WILD SAS FINISH SEES MADER WIN AT LANIER by Jeremy Troiano
Supers Prove It Is Quality, Not Quantity
The Southern All Star Super Late Model Series proved on Saturday night at Lanier National Speedway that it isn’t quantity, but quality that matters.
Walking into Lanier and looking at the sheet of just 13 Super Late Models in attendance, you might have been disappointed.
That “he” Rice was talking about was veteran Super Late Model driver Dave Mader III.
Mader came out of nowhere at the end of the race to put himself in contention for the win. Mader took his time to work his way to the front, then passed Hogan for second and put himself in position to battle for the top spot with a seven-lap shootout right around the corner thanks to a late caution.
After the restart, it looked like Mader was have to settle for second or even hold off Hogan. But with just three laps to go, Mader pulled up to Rice. Coming to the white flag, Mader snuck a nose under Rice and the two were nearly side-by-side with one lap to go.
However, at the end of the night, it didn’t matter. After the 150-lap Super Late Model feature, there was no one leaving disappointed. That is, except for home state driver Jeremy Rice.
Rice had the dominant car on Saturday night at Lanier. He started on the pole as a result of the redraw and slid back to second on the first lap. He was just biding his time and took the lead over for the first time on lap 19.
He lost the lead on lap 36 to Jason Hogan, the night’s quick qualifier, but stayed on Hogan like a shadow. When Hogan came in to pit on lap 73, Rice stayed out and took the lead over again. Hogan eventually worked his way back to the top spot, but again, Rice stayed right on Hogan’s rear bumper.
When Hogan slipped up with just than 15 laps to go, Rice pounced and took the lead one more time.
Coming to the white flag, Rice held the lead.
At the checkers, he found himself seventh.
“It is pretty simple,” said Rice. “He got up underneath me when I slipped up. I gave him plenty of room to race with. He slid up and just door slammed me and broke something in the car. I went into the last turn and I couldn’t hold on.”
Coming out of turn two, the two drivers made slight contact. Rice bounced off the outside wall and Mader got sideways and nearly collected the inside wall while trying to regain control of his car. However, both kept going and both drove into turn three as hard as they could, still side-by-side.
They never touched again, but both drivers were sideways in turn three from driving the cars in so deep. Rice’s car then bolted to the right and hit the wall just at the exit of turn four. Mader’s car slid up the track, still sideways, but crossed the line first, with Hogan close behind in second.
Rice’s car wouldn’t refire. His car finished 149 7/8 laps.
He walked the rest of the way to the finish line..
Dave Mader earned career feature win 219 on Saturday night.
“Let me tell you, there is nothing better than when you are in a race and the white flag is waving and you just got underneath a guy and you are coming for the win. It is better than sex. It is better than anything. It is the deal.
“This is win number 219. Last year was my third non-winning season in 32 years of racing. The first year was the most devastating, but every year is devastating. So to finally get win 219 feels pretty good.”
“We touched. Then I got loose and he got loose. We got together a little bit. Then I gassed it back up. We were coming back to the win and I thought ‘oh darn he is going to beat me.’ It was a great finish. This is great for the fans. This is great for us.”
Mader’s win gave him the trophy in the MidSouth Cage Equipment 150. Ironically, MidSouth Cage Equipment is Rice’s primary sponsor.
For Mader, it was the first time to be back in a Victory Lane, any Victory Lane, since 2003.
“This is my 33rd year of racing now. It is still as exciting now as the first time that it happened.
Jeremy Rice's #23 gets towed back on the hook (top) while Jeremy (bottom left) hangs his head in disgust watching the Victory Lane celebration at Lanier on Saturday night. (51 Photos)
Mader's #118 (here in qualifying) took the checkers on Saturday night at Lanier.
“Something must have broke,” said Rice. “I don’t know. He got me into the wall pretty hard and something let go. When I went into the corner, I just couldn’t control it.
“It is really disappointing. It’s probably best I stay over here and don’t go say anything to him.
Rice stood along pit wall for a few minutes, watching Mader celebrate his win and wondering what might have been. After all, $5,000 was on the line.
“He had the best car,” said a jubilant Mader after the race. “I hate it for him that he didn’t cross the line there, but he ran too hard and got too racey too quick. You have to be old and patient.
And Mader is pretty sure of the accuracy of that stat.
But there was just one win that Rice wanted. That was the same one that Mader will claim as number 219.
And he ran the perfect race, choosing not to pit, which nearly paid off for him.
“The car was awesome. We saw Hogan and (David) Hole come in and they all got new tires. They came out there and they were fast for about 10-15 laps, but after that, our car was really fast.
“We were pretty sure we were going to stay out on the same tires the whole race. We had a little problem with our second set anyway. We had rolled them the night before and we found that one of our tires had a hole in it, so we really only had one tire to use. It turned out to be small, so instead of risking it, we just stayed out on the same tires.
“It didn’t matter. The car was awesome. It was that good the whole race.”
Both Hogan and David Hole, who finished third, had a good seat for the last lap fireworks.
“I saw a lot of beating and banging,” said Hogan. “I had a good seat for the show. I was just waiting for each of them to take each other out and I had a good seat for it if they did. I put myself in the position and I thought maybe I could even get Mader at the end, but he held on.”
Speed51.com will have more on the Pro Late Model race, along with post-race reaction from several other Super Late Model drivers this week in Leftovers.
Mid-South Cage Late Model Shootout 150 (Southern All Star Super Late Models)
Lanier National Speedway, Braselton, GA
1. Dave Mader III
2. Jason Hogan
3. David Hole
4. Matt Hawkins
5. Dwayne Buggay
6. Kevin Barrett
7. Jeremy Rice
8. Eric Wallace
9. Lonnie Moon
10. Johnny Brazier
11. Chad Brawn
12. Kayne Hickman
13. Joe Click
Mid-South Cage Late Model Shootout 125 (Pro Late Models)
1. Richey Etheridge
2. Clay Dale
3. Chirs Whorton
4. Paul Kelley
5. Tony Bennett
6. Russell Fleeman
7. Shane Chastain
8. Greg Simpson
9. Darren Armitage
10. Brian Smith
11. Mike Bruce
12. Kevin Herbert
13. Debris Brown
14. Randy Beeken
15. Terry Crump
16. Jeff Embrey
17. Ryan Sieg
18. Ted Wright
19. Michael Lance
20. Dennis Wilder
21. Tom Salley
22. Chris Cochran
23. David Watters
“I had a awesome view of the whole thing,” added Hole. “It was just a racing deal. They were both going to win. They were just racing hard. They bumped a little bit. It looked like a racing deal to me. Something then broke on Jeremy’s car cause he went to the right. I hate that for him.”
Matt Hawkins came home fourth, with local Dwayne Buggay coming home fifth.
Richey Etheridge dominated the Pro Late Model 125-lap race, pulling out to a substantial lead and never looking back.