PETERSEN MEDIA- Kerry Madsen and the Keneric Racing team are running very well right now, and have flexed their muscles leading up to the Knoxville Nationals. Finishing second at the Ironman 55, Madsen also finished second at the Capitani Classic, and the Front Row Challenge in what was a busy week.
“It was a great final tune up for our team,” Kerry Madsen said. “We have been right there, and I am feeling really good about where we are heading into our qualifying night.”
Kicking a busy weekend off Friday night in Pevely, MO during the Prelude to the Ironman, the St. Marys, NSW driver would pick up a Top-10 finish as the race was ran in a drizzle with Madsen finishing in the seventh spot.
Saturday night’s Ironman 55 would see Madsen get off to a great start as he timed the Keneric Health Care/Keneric Racing/American Racing Wheels entry in fifth fastest.
Winning his heat race, “The Mad Man” would go onto to win the Dash and earn the right to start on the pole for the 55-lap feature event.
Getting out to the early lead, Madsen was very strong on a fast surface following pre-race track prep. Keeping Shane Stewart and Brad Sweet behind him, Madsen would quickly find himself mired in lapped traffic.
Making some big moves to get through traffic initially, Madsen would find himself slowing his pace a touch trying to maneuver, which would let Stewart and Sweet close in on him.
A couple of stoppages would give Madsen clear track, but would also put the field right on his bumper. Still very strong out front, Madsen continued to lead the way.
Back in heavy traffic on the 40th lap, Madsen would see Rico Abreu make a move on him in turns three and four, the Madsen remained calm and answered the call only to see Abreu make a wild move to take the top spot from the Australian National Champion a lap later.
Chasing after Abreu over the final stages of the race, Madsen could not quite get to him in traffic and would finish in the second spot.
Making the overnight haul to the Knoxville Raceway for the Capitani Classic, Madsen would get off to a great start as he would earn quick time honors before racing his way to a heat race win in convincing fashion.
Moving into the pole shootout as the top seed, Madsen would fend off the challenge from Shane Stewart to claim top prize and start on the pole of the 25-lap feature event.
Getting into the race after two failed starts, Madsen would lead early until Shane Stewart would get around him on the third lap. Hanging with his competitor, Madsen would stalk the leader looking for a way back by.
In the race’s closing laps, Madsen would erase the lead built up by Stewart and would look to make things interesting only to the red flag fly. The race’s final restart would see Stewart get away with Madsen finishing in the second spot.
Making the quick trip to the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, IA on Monday night, Madsen would time his machine in fourth fastest before finishing fifth in his heat race.
Moving into the King of the Hill match races, Madsen would come up short in his opening round race that would place him in the third row for the feature event.
The opening part of the race would be plagued with cautions, but once things got going, Madsen began making some noise. Racing by the likes of Rico Abreu, Brad Sweet, and Brian Brown, Madsen would find himself in the second spot.
Once in second, Madsen would need a little help as the race leader and checked out from the field and built up a sizeable lead. With no caution’s or traffic to slow down the pace, Madsen would pick up his third consecutive second place finish in his final tune up for the Nationals.
“We were in the hunt every night, and it has been a stout field of cars each night,” Madsen said. “We have been strong in Knoxville all year, so hopefully we can do the Gavranich family and all of our partners proud this week.”
2016 BY THE NUMBERS- Starts-69, Wins-9, Top-5’s-29, Top 10’s-44
ON TAP: Kerry Madsen and the Keneric Racing team will take to the Knoxville Raceway on Thursday night for their Knoxville Nationals qualifying attempit.
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