Kerry Madsen definitely adds a “World” flavor to the World of Outlaws, as the only full-time driver with the series that hails from Australia. He has competed in three different countries this season and has earned wins in two of them. The native of St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia, opened the year racing in his native land, where he was victorious. Upon returning to the United States, he also triumphed, in just the second World of Outlaws event of the season.
He made his first start in Canada on July 25 and will return north of the border on August 17-18 for the Oil City Cup, which will mark the World of Outlaws inaugural visit to Castrol Raceway in Edmonton.
After a record crowd attended the World of Outlaws event at Ohsweken Speedway last month, in the series first event in Canada in over 25 years, another capacity crowd is expected at Castrol Raceway. Madsen is excited to bring 410-sprint car racing to fans that normally do not get to see it the powerful machines race. Madsen also has a large legion of fans back home in Australia, as they are diehard sprint car fans and keep up-to-date with him via the modern marvels of technology online.
“It’s neat how close the Australians follow us,” said Madsen, driver of the Selma Shell Maxim. “The fans are very proud of us when we run good. There’s no added pressure, knowing we have all the fans back home. There is enough pressure as it is, and the main thing is that I want to do good for Kerry Madsen and the team.”
Madsen has visited a number of tracks for the first time this season as he continues to lead the World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year standings. On Tuesday night, he visited Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota for the first time and earned a Top-10 finish. The two events at Castrol Raceway will be part of a stretch of seven straight races on short tracks for the World of Outlaws, as they begin the Gold Rush Tour for 2007.
“We try to compare new tracks to places we have been and that I feel comfortable at,” he noted. “At the end of the day, they are all dirt circles, but they each have their own characteristics and nuances. Castrol (Raceway) is a short track and I have run plenty of short tracks. I look for it to be a very competitive race.”
Madsen is teamed with veteran crew chief Sonny Kratzer, as he continues his rookie season with the World of Outlaws. Heading to Castrol Raceway, he has 12 Top-10 finishes. He also has set fast time once this season, as he established a new track record at the storied Manzanita Speedway in Arizona. In addition to this, Madsen also has a Crane Cams Dash win to his credit to earn a pole position, along with four KSE Race Products Hard Charger Awards.
“It’s very helpful having Sonny,” explained Madsen. “It allows me to focus more on driving this year, rather than working on the car. That’s been a very big help and we look for big things at the end of the year.”
Madsen, the 2005 Knoxville Raceway track champion has been competing in the United States for a number of seasons, along with racing in his native land when the season ends in the U.S. ends. The level of competition that he faces every time he takes the track continues to make him a better driver each time he straps into the car. One of the most determined individuals in the series, Madsen thrives on the competition and the high level that it is has been at this season with 20-plus teams traveling full-time.
“It used to be a lot difference racing over here (in the United States), but now there are just good cars everywhere,” he said. “When you go home there are a lot of Americans there and it’s tough wherever you go.”
After the 2006 season, Madsen took a very short break before returning home to compete in early November, and has been racing ever since. For the second straight time, he won the Grand Annual Classic while in Australia, one of the most famed events in the country. To earn the $30,000 winner’s check he held off fellow countryman Brooke Tatnell, as well as Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz. Ironically Madsen, Pittman, and Schatz claimed the three A-Feature victories during the DIRTcar Nationals to open the World of Outlaws season.
“This is my first full season on the road so I haven’t had a break in a long time,” shared the native of St. Mary’s, NSW. “I think I have had about a two week break in the last eight months, but I love it. After a two week break, I am ready to go again. I am going to go home and do some racing in Australia right after Charlotte (The Outlaws World Finals) and then maybe have about a month break and I will be ready to get right back to it. It’s actually been a benefit to me to keep racing.”
After competing in Canada last month for the first time in his career, there is nothing Madsen would like more than to win a race in yet another country, as he continues his quest for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws.
“I’ve won an Outlaws race in New Zealand,” he smiled. “I’ve won one in Australia and I won one in the U.S., and now I want to win one in Canada.”
On Friday, August 17 at Castrol Raceway general admission tickets will be $35 or a two-day general admission ticket can be purchased for $60. On Friday, August 17 reserved tickets will be $45 or a two-day ticket can be purchased for $80.
On Saturday, August 18 at Castrol Raceway general admission tickets will be $35 and reserved tickets will be $45. For ticket information call SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023 or visit http://www.slspromotions.com.