled for 7:30pm, so plan to get there early.

            And if you are looking for Winged Sprint car action, those 700 horsepower, alcohol burning monsters will return to the Harris Motor Speedway the weekend of April 25th. If you have never seen the sprint cars in person, you should make the trip to Harris.