PETERSEN MEDIA- The Month of Money has been good to Kerry Madsen, and his Keneric Racing team as the Australian pilot backed up his Kings Royal win by picking up Saturday night’s Ironman 55, 55-lap feature event at the I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO.
“It just feels bloody awesome,” Madsen said. “We had a such a good car, and have been so good here in the past, it’s great to finally break through.”
Madsen kicked his night off in grand style as he was the first car out in time trials, and his time held atop the speed chart, giving him quick time honors.
Working from fourth to second in heat race action, Madsen started and finished in the sixth spot in the dash, putting his American Racing/Morrison Racing Engines/KPC No. 29 in the third row for the feature event.
When the race went green, Madsen had worked his way up into the fourth spot, before he was able to get around Brad Sweet to take over the third position.
Using a couple of early restarts to his advantage, Madsen was able to get by Paul McMahan for the second spot, as he began his pursuit of Donny Schatz.
A lap 20 restart saw Madsen time things perfectly, as he got the advantage over Schatz, and quickly pulled away as he pounded the cushion religiously.
Madsen was spectacular in lapped traffic, using his speed to split cars at times, to keep his advantage. In the closing laps, as got help up as he tried to make work of a couple of cars, and wasn’t able to and it allowed Schatz to erase his sizeable lead.
Though Schatz closed in on him, Madsen showed his strength as he was crowned the 2014 Ironman.
“I got by Donny on that restart, but knew when it’s bloody Donny Schatz behind you, you can’t make a mistake,” he added. “A couple of times I would lap somebody, and they would come back, and I thought it was him, but fortunately it wasn’t. It was a fun race, but I was waiting for that checkered to drop, and it finally did.”
Overall, Madsen had a brilliant weekend, aside from picking up his fifth World of Outlaw win of the season.
On Saturday night during the prelude to the Ironman 55, the Keneric Racing’s team strength was tested as numerous delays made for a very late night of racing.
After timing in second fastest in time trials, Madsen got to the lead in his heat race, and with just two laps to go, the second place car got into the fence, causing heavy damage, and forcing track crews to make repairs.
As the delay started at roughly 10pm, matters got worse as the skies opened up, and the fence delay turned into the second rain delay of the night.
Returning to the speedway at midnight, to complete his heat, Madsen was able to lead the final two laps to pick up the win, and move to the Dash, where he would finish in the sixth spot.
After a caution flew on the fourth lap, things picked up in a hurry on the I-55 Raceway, and as Madsen worked the cushion, his night nearly came to a disastrous end, as he flirted with the turn three wall, only to drive out of it, and maintain his position.
Getting into the second spot, Madsen gave it all he could chasing after Paul McMahan, and though he made things exciting on the last lap, he came up just short, and finished in the second spot.
“I have to thank my entire team for sticking out a pretty long and brutal night,” Madsen said. “It was a weird night, but everyone stayed loose during the delay, and I am happy I could give them a nice reward.”
Following his big win on Saturday night, Madsen and his team made the all night drive from Pevely, MO to Knoxville, IA to take part in the Capitani Classic on Sunday night, for one final night of testing before the Knoxville Nationals.
With a stacked field of 71 cars on hand for the marquee event, Madsen went out very late in time trials, and was able to find a little bit of moisture as he wound up 22nd fastest.
Lining up third in his heat race, Madsen would work into the second spot, as he chased after Lynton Jeffery, and transferred into the 25-lap feature event, where he found himself on the front row, alongside brother, Ian.
When the race got underway, Madsen found himself shuffled back to the third spot, as he chased after his brother, and second running Justin Henderson.
Running in third much of the race, the 2014 Kings Royal champion found himself as far back as the fifth spot, as the action got very tight in the lead pack.
A late caution saw Madsen use the cushion to his advantage as he zipped around Davey Heskin and Justin Henderson to take the third spot, where he would finish.
“We had a rough start to the race, but we got a lot better in the final run,” he said. “My guys drove all night, got here early this morning and got this thing ready for tonight, that’s how bad we wanted to race here, and I can’t thank them enough. I have to thank the Gavranich family, American Racing, and of the people who have supported us this year. It is going to be a tough week upcoming, and I hope we can stay to form.”
2014 BY THE NUMBERS- Starts-67, Wins-8, Top-5’s-35, Top 10’s-52
ON TAP: Madsen and his Keneric Racing team now set their focus to the 54th Annual Knoxville Nationals. The team is scheduled to qualify on Thursday night, take part in the World Challenge on Friday night, and run the finale on Saturday night.
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