Chris Madden Drives to Redemption During World of Outlaws Tennessee Tipoff Weekend

(Photo Credit: Jacy Norgaard Photo)

While the start of this race season has been a sluggish one, this definitely has not been the case for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings 2021 season. While Brandon Overton and Devin Moran kicked off the season with their first DIRTcar Nationals victories recently, the second race of the season would give another driver the chance to drive to redemption at Smoky Mountain Speedway.

Despite Chris Madden leading most of last year’s Tennessee Tipoff feature race, he would fall short after power steering issues would end his hopes for a win halfway through this race. A new race season would give the former DIRTcar Nationals Champion an opportunity to earn redemption.

Starting this 50 Lap race from the runner up position, Madden quickly charged to the lead following the drop of the green flag after taking down pole sitter Jonathan Davenport in Turn 2. After taking the lead, Madden would leave the rest of the field in the literal dust as he continued to lead all 50 Laps of this race for his 29th World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Feature win.

Even though Madden would not let any other drivers stop him from driving to a redemptive win this year, in order to keep this goal, the driver of the No. 44 Drydene Greases late model machine would have to fight through several challenges to pick up this win including a long green flag start, heavy traffic, several caution flags as well as challenges from competitive drivers like last year’s winner Mike Marlar.

“We got in lap traffic there at the end and I knew Marlar was closing up on me,” said Madden. “I had to try to get some lap cars in between me and him, so I made a move to get a couple in front of him, and I did what I had to do to win the race.”
The win keeps Madden’s momentum rolling, coming off his second consecutive Drydene Xtreme Dirtcar Series Championship last weekend as well as a Drydene Heat Race prior to earning this feature race victory.

(Photo Credit: Trent Gower Photo)

Chris Madden would not be the only World of Outlaw Series driver to earn a victory this weekend from the outside pole. During Saturday night’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series 35-Lap feature at Tampa, Florida’s own East Bay Raceway Park, 31-year-old Texas native Aaron Reutzel stole the show after starting on the outside pole in his Speedway Engines / Triple-X #83 and, like Madden, drove this to a victory following the drop of the green flag.

Putting all four wheels above the cushion and flying through the fluff, Reutzel went where others would not dare and this would give this first-time victor a chance to both race past defending Series champion Brad Sweet in the opening lap of this race and continued to take down other well-known names like Donny Schatz to earn his first season victory.

“I dream of stuff like this! It is what makes me love sprint car racing,” said Reutzel. “When we can go out and do stuff like take on a cushion that was so treacherous and a car that was loose enough that I could go up there and just get after it, it was so much fun!”

While the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will get back on track will hit the Dirty South Swing next weekend with a trip to Mississippi and Louisiana for The Rev finale, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models will head to Cherokee Speedway as spring comes to life at the end of March (March 26-27).
Stay tuned to for all of the latest racing news from the dirt.

About Ellen Richardson 491 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.

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