PETERSEN MEDIA- Taking a three-race win streak into the 2015 DIRTCar Nationals at the Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL, Kerry Madsen and his American Racing/Keneric Racing team continued to show great speed as they picked up a trio of top-five finishes.
“It was a decent week for us,” Madsen said. “We had really good speed, but we just could not seem to do anything right, after a weekend where we could not do anything wrong.”
Kicking the DIRTCar Nationals off with two more UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions races, Madsen would time his entry in fifth fastest last Wednesday night before scoring a fifth place finish in heat race action.
Finishing fourth in the dash, the 2014 Kings Royal Champion would line up in the second row for the 30-lap feature event. As the night moved on, it was apparent that the preferred line was around the high, scary side of the speedway, and as the green dropped, Madsen went to the cushion, as he battled with Brad Sweet, Paul McMahan, and Daryn Pittman.
With passing up front at a premium, the Mad Man would close out his night with a fifth place finish.
Back in action on Thursday night, Madsen would kick off a streak of four straight fast time awards, as he set the standard in time trials, before finishing fifth in his heat race.
Starting third in the feature event, by way of his third place finish in the dash, Madsen would settle into the third spot in the opening stages of the race, until making a move around Danny Lasoski to take over the second spot.
With the first 22-laps going non-stop, Madsen would find himself in the third spot when the first caution flew, as he and Brad Sweet battled for the second position at the race’s halfway point.
With the final eight laps being slowed by several caution flags, Madsen would lose a pair of positions on restarts as a surging Donny Schatz got by him, before Greg Hodnett got by late, as he would cross the stripe with another fifth place finish.
Friday night brought on the 2015 World of Outlaws season opener, and after his quick time award, Madsen would slip to sixth in his heat race, before a second place finish in the B Main would get him into the feature event.
Lining up ninth in the 30-lap A Main, the St. Marys, NSW driver would search around the Volusia Speedway Park for a way to move forward, but would battle with Jason Sides and Jason Johnson just inside the top-10.
When the checkered flew on the opener, Madsen would cross the stripe with a 10th place finish.
Following another quick time on Saturday night, Madsen would score a third place finish in his heat race, putting the Morrison Racing Engines/KPC entry into the night’s dash, where an eighth place finish would put him in the fourth row for the A Main.
In what was another fast paced feature event, Madsen would battle inside the Top-10 again, as he battled with the likes of Daryn Pittman and Jason Sides.
As the race drew to a close, Madsen and Pittman battled for the ninth position, and with the checkered flag in the air, it was Madsen getting the spot, as he picked up his fourth Top-10 of the week.
Saturday night’s finale saw Madsen and company look to get even better, and things started off well, as he completed his three-race sweep of World of Outlaw quick time awards, his fourth consecutive award of the week.
Racing his way to a second place finish in his heat race, Madsen would also finish second in the dash, putting the American Racing/Keneric Racing No. 29 on the front row for the DIRTCar Nationals finale.
As the green flag dropped on what would be a non-stop 30-lap race, Madsen would run in the second spot as he chased after Paul McMahan for the first five laps of the feature event, before Brad Sweet dropped him back to the third spot.
Running in the third spot, Madsen and Pittman would hook up in another entertaining battle as they battled in thick traffic for several laps fighting for the third spot, with lapped traffic working in Pittman’s favor in the end.
Still running comfortably in the top-five, Madsen would chase after Pittman in the closing laps, as he then felt pressure from Jason Sides. Continuing to battle in traffic, Sides would get the spot in the closing laps, as Madsen ended his week with a fifth place finish, his third top-five of the five race DIRTCar Nationals.
“We just did not take advantage of opportunities when we had them, but we showed some great car speed, and some consistency,” Madsen added. “It is a nice start to our World of Outlaws season, and we will certainly look to get even better. Huge thanks to the Gavranich family, Dan Ricehouse and American Racing Custom Wheels, my guys, and all of our manufacturers for giving us great support.”
2015 BY THE NUMBERS- Starts-18, Wins-5, Top-5’s-13, Top 10’s-15
ON TAP: Madsen will now travel back to Australia to take on the World Series Sprint Cars this weekend at the Perth Motorplex.
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