Mastering the big tracks: Kerry Madsen returns to Lakeside Speedway

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June 27, 2015  |  by Tony Veneziano, SLS Promotions

Kerry Madsen may have cut his teeth on the small, tight bullrings of Australia, but he adapted pretty quickly to the high-speed, bigger tracks of the United States when he first came to the States. He won his first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race at the half-mile Volusia Speedway Park in Florida in 2007 and has with the series at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio as well.

On top of that, Madsen claimed the 2005 track title at the legendary Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. Another big track that he has won at is Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, where he took the victory last year with the World of Outlaws. Madsen will return to Lakeside Speedway on Wednesday, July 1, as O’Reilly Auto Parts Presents the Outlaws at Lakeside.

Madsen has made a handful of starts with the World of Outlaws in his career at Lakeside Speedway. Along with his win last season at the four-tenths-mile, he finished fifth in 2012. The native of St.Marys, New South Wales, Australia, who now calls Knoxville, Iowa home, made his first start at Lakeside in 2001 with the Outlaws.

“Lakeside is a great market, being in the Kansas City area and the fans there really support the track,” said Madsen. “Ever since the first time I raced there, it’s always been a place I’ve enjoyed racing at. You carry a lot of speed around there and also get into traffic quite a bit as well. It’s a track that takes a good car and the driving being on their game to win at.”

Madsen started second in the 30-lap event at Lakeside last year and took the lead on the 15th circuit from three-time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell, who started on the pole. Madsen lined up on the outside of the front row and followed in Swindell’s tire tracks during the first half of the race, waiting for the right opportunity to make his bid for the lead.

“The track got slick last year, but still had a lot of speed in it,” noted Madsen. “It was pretty much wide open the whole race. I stalked Sammy (Swindell) for several laps and was able to get around him and to be able to get a win over someone like that is always pretty cool. We had a really good car and it was a great night all around. We were very happy with it.”

Madsen enters the pair of races this weekend for the World of Outlaws in the Heartland, third in the series standings on the strength of 24 top-10 finishes, with 11 of those being top-five finishes. He has been fastest in time trials on four occasions thus far in 2015, which is tied for the series lead in that department with Shane Stewart.
“We’ve had extremely fast race cars this year,” said Madsen. “We’ve had some opportunities to win and unfortunately when those opportunities have presented themselves we have had things go wrong. We feel that if we can keep our cars as fast as they are that big wheel will turn around and when the opportunity to win a race presents itself, I think we’ll be right there.”

Last season, Madsen earned a career-high six World of Outlaws A-Feature wins. His win at Lakeside was his third of the year, with him adding a couple of high-dollar events during the “Month of Money” after that. In the final tally, Madsen was fourth in points in 2014, which marked a new career-best. Along with the six wins, he racked up 69 top-10 finishes, of which 44 were top-five performances. Two more new career-highs for him. Madsen also stopped the clocks fastest in time on seven occasions last year.

“At the end of the day, last year is last year,” said Madsen. “We have to go out and win these races again. This is the part of the season when we race a lot and we want to get on a roll and do what we did last year. We are getting into the heart of the season and we will feel confident we’ll be tough the rest of the year.”

Madsen recently moved into the third spot in points, following a top-five run at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana on June 3. He has 24 top-10 finishes, with 11 of those being top-fives. While he is still chasing his first World of Outlaws win, Madsen was victorious in each of the first three races for the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions in Florida in February.

Tickets for O’Reilly Auto Parts Presents the Outlaws at Lakeside on Wednesday, July 1, can be purchased at the track on raceday. Very few tickets remain, so get your tickets as soon as possible.

All tickets purchased in advance for the originally scheduled race that was set for June 6 will be honored on July 1.

Fans can also take advantage of the O’Reilly Auto Parts $5 off special and receive $5 off when purchasing a general admission ticket at participating local O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. The ticket buyer will exchange their O’Reilly receipt for a ticket at the main grandstand ticket booth on race day.

Pits open at 2 p.m., spectator gates open at 4, hot laps start at 6:30, time trials begin at 6:30 and racing starts at 7:30.