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First foray into NASCAR for Mad Maddie

Although her first NASCAR race didn’t go as planned, Pike’s Madeline ‘Mad Maddie’ Crane now has her NASCAR license. She qualified for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race and even though she didn’t race, she got to meet track owner and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. ’Tony Stewart is one of my favorite drivers and I’ve looked up to him over the years,’ said Maddie. ‘To be able to meet him was really exciting. I got to meet him first after the driver’s meeting and then a second time when he rode over to our trailer on his four wheeler. He was joking around and said I need to ride over and help him fix the wall where I hit it.’ Maddie will be a senior at Pike County High School this year and she qualified for the Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway, earning her NASCAR license despite being unable to complete the race. ’It was an awesome experience,’ she said. ‘I wish it would’ve gone a little better for us but it’s a learning experience and that’s just part of racing.’ After changes were made to the car, it didn’t respond the same and she hit a wall in the first round of qualifying, putting her out of the feature race. ’In the first round of practice, she was 28th out of 34 drivers and in the final round of practice, she was 20th out of the 34 drivers. That’s a pretty big deal to go up there and blend in that well among racers who have been doing it for years,’ said L.J. Clemons. Her NASCAR truck for the Eldora race was #80 and she plans to compete in more NASCAR races in the future. She will race again Aug. 8 at Shenandoah Speedway in Virginia in the Asphalt Late Model Stock race. She will practice all day Friday, Aug. 7 and hit the track the next day. ’Last year when she went to do the NASCAR diversity test, she had to race a late model stock car so she will be racing and trying to get more familiar with that type of car before we do the diversity test again,’ said Clemons.

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