Welcome to this week’s edition of the Short-Track Top Five. Every week NSSN will talk to a different short-track driver and get his or her thoughts and opinions on a series of five questions.
This week National Speed Sport News talks to dirt-late-model driver Chris Madden. A native of Gray Court, S.C., Madden is a veteran late-model driver with victories in nearly every major late-model series in the country.
In 2010 Madden picked up one World of Outlaws Late Model Series triumph (April 17 at Virginia Motor Speedway) as well as his third victory in the Blue-Gray 100 at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. He has more than 140 victories to his credit.
NSSN: What influenced you to become a race car driver?
MADDEN: Well, my family raced. I’ve been around racing all my life. I started racing go-karts and I ran go-karts for around 12 years. Drove a hobby car for about six weeks and I’ve been racing a late model ever since.
NSSN: If you had the chance to race in the Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500, which would it be and why?
MADDEN: Neither one of them has dirt on it, so I wouldn’t do either one.
NSSN: How healthy is short-track racing in the United States?
MADDEN: I think it’s not as healthy as it was. A lot of the stuff going on right now is going to hurt racing if we don’t do something about it. One of them is the traction control that these guys are using. We have a guy here in town that’s using traction control this year. [He has] won a lot of races. It’s going to hurt our sport. They haven’t won anything off their knowledge or anything that they know. You’ve basically got a race car run by a computer. If somebody doesn’t do something about it it’s probably going to hurt our local racing and guys are going to quit racing.
NSSN: What is the wildest race you’ve ever been a part of?
MADDEN: The wildest one is probably me and Duane Hommel and Earl Pearson, Jr. at this Blue-Gray 100 coming to the checkered flag on the last lap. We led the whole thing and were within 100 yards of the checkered flag and all three of us wrecked. That’s basically it. We lost the race.
NSSN: At the end of your career, what do you hope people will remember about you?
MADDEN: Just what a hard racer I was and a great racer. A lot of people don’t know me. They don’t like me because they don’t know me. I’m at the race track to do my business at the race track. If they were to come by my shop and see me one day they’d see what kind of guy I am. Everybody thinks I’m a jerk because at the race track I’m here to win a race.