PETERSEN MEDIA- Kerry Madsen put together a brilliant week competing in the biggest race of the year, as he landed on the podium with a third place finish at the 54th Annual Knoxville Nationals.
“It’s just mind boggling to be up here on the podium of this race,” Madsen said. “These last two months have been awesome, stuff you can’t even dream about, and I am just extremely proud of this team.”
Battling terrible weather week, Madsen and his American Racing/Keneric Racing team hit the track on Thursday night where a persistent mist delayed the start of the evening, but Madsen would not let circumstances bother him, and he timed in second fastest with 52 cars in the pit area.
Lining up eighth in his heat race with the Knoxville Nationals format, Madsen put on a show, as he put four wheels over the cushion as he carved his way all the way up to the second spot, earning a spot in the feature event, and earning valuable points towards the Saturday program.
Lining up seventh in the feature event, Madsen continued to show tremendous speed as he carved his way forward as he stuck the bottom the track. Taking advantage of a few caution flags Madsen was able to get into the third spot on a late caution as he chased after Brian Brown and Sam Hafertepe.
As the duo battled the last few laps, allowing Madsen to close in, but a third place finish had him atop the Knoxville National point standings after opening night.
“I am really excited we had a good point night, and are locked into the Saturday feature solidly rather than being high point guy,” Madsen said. “We had a great Capitani Classic, and now a great prelim, so hopefully we can have a great finale.”
Rolling off for the Saturday feature in the second row after Friday’s qualifier, Madsen hooked up in a battle with Shane Stewart and Brian Brown during the early portion of the first 25-lap segment of the race.
Sitting in the fourth spot, when the caution flew at the halfway point for the scheduled pit stop, Madsen came to life when the action resumed as he quickly moved past Shane Stewart to take over the third spot, as he had a front row seat to the battle up front between Schatz and Brown.
As the duo battled, Madsen closed in on them, but did not have enough to reel them, as he ended a very strong week with a very strong third place finish.
“It’s double edged because I am a little disappointed to not win, but at the same time, we weren’t quick enough to win,” he added. “On the other hand, I am so excited for our sponsors, our team, and our owners. We are on the podium at the Knoxville Nationals! I am excited for the future of this entire team, because Tyler Swank (Crew Chief) and myself have only been together eight months.”
2014 BY THE NUMBERS- Starts-69, Wins-8, Top-5’s-37, Top 10’s-54
ON TAP: Madsen and his Keneric Racing team will look to stay hot as they return to action Tuesday night at the Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, NE, River Cites Speedway in Grand Forks, ND on Friday and Nodak Speedway in Minot, ND on Sunday night.
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